Andrew Douglas, interim dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, has apologized publicly today for asking one of his cryptography professors to remove a blog post critical of the National Security Agency's (NSA) newly revealed mass spying programs.
Douglas contacted professor Matthew Green yesterday, asking him to pull the mirrored copy of his "On the NSA" blog post from university servers on the grounds that it "contained a link or links to classified material and also used the NSA logo," according to a Johns Hopkins statement released yesterday afternoon.
This was a strange request on its face—there's nothing illegal about linking to classified information published by news organizations, nor is there anything illegal about using the NSA's logo in a post about the NSA. (Some restrictions on the NSA logo do exist as a matter of law, but these are limited to the logo's use in a way "reasonably calculated to convey the impression that such use is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the National Security Agency." Green's hypercritical post was in no danger of crossing this threshold.)