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Military allows Twitter, other Social Media

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posted on Feb, 27 2010 @ 04:33 AM

The Pentagon announced on Friday it has authorized the use Twitter, Facebook and other so-called "Web 2.0" sites across the U.S. military, saying the benefits of social media outweighed security concerns.


The decision, which comes at a time of growing concern over cyber-security, applies only to the military's non-classified network.

But it could mean big changes for large portions of the armed forces, including the Marines, which had selectively banned social media on work computers.

The Department of Defense also had bans in place since 2007 on accessing certain bandwidth-gobbling Web sites like YouTube on its network.

"The purpose of the policy is to recognize that we need to take advantage of these Internet-based capabilities. These Web 2.0 tools need to be part of what we use," David Wennergren, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, told Reuters.

Read the full article here: Reuters

posted on Feb, 27 2010 @ 04:37 AM
Guess that explains why I was able to long on to non-military sites on my NIPR puter...big change after 2 years (at least) of civilian sites being blocked.

posted on Feb, 27 2010 @ 12:10 PM

Originally posted by groomlake9

The Pentagon announced on Friday it has authorized the use Twitter, Facebook and other so-called "Web 2.0" sites across the U.S. military, saying the benefits of social media outweighed security concerns.

That is interesting, to say the least. I wonder if this will take hold in the internet regulation crowd...

[edit on Sat, 27 Feb 2010 12:10:29 -0600 by MemoryShock]

posted on Feb, 28 2010 @ 11:15 AM
This is a very nice add to the things you CAN do in the military. They must be runing out of things to do so they are allowing the military to do more fun things like tweet about how they blew up a bomb or facebook people that go awol.
its all good till that 1 person screws everyone

posted on Mar, 16 2010 @ 10:14 PM
Hah, I remember how awesome it was during my last deployment when facebook started working.

In all fairness, not only can sites like Facebook be a serious security violation. Just like at any job, you don't want your employees tweeting(sp) all day On the 'employers' network, and on the clock as well.

Most places had computer labs in which, off duty you could still access personal email, myspace, and facebook. Some even with popular messengers.

posted on Mar, 18 2010 @ 10:26 PM
It hasn't been unblocked in Afghanistan yet. At least, not on my half of the country's network

posted on Mar, 18 2010 @ 10:35 PM
This is both good and bad...

Of course you will have the boneheads breaking OPSEC and telling everyone state side everything they are doing.

I have a feeling the Marines will continue to not allow them to be used, especially while deployed. Big source of intelligence for enemy combatants.

I guess we will see...

Semper Fidelis


posted on Mar, 18 2010 @ 11:04 PM
While OPSEC (Operational Security) is certainly always a concern, I think that one of the reasons that the military has dropped or, at least, eased the restriction on access to some of these social networking sites like Twitter would be for morale or, to be blunt, for the psychological well-being of the troops (sic). Considering how overtaxed the military has been – in manpower and materiel – there's a tremendous psychological strain on the troops.

Psychiatric News USA, Vol. 42, No. 20, 10-19-2007: Longer military deployment increases risk of Mental Health Problems

Army Suicide Rates Soar
Monday February 9, 2009
At least 128 soldiers killed themselves in 2008, with investigations continuing into 15 additional possible suicides, according to Army officials. The 2008 Army suicide rate is significantly higher than the 115 in 2007 and 102 in 2006. It's also the highest since record keeping began in 1980. The rate translates 20.2 per 100,000 soldiers, higher than the adjusted civilian suicide rate. To add to the bad news, 7 soldiers committed suicide in January and the cause of death in 17 other cases is still under investigation. This is eight times higher than in reported in January 2004, and up from 2 pending and 2 confirmed in January 2008. 

The other services have also seen a rise in their suicide rates. The Marine Corps suicide rate went from 33 in 2007 to 41 in 2008. The Navy had 39 suicides in 2008, compared to 37 in 2007. In 2007, and the nine years preceeding, the Air Force suicide rate averaged 9.7 per 100,000, but in 2008 it jumped to 12.3 per 100,000.


It doesn't take much research at all to see that a similar rise in suicide rates also plague Iraq veterans. Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse, all too familiar issues in the aftermath of the VietNam war, this war has been especially disasterous in the toll it has taken upon the psyche's of men and women in who have been placed in situations beyond their emotional limits.

I think that the military recognizes a problem – a big one – and it's trying to do whatever it can to alleviate it in spite of inherent risks. I'm sure that precautions are taken but I think that the top brass in Washington are literally weighing the risks and opting to allow the troops “tweet”.

posted on Mar, 19 2010 @ 03:46 PM
Any social networking ability at all can be a big OPSEC thing. A few months ago we had a couple guys medevaced after an IED hit, and this idiot from their squad who flew with them took pictures of them (including their faces), and posted them on his Facebook. Needless to say, he got in trouble.

But anyone on a fob that has an MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation, a place for recreational computer use) has the ability to use Facebook - the MWR's network is not the same net that's about to begin allowing Facebook. Most fobs these days have one or are in the process of getting one.

So my point is, anyone who really wants to violate OPSEC can certainly do it. Even with facebook blocked, there are a million other ways. I'm on the government net right now, and I could easily post an OPSEC violation here or any other forum that I use, were I so inclined. The only thing the Facebook block is doing is pissing people off. I understand the block on high-bandwidth sites like YouTube, but Facebook is relatively low bandwidth (as long as you don't play that stupid farm game), and it would be a huge morale booster to people like myself, who spend most of their days working on computers and have a lot of down time while still having to be at the work computer.

posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 04:23 PM
Well I can tell you that it isn't in effect yet as I am on a gov't computer and cannot long into any of those sites
I think they real reason is us military members while it is slow at work will have something to keep us entertained. I work inside an armory at an AFB and I can tell you it gets really boring working 14 hour shifts and only have about 4 hours worth of actual work to do. I would love if they would let us get on youtube

Another reason is maybe they want to see who the military members are talking to online and what they are posting since from a home computer you can block out what non friends can see. I think it comes down to intel possibly stating that military members are in communication with "terrorists" trying to con them into doing something like at Ft. Hood.
Not too long ago we had an intel brief that basically said that the enemy is amongst us in the military and to watch out. They kept bringing up Ft. Hood and Jihad Jane.

[edit on 21-3-2010 by Reign02]

[edit on 21-3-2010 by Reign02]

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