An Army of Mum

Army blog threats slide
From the U.S. Army's "OPSEC in the Blogosphere" presentation

"The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer," reports Noah Shachtman. Shachtman asked Major Ray Ceralde, who wrote the regulations, "If a soldier has to consult his [sic] supervisor or an OPSEC [Operations Security] officer every time he wants [to] e-mail home or put up a blog posting, doesn't that effectively kill the practice?" Ceralde answered that reviews are required for public forums only, and the "unit commander or organization leadership" can determine how reviews are done. "Some units may require that Soldiers register their blog ... with occasional spot checks after an initial review," he explained. "Other units may require a review before every posting. A private e-mail message to Family Members is not considered posting information in a public forum." On "Secrecy News," Steven Aftergood posted a related U.S. Army presentation on "OPSEC in the Blogosphere." A slide on "vulnerabilities" shows email, blogs, cell phones, pictures, and GPS devices. Another slide lists "hackers," "militia groups," "drug cartel" and "media" among domestic threats. Aftergood notes that the new Army regulations classify "attempts by unauthorized personnel to solicit critical information or sensitive information" as "Subversion and Espionage" -- raising concerns about unembedded, or even just pesky, reporters.


It'd be nice if we could easily trust them to only censor posts that give away key information about a current mission as that's a pretty valid concern if soldiers have public posts all over the internet. I wouldn't be at all surprised if general posts about life in Iraq were considered dangerous to the military's mission and censored as well though.

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