Print 14 comment(s) - last by porkpie.. on Mar 3 at 3:43 PM

The Department of Defense has once again decided to support social networking, but with a few rules

The Pentagon has allowed U.S. military personnel to begin using Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other popular social networking services.

The new government-issued rules offer guidelines for "safe and effective use of internet-based capabilities," and includes support for Google Apps, Wiki pages, blogs, YouTube, and other popular Web 2.0 apps.

Access to gambling, hate-crime sites, pornography, and other questionable content is still prohibited, the government said.

"This directive recognizes the importance of balancing appropriate security measures while maximizing the capabilities afforded by 21st century Internet tools," said William J. Lynn III, Deputy Defense Secretary, who was responsible for signing the new DOD policy.  

The DOD has had some difficult experiences with social media, and it remained even more confusing since each branch had their own rules regarding social networking.  Social media can be used to easily and quickly reach out to colleagues, other military members, and friends and family -- but DOD officials expect to create new rules to explain basic rules and guidelines for employees and military members.  

If necessary, commanders are allowed to restrict online access if there is a significant bandwidth constraint or operational security issue.  There are still different ways this decision could come back to haunt the DOD, but with even more recruiters and government agencies using social media, now may be the best time to adapt.

The Pentagon recently lifted its internal ban on flash drives, even though the military has been very strict about the use of flash drives on all DOD computers.  Last February, a New Zealand man purchased an MP3 player from a second-hand store that contained U.S. military data, including troop deployments and personal information of troops.

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Stupid Idea
By afkrotch on 3/2/2010 6:34:00 PM , Rating: 5
I saw when this first came out and thought it was the dumbest idea ever. I can understand twitter, but Facebook. Myspace. That's just asking for trouble.
Pretty much the same info, but they include a link to the directive.

RE: Stupid Idea
By Reclaimer77 on 3/2/2010 7:14:13 PM , Rating: 4
What would be even more stupid is believing they could actually regulate hundreds of thousands of employees use of network sites. A ban you can't enforce isn't really a ban now is it ?

RE: Stupid Idea
By Souka on 3/2/2010 7:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
Can't wait for those pentagon babes self-shooting pictures... ;)

RE: Stupid Idea
By insanity2 on 3/2/2010 7:43:49 PM , Rating: 4
Trust a military member, they can and do enforce what pages you can and can't go to. I have no access to Mafia Wars, Farmville, and all the other apps on Facebook while still being allowed to use the main Facebook functions. I am sure the same applies to the other social apps as well. What you post is being scrutinized as well. You are always being monitored by somebody.

RE: Stupid Idea
By IvanAndreevich on 3/2/2010 8:12:33 PM , Rating: 3
Why not? Block the domains. That would be enough for almost everyone. The ones who use proxy are a very small percentage of the employees, and they would be violating the rules.

They can go ahead an access whatever they want from their 3G/mobile devices, as that's not really a risk to the intranet.

RE: Stupid Idea
By Reclaimer77 on 3/2/2010 9:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Someone will find a way. There is always a way.

RE: Stupid Idea
By afkrotch on 3/2/2010 10:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
There's always a way and there's always a way for them to find out.

At work, most everything is blocked. I figured they'd go towards blacklisting everything, then you have to apply to whitelist sites you'd need.

Some locations, they were blacklisting whatever they felt like, that they even blacklisted our Government Travel Card website.

Course, being as I'm in comm, I can just surf from the proxy server.

RE: Stupid Idea
By Ammohunt on 3/3/2010 2:20:34 PM , Rating: 2 are the same guys that max out the NIPR/SIPR satellite uplink downloading movies using Kazzaa during a War...

RE: Stupid Idea
By bhieb on 3/3/2010 9:16:53 AM , Rating: 1
You also cannot regulate/ban the "employees" from going on CNN and talking about classified acts. However that whole federal prison thing tends to keep mouths shut.

What I am saying is that these are not normal office drones bitching about their day with hourly status updates. They are trained soldiers that know what they can and cannot discuss with the public. Just like GI Joe can't go bragging about his latest black op at the local pub, he can' do that here either (not without severe consequences). Different media, yes, but the same rules apply.

I think the social sites are a good real-time method for connecting with friends/family back home. If it helps the men/women out why not.

RE: Stupid Idea
By porkpie on 3/3/2010 3:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
As of today's news, one of those trained Israeli soldiers posted details of an upcoming secret raid on his Facebook page. The raid was cancelled as a result.

RE: Stupid Idea
By Bateluer on 3/3/2010 9:06:04 AM , Rating: 2
Social networking sites should be blocked from all DoD owned machines and from DoD owned networks.

However, on the individuals personal computer from their residence, whether in base housing, a house, or an apartment, they have no right or authority to restrict access to social networking.

Mobile Update:
By PandaBear on 3/2/2010 6:06:48 PM , Rating: 4
Album 1: Swai Valley, 2010......

Friend 1: Damn, don't point your gun at me
Friend 2: Sorry, hey you got any more rounds? I'm running low.

By siuol11 on 3/2/2010 8:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
I used to be a systems admin on the Squadron level for the Army... Let me point out that this article confuses a few facts. First, DOD personnel have always been able to use Facebook, just not on the main DOD network. They block it with the same software many corporations use, and you can get around it just like most corporate firewalls... Of course they can catch you doing it.
Furthermore, access has always been at the behest of company-level commanders. If a Cpt. thinks someone in his troop (or company for you grunts) shouldn't be on Facebook, they get blocked.

RE: 25B...
By afkrotch on 3/2/2010 10:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the AF. Their blocks are more stringent. Facebook? Can't get to it. 3rd party proxies? Can't get to it. They'll block anything that pops up with the word proxy in the url. Putting in an ip address instead. All blocked.

There have been many ways around it, which no longer work. Some ppl have made proxies at home and tunnelled out. Blocked. I setup VNC on a home computer and would just remote into it and surf through it, that's blocked.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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