Navy restricts use of handheld devices

“Department of the Navy Policy for Issuance, Use, and Management of Government-Provided Mobile (Cell

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Two months after issuing guidelines on the appropriate use of information technology, the Navy has released rules for handheld devices, including wireless telephones.

Navy personnel can use wireless phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and callings cards only for “official and authorized purposes.” If they use them for personal use, they must reimburse the government for the use and charges, according to a Navy memo titled, “Department of the Navy Policy for Issuance, Use and Management of Government-Provided Mobile (Cellular) Phone, Data Equipment and Services, and Calling Cards.”

Dave Wennergren, the Department of the Navy’s chief information officer, said in the memo that the policy will improve accountability and management of wireless phones, PDAs and callings cards. He said the service must also “move away from suboptimized independent management of telecommunications to a centralized enterprisewide approach.”

Leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps must manage the use of these devices and enforce the new rules. They must also ensure that workers receive wireless security training.

In July, the Navy issued policy for the acceptable use of IT. One of the six rules states that personnel can no longer access personal e-mail accounts from the service’s networks without approval.

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