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DOD: Halt the blogs

Wired has a story headlined, "Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death," which says that the Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages without first clearing the content with a superior officer.

The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

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, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.


Wired reports that Army Regulation 530-1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) [read the Army New Service's report about the reg here restricts more than just blogs. The Army had required that soldiers "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version of the regulation, however, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything -- from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

The Blog of War has this post:

Many in leadership and rear-echelon positions are not comfortable with Web 0.5, much less Web 2.0 -- a condition that applies to industry as well as government.


And this:

Operational Security is of paramount importance. But we are losing the Information War on all fronts. Fanatic-like adherence to OPSEC will do us little good if we lose the few honest voices that tell the truth about The Long War.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on May 03, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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