DOD needs Web 2.0 strategy

The Defense Department has a lot to gain from the use of social-networking technology, but only if it first develops a departmentwide Web 2.0 strategy.

The Defense Department has a lot to gain from the use of social-networking technology, but only if it first develops a departmentwide Web 2.0 strategy to address operational, policy and technology concerns, according to a report sponsored by the National Defense University.

Social networking: Share and share alike

Researchers from the National Defense University describe four areas in which social software contributes to national security missions, such as defense, diplomacy and development.

  • Inward sharing: the sharing of information within agencies during military operations and for administrative or other purposes.
  • Outward sharing: the sharing of information beyond the agency to coordinate with other federal agencies, law enforcement, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations and others.
  • Inbound sharing: a process that gives the government input from people not in the government so officials can gauge public sentiment on an issue.
  • Outbound sharing: a process that empowers people not in government during missions that include: stabilization and reconstruction, disaster situations, or public diplomacy efforts.

The report outlines four primary ways in which DOD and other agencies might use social media to support national security operations, including defense and diplomacy. However, before encouraging widespread adoption of the technology, DOD needs to coordinate an overall strategy.

The strategy must do more than identify specific applications for social media in DOD, according to the report. It must also foster organizational and cultural changes that would enable information to flow more freely. As part of that, DOD must educate its workforce on how to use the technology.

The authors said DOD should still encourage experimentation, but that a strategic approach was needed.

“There needs to be some kind of a top-level policy that essentially is applicable to the entire DOD structure that thinks about the universe of social software and how it fits into all the very diverse DOD missions,” said Mark Drapeau, an associate research fellow at the NDU. Drapeau co-wrote the report with Linton Wells, a distinguished research professor at NDU and former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration.

An official strategy could clear up a lot of confusion about what types of applications are permissible — and safe — on government networks.

“A big issue is the fact that a lot of these policies about what you can and cannot do, what you can and cannot download or access are very inconsistent across different DOD components — and that’s also true of the government at-large,” Drapeau said.

In some cases, agencies have banned specific applications because of security concerns, only to find that users are circumventing restrictions by using software with similar functionally and similar security problems.

The report presents the initial findings of research for DOD policy-makers that began in April 2008, with a focus on tools such as blogs, microblogs and social-networking Web sites. The research aimed to conduct an inventory of available social-media technologies, identify impediments to DOD personnel using such software, engage with the private sector and advise senior DOD leaders.

The researchers also examined how the U.S. government, its allies and potential enemies are using social-media tools.

The authors say that if used correctly by government, social media could enhance self-organizing capabilities within the government, enhance networking and collaboration with nongovernment groups, and improve decision-making. The authors say incorporating the technology into daily work practices should also decrease the probability of being shocked, surprised or out-maneuvered.

Drapeau said the immediate next step for the research was to help guide DOD employees to findings that are relevant on an operational and tactical level and further engage with DOD senior leadership.

“Warfighters in combat situations are very adaptable to changing environments,” the paper concludes. “If these attitudes pervade decision-making on issues of policy related to social software and security, perhaps the answers will come from within.”

NEXT STORY: Getting buyers to think security

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.