Security Foe, Thy Name Art Facebook!

Defense officials are pondering a DoD-wide ban on Facebook, Twitter, and possibly other social networking sites.

It is a move that is well past its prime.  E-0s through GOs with super-secret security clearances have been chatting away about how they’re feeling and what they’re doing from moment to moment, all hosted by their government computer. One forty-something Navy captain (who commands something noteworthy) seems addicted to Facebook AND get this: he appears on site in uniform. (There is no recruiting value in his online kingdom.)

Defense officials fear that use of the sites on government machines leaves prized portals vulnerable to hackers. They just figured this out?

These sites already have been shut down on some bases (by smart commanders) only to be opened again to standardize free-flowin’ cyber access across the Army. Mystification aside, these sites present a much bigger challenge.

Beyond hacker fare, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other cyber cohorts on the workfront amount to a security smorgasbord for those who monitor U.S. personnel 24 hours a day.

According to one intelligence source who, after his obligatory defense of the First Amendment, explained “they” are well aware that military purveyors of these sites share their comings and goings and musings throughout the day. String a few of those together and you soon could have a top secret document, he says. (An evite to the world’s top 10 intel networks might be more efficient.)
These networking sites open new ways to share sensitive information. Closing them down on the government end may solve the portal problem and should help with intel concerns. We would think the verbose and self-absorbed will be less likely to share military secrets outside the palace walls. The whole gold fish memory thing may come into play.

DoD will continue to have its arsenal of social networking site operatives, be they E-0 or GO. The bold and the beautiful will handle recruiting and service promotion as they always have. All will be right in the land of the free and home of the brave.

For everyone else, there’s always eBay.

* Note: The Marine Corps has banned social networking sites effective immediately.

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