I want to try to bring some balance and understanding to the latest news about the Marines banning social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
A recent blog post at Digits – The Wall Stree Journal’s technology blog – stated that:
The Marine ban formalizes an existing block on social-networking sites on its government computers, and it does not affect members’ personal use of the sites.
So Marines, or any other military member with a personal computer, can use the social networking sites – just not while on government computers.
And although I understand the public’s initial outrage at the steps taken by the Pentagon, if you sit back for a moment and think about it, I somewhat the like the idea.
If a soldier is on a government computer that has been hacked, and releases some unit sensitive data, then that information could literally affect the lives of the entire unit.
I would also think that a soldier – unless I absolutely had a death wish – would not release mission critical information through Facebook or Twitter. But that’s not to say that mistakes don’t happen, and also what one soldier might not think is mission critical – it might be all the information the enemy needs.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds and is very intriguing, at the very least, to see the impact that social media is having on our modern day military activities.