Military Gives Social Networking Sites the Thumbs Up
Article by George Norman
On 01 Mar 2010
Back in August 2009 we were reporting that social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are a big no-no on military networks. A Marine Corps order specifically prohibited access to such sites because they pose a security threat. Here’s precisely what the order said:

“These internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries. The very nature of SNS [social network sites] creates a larger attack and exploitation window, exposes unnecessary information to adversaries and provides an easy conduit for information leakage that puts OPSEC [operational security], COMSEC [communications security], personnel and the MCEN [Marine Corps Enterprise Network] at an elevated risk of compromise.”

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A lot of time has passed since August 2009 and during all this time it seems that the Department of Defense has made its peace with social networking services. On Friday, the 26th of February, the Department of Defense announced that it authorized the use of social networking sites Facebook and Twitter and other “Web 2.0” sites. As the Department of Defense explained, these sites continue to pose a security risk and the security concerns are valid; but the benefits of social media outweigh the security concerns. This change of heart has been made possible by the increased security measures taken to secure military networks and enforce regulations that are already in place.

“Today the Department of Defense released a policy memorandum regarding the safe and effective use of Internet-based capabilities, including social networking services (SNS) and other interactive Web 2.0 applications. Commanders at all levels and heads of DoD components will continue to defend against malicious activity on military information networks, deny access to prohibited content sites and take immediate and commensurate actions, as required, to safeguard missions," said the Defense Department in this news release.



Tags: Department of Defense, Military, Social Networking, Facebook
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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