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US Military Surrenders To Social Media, Changes Access Restrictions

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the mcpon-needs-more-facebook-friends dept.

Social Networks 96

Thanks to a new policy by the Department of Defense, members of the US Military will now have limited access to social media sites. "According to the memorandum, members of military departments and all authorized users of the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET) can now use the publicly accessible capabilities of various social networking and user-generated content sites, instant messaging, forums, and e-mail. This includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and others. Access to porn, gambling, or hate crime sites will remain restricted, however, and commanders can cut down on social media use if they feel the need to 'preserve operations security.'"

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96 comments

just took a shit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323488)

it left shit streaks all over the fucking low flow toilet. Thanks, enviro-weenies.

Dual Flush is your anti-spatter friend (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323634)

I know you are trolling, but seriously, if you are like many Americans (myself included) whose poor diet produces the occasional nasty fart/diarrhea aerosol spatter that can leave a low flow looking like, well, shit, you might want to invest in a dual flush toilet. [wikipedia.org]

The More You Know!

Re:Dual Flush is your anti-spatter friend (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323960)

do do do doo!

Ugggh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323500)

This is a security nightmare. We might as well just give out the root passwords now.

Re:Ugggh (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324578)

Yea, because giving members of the military access to social networking sites is really going to increase the risk of security breaches. It was better when we kept all military personnel in an off-grid facility in the middle of the desert with no cellphones and a ban on using fire in case they sent smoke signals to the nearest town.

Re:Ugggh (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324812)

The weakest component of a closed, safe door is the person that can open it from inside. The main vulnerability that introduces social networking sites is social engineering, in a way or another. Is pretty bad (or good) that they are open to the "real" world, and that could be influenced by the views of normal people, but add lack of privacy implied in some of those social networks, and a bit of malice, and bad things could happen.

Re:Ugggh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31324828)

It's not an either or proposition, we have e-mail access to most web sites now. The bottleneck for most people in the field and on ships is bandwidth, not access.

What's driving this is the mid-to-high level chain of command, who has this fantasy that the next war is going to be fought over the Internet and we'd better not miss out, and don't understand the underlying security issues AT ALL.

And yes, being able to see what unit Johnny is in and who his friends are is a huge security risk. Now I can send him phishing emails with malicious attachments that appear to be from his wife, and all I have to do is look on Facebook.

We should be locking down the network, not opening it up.

Re:Ugggh (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#31328726)

And yes, being able to see what unit Johnny is in and who his friends are is a huge security risk. Now I can send him phishing emails with malicious attachments that appear to be from his wife, and all I have to do is look on Facebook.

It's worse than that. Accessing the Internet alone, regardless of what content you'll be accessing, is a security risk in itself - after a while of observation, Internet access habits can be quite valuable intel, as it shows at which time somebody's off-duty, which might lead to the enemy figuring out patrol rotations etc etc.

No, denying soldiers regular access to the Internet while deployed is definitely a good thing.

Re:Ugggh (3, Informative)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325220)

We're talking about access from the NIPRNET, not the right of military members to use social networking sites, they could always do that.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for preventing access to social networking sites among other things, from private networks.

Re:Ugggh (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326426)

I agree. This'll just open base NIPRnets to the multitude of Facebook viruses and other related junk.

Only one (1)

shivamib (1034310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326862)

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for preventing access to social networking sites among other things, from private networks.

Likewise, there are at least one legitimate reason for allowing access to pr0n.

I sense a disturbance in the Force. As if thousands of military sung:
The Internet is for Porn!

Re:Only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31332166)

Funny thing, every time you get a login on a new Gov network you have to sign a user agreement that states among other things that you won't view Porn on that network.

It gets funny when you sign agreements for classified networks and see that same clause. Me, I really want to see what qualifies as TOP SECRET Pr0n. That has got to be some good stuff. Maybe it's where all the Natalie Portman nude with hot grits pics are hiding.

Status update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323524)

In a cave in Helmand. Hunting for the BL. Hope they don't have internet or they'll know we're coming.

Re:Status update (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324114)

"Facebook Suggestions:

Reconnect with Osama.
[Send him a cruise missile!]"

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323552)

WTF? The internet was MADE for porn, hate-crimes and gambling.
In fact, forget the blackjack.

No Slashdot? (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323562)

I am a little offended it did make the list, it was around way before youtube and facebook.

Re:No Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323650)

Nobody is going onto slashdot and discussing operational information.
OTOH, it's really easy to go onto MyTwitBook and casually mention
where you are or where you're going and what you're doing there.

Re:No Slashdot? (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324600)

The recent article about GPS games needs to be updated with a new one: Battleship with real ships! It's far more fun if you know people are actually dying!

Re:No Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326308)

Nobody is going onto slashdot and discussing operational information.
OTOH, it's really easy to go onto MyTwitBook and casually mention
where you are or where you're going and what you're doing there.

It's not 'MyTwitBook' anymore, youTwitFace! [mashable.com] ;)

Re:No Slashdot? (4, Informative)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323740)

That's because Slashdot isn't blocked (at least, not on Air Force networks).

Re:No Slashdot? (2, Informative)

Protocol16 (1706040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324400)

Wasn't blocked on Army either, at least a year ago. It was blocked on the school networks for "hacking" related info, however. Then again, bugs.mysql.com was blocked for security reasons too. "They can find out how to hack the server!"....uh, yea.

Re:No Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31325866)

It's blocked on our network (Navy).

Re:No Slashdot? (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326440)

I agree, I read Slashdot every day at work when things get slow.

The first rule of Fight Club: (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323578)

You do not talk about Fight Club on the Internet!

This makes sense (2, Insightful)

WebManWalking (1225366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323580)

I work at a government site. Sometimes, when I'm researching a JavaScript problem, or CSS problem, or browser bug, or some other problem, I get blocked by the fact that someone's tech blog is on a "social network or personal site". Fortunately, the same blocking software lets me proceed by certifying that the access is work-related. The military should have that same freedom for unclassified work.

Re:This makes sense (2, Funny)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323860)

Fortunately, the same blocking software lets me proceed by certifying that the access is work-related. The military should have that same freedom for unclassified work.

Heh. Yeah, that will work. "Yeah, Sarge, I swear ... I need this midget-bestiality-bukkake in order to fulfill a mission requirement!"

Re:This makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31324206)

"We are researching new interrogation methods! So far, we have considered inducing a Tubgirl-like situation!"

Re:This makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31325180)

Just wait, those hippie peaceniks will be begging to have waterboarding back.

I don't think people understand (2, Informative)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324074)

that these rules serve to protect very sensitive information. It's not like protecting my personal photo album or someone sending annoying emails from my Facebook account to my address book ...

Social engineers can and will take advantage of the "human factor" within military networks if left to their own devices (i.e., social media retards). Listen, I was in the Marine Corps and although I loved my brothers in arms, not all of them were the brightest bulbs on the string.

Limited access with layers of approval is probably an appropriate model. However, when and where they feel it is necessary, the military should feel free to completely block without all the grief and criticism.

Re:I don't think people understand (2, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324216)

Not to mention the opsec problems that a camera with a GPS might pose...

Re:I don't think people understand (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326450)

On AF networks you can't hook up Cameras via USB anyway. Not sure about the rest of the branches. So no worries there.

Re:I don't think people understand (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332198)

Same thing in the Army. USB devices capable of storing data are blocked. eSATA and SD cards still work in my issue machine but not the USB, that only works for non-storage devices like keyboards and mice.

Re:I don't think people understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338200)

Funny thing about that...

If you plug it in before startup, it doesn't log it as an evil device being plugged in. Though you should do what you need and remove it because they do random scans from time to time to look for USB devices.

Re:I don't think people understand (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31339978)

I meant in the EXIF data, where USB wouldn't matter. Enterprising 4channers have used that to correlate iPhone nude self portraits with the location they were shot at...

Re:I don't think people understand (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345176)

Oh White Knights/Stalkers.

Re:This makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331550)

You're lucky. At Navy we cannot proceed if we are blocked. Many times I find software optimization techniques that are discussed on game programming websites. However, "gaming" websites are blocked too.

Not to mentioned that they disabled Firefox usage due to security concerns. We have to use IE6.

US Military Surrenders? (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323584)

That is a little over dramatic.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323622)

I was just about to post this. Can we please, please stop with the needless scandalization of otherwise mundane news? This is a change in access policy, nothing more.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1, Redundant)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323630)

That is a little over dramatic.

No, it's true. Save the women and children! The French are attacking! The French are attacking!

Red in a Chrchill voice (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323822)

Jokes about French military ineptitude may not be the end of trolls. They may be the beginning of the end of flamebait. They may even, in certain crcumstances, be the end of the beginning of offtopic.

But they sure as hell are not the end of the beginning of redundant.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (5, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323734)

Sorry, US millitary Overthrew their previous regime of regulations...

Oh, wait..

US Military exploded onto the front page of tech news sites today...

damn..

the US millitary didn't ask, and won't tell what its facebook policies are...

wow.. its just too easy...

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323818)

But thankfully that headline was hard to believe, because the US military is the sort that won't surrender even if they've completely lost. Now, if the headline had said that the French military surrendered ...

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31324332)

You mean the military that went on to give rise to guys like these [wikipedia.org] ? The one that lost more men then the United States army did in the whole of the war?

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325422)

Just because they surrendered doesn't mean they won't still get shot. Take no prisoners and all that.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325824)

Apparently both you and the mods don't know a non-serious post when you see one.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323862)

Since technically, it would be much easier to disguise information using steganography in facebook/flickr pictures and youtube videos and leak information that way. I'd say it's some sort of surrendering.

Victory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323968)

Thanks, I'll be here...forever.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324102)

Dramatic?

No my friend....

This is SLASHDOT!!!!!!!


...

Cut me a break, it's the end of a very long Monday...

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324174)

But it's exactly what happened. The military's "surrendering" because they've lost the battle -- they let social media get so far ahead of them that public affairs offices can't do their jobs. What do you tell the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs when your "network security" policies keep him from communicating with his troops in the manner of his choosing? What do you tell the grunt on the ground who can't get to his base's "official" Facebook page for no other reason than, "Well, those are the rules."

Re: US Military Surrenders? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325494)

What do you tell the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs when your "network security" policies keep him from communicating with his troops in the manner of his choosing?

It's our GD military, and he should be communicating through official messaging systems, over trusted communications channels, or in person, sir.

What do you tell the grunt on the ground who can't get to his base's "official" Facebook page for no other reason than, "Well, those are the rules."

Yah, a grunt would look for a base's "official" facebook page, wouldn't he? Probably run any little activex/flash/java/click yes to all prompts etc too. POG here.. ;)

"Well, those are the rules."

That is EXACTLY what you say, ESPECIALLY to a grunt! Same silly answer I got for "Why do I have to wear a collared shirt, belt, and socks with shorts and open sandals?" You deal with that crap in the military.

Little is stopping a unit's IT shop from throwing up a Confluence or [insert favorite wiki/portal software] site on the NIPRNET (foo.blah.mil) for people to go nuts blogging in a secure manner. Besides, you don't want to encourage anyone with any sort of security clearance at all to blab about technical details of their job - even in meatspace.

This is a bad idea for the military, I wonder if the NOCs will be compelled to open access or left for them to decide.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (2, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324434)

I'm reaching stratospheric levels of dweebiness here, but when I read it I suddenly remembered a Star Trek scene:

Worf: Very well... Room service.
Dax: Really?
Worf: Really.
Dax: Oh, that was easy.
Worf: Did you want to fight over it?
Dax: No, it's just, I didn't expect you to surrender so quickly.
Worf: Surrender?
Dax: Bad word.
Worf: Very bad.

Source: [imdb.com]

Re: US Military Surrenders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31328390)

There are enough problems with securing a network without introducing yet more worms/trojans/viruses from the various social network sites around the net. THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE.

Re: US Military Surrenders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31329824)

Wouldnt be the first time the Signal Corps surrendered...

Fun times ahead (5, Funny)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323704)

RT @FirstSarge: Anybody see where that last round came from?
via TweetDeck
RT @Grunt88: Second hut on the left.
via TweetDeck
RT @sexxysela: Hai gaize! Du U want 2 partay wit me???LOL!!11!!
via TweetDeck
RT @FirstSarge: Clear the line, ma'am, please? We're taking fire here.
via TweetDeck

Re:Fun times ahead (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324668)

I half expected the last line to be:

RT @sexxysela: For the last time, we have telephones. Stop using your service rifle to get my attention.
via TweetDeck

Re:Fun times ahead (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326062)

I know you were joking, but this is not far from the truth. In Afghanistan the U.S. Army uses IRC (specifically, mIRC clients on Toshiba Toughbooks) over SIPRNET (the military's encrypted/secured IP network) to allow remote FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) to communicate more easily and clearly. Text is especially advantageous for FOB-FOB communication during firefights because unlike radio, multiple parties can communicate effectively at the same time, plus messages come through clearly and without error or interference. If a bomb just went off next to your ear you might be deaf and disoriented, but you are more likely to be able to read and write text on a computer screen. Those with a security clearance and SIPRNET access can freely access chat logs plus radio transcripts from incidents (attacks, etc) that have occurred throughout the country, and as you can imagine they are pretty interesting. It's damn good for after action and intelligence analysis since everything is right there, time stamped and recorded.

Re:Fun times ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326498)

I know you were joking, but this is not far from the truth[...]Text is especially advantageous for FOB-FOB communication during firefights [...] multiple parties can communicate effectively [...] clearly and without error or interference. If a bomb just went off next to your ear you might be deaf and disoriented, but you are more likely to be able to read and write text on a computer screen.

Heavily edited your message there because there's a useful non-army application of computer communications. Our new generations are more computer literate; I am in my twenties now... Imagine 70 years from now as we become bedridden, natural aging factors / diseases or accidents take their toll and we lose the ability to speak. I have heard of old people who become completely disconnected from the world around them once their brain stops being able to control speech. Yet, they experience things around them, and are many levels above the 'vegetative' state that people consider them under. Nobody even thinks of giving old people a pen after they have become mute, and they probably aren't aware enough that it is an option. How cruel if you are the consciousness on the dying side of the equation, just hearing your relatives and grandchildren and not bein able to say what you still lucidly think, until the day you die.

Sooner or later as our savvy generations shift into that far future, more people will realize that keyboards can help surmount that barrier. Hell, I already use my monitor and large fonts as an effective communications device with my hard of hearing parent*. The day we become the new 'get off my lawn' crew, at least we'll be better prepared to go into those final years a little more talkative than our grandparents did. I am not hoping for some borg collective thing, but PADD's and Hawkins cyborg communications should be more accessible by then. I now return you to your regularly scheduled present-day ARMY thread :)

* I pipe a few words at a time to figlet [google.com] in my linux console:


#!/bin/bash
# fractaltiger's script called 'say.' Put in your /home/bin folder after blessing with chmod +x. Usage: 'say _texthere_'
if [ -n "$*" ] ; then
echo "$*" | figlet -w 200 -f banner
else
figlet -w 200 -f banner </dev/stdin
fi

Killed a dirtbag Somali pirate today.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323708)

Oooooo, I'm hoping for some great Facebook pages from Seals and Marines killing dirtbag pirates and Taliban assholes.

I want to see pictures and video dammit!

Or ultimately, that shot that Seal took to knock off those pirates when the sea captain was taken hostage last year. To see that shot, on the seas - rolling and whatnot from hundreds of yards away would just be awesome! And to see Somali pirate brains splatter into the water would just be perfect!

Next, I would hope for a rogue Marine/Seal/Special forces team to go and grab Taliban assholes and just go off on an extermination spree - a la Waffen SS.

Yeah, I know, in my dreams.

Re:Killed a dirtbag Somali pirate today.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31325358)

Oooooo, I'm hoping for some great Facebook pages from Seals and Marines killing dirtbag pirates and Taliban assholes.

I want to see pictures and video dammit!

I, for one, hope our service members are professional enough not to ejaculate all over the Internet and respect the dead.

Re:Killed a dirtbag Somali pirate today.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31329182)

5109815 people like this.

Blocking prOn ? (4, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323758)

I never understood the need to block things like porn for the military. You get a bunch of guys together for months on end in a highly stressful condition. Porn would be one excellent way for them to release some steam, but no, they're not allowed to do that. So what are they supposed to do ? Go out, shoot some guys and rape their GFs ?!? I mean is this all it's really about, some kind of control via stress and basic sexual drives like in most wars of the past ? If it was just for me I'd airdrop a billion netbooks full of porn with free satellite access over the middle east.

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323858)

Actually if they managed to film osama with his boys doing naughty things that would probably finish aq fast. OTOH the nutcases like this may just hope for the virgins (not sure why would this be attractive but what do I know - cellar etc) so some CGI would be needed.

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324156)

According to Kate Adie, the British Army, at least, had a magnificent porn collection in the Gulf War. They just took it with them and didn't need the internet to download it. She was commenting on The Sun newspaper trying to get kudos for sending cheesy girlie pics to "our boys" when the said boys had stacks of the heavy stuff.

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326482)

It's called GO-1. (General Order 1) and it covers everything from Porn to Booze and other things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Order_No._1

Re:Blocking prOn ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31332458)

And it is a bad Idea that causes more problems due to lack of means to reduce stress. Meanwhile suicide rates are climbing higher and higher each year.

I had to investigate an attempted suicide, that turned out to be just stupidity caused by desperation. The guy was so stressed by his 12 hrs a day 7 days a week schedule that he tried to get a relaxing buzz by downing a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Good troop, did his job well just didn't realize the difference and didn't read the label.

Meanwhile discipline problems dropped when the army relaxed GO1 restrictions with a monthly, day-long, two beer per person event in the Balkans.

Meanwhile you go to an allied base and take a walk through their PX or even the base pub, but don't try to get a drink, cause you are still under GO1.

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327562)

Probably the same reason as most other networks can't handle it - sheer bandwidth that people will be using. Start browsing a social networking site? Not huge bandwidth in general. Start downloading porn? People can go crazy with bandwidth usage! It'll all be limited out in the field, and why should the government pay for it on base?

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327688)

I never understood the need to block things like porn for the military.

It's not so much the porn that needs to be blocked. It's the malware and the like that comes with many porn sites that needs to be blocked.

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31328070)

You're not thinking big enough - I'd airdrop hookers. Some companies do approve of such expenses for people in the field, so why not the military?

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342084)

I'd airdrop hookers.

And that'd still be more cost efficient than Blackwater mercenaries...

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31376376)

The modern Army is a highly professional organization. There's no need for porn. Plus, some people can actually control themselves.

Re:Blocking prOn ? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379608)

Going for the funny moderation ?

This makes sense (4, Informative)

vivin (671928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323794)

I remember when I was serving in Iraq (Nov '05 to Nov '06) Facebook was just getting big. MySpace was all the rage. People would upload some pictures and videos. In our unit, we didn't really have a policy although our Operations NCO kept a handle on our accounts (he didn't have access to them, but would just check them from time to time to make sure we weren't posting anything that violated opsec). Also, if we maintained a blog we gave him the URL. I didn't think it was a big deal and I understood the rationale. You don't want to post anything online that can:

a) Be taken out of context by the media or others (or if you want to be cynical, anything that can put the military in a bad light).
b) Anything that violates opsec and puts the success of the mission or personnel at risk

Not all of us had access to the NIPR net. Most of us just went to the Internet Cafe (really, a small trailer with a satellite internet connection), the MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation center), or pooled money to get internet access (2nd platoon pooled in money and set up a satellite dish and a modem, and then strung wires between the trailers). I'm not sure how effective this policy will be in these situations.

At the end of a drill weekend I'd usually be hanging out at the readiness NCO's office before I left and sometimes I'd forget I was using a military computer and try to log on to facebook only to see that it was blocked. Sometimes they blocked Gmail (but that seemed intermittent - I was able to get to it usually). Regarding the comment someone made earlier that the military should have a policy for requesting a site be unblocked, I believe it does. A buddy of mine works for the NGB's IT department (I forget the actual name) and he handles cases. It's very hard to get a site approved though unless you can demonstrate a legitimate use. It's not like writing code where you can find an example on some random dude's blog. The military has their own sites for resources, and anything you need to find can be looked up in a TM (Technical Manual) or an AR (Army Regulation), or DA PAM (Department of the Army Pamphlet), most of which are in digitized form.

Online ARs - I pity the modern Army (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323974)

That online access to manuals may save trees, but a computer makes a lousy pillow compared to a FM 12-6.

Re:Online ARs - I pity the modern Army (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324402)

don't worry apple will introduce a $299 extra soft case accessory for the ipad that will make it every better than a text book for sleeping.

your choice of colors include seafoam green, cloud white, sun star yellow, morning sun orange, and hot pink.

Re:This makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326914)

Perhaps the saddest thing about your post is that we've been in Iraq longer than it took for MySpace to become popular and then die. :-)

A positive change (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31323866)

As an active duty military systems administrator posting from a ship at sea, I welcome this change.

Being underway for months at a time with a 164kbps satellite connection split amongst fifty computers for over a hundred crew is rough enough on morale. Being able to see pictures of their wives and kids makes all the difference in the world.

Foolish people doing foolish things are always going to be the problem, not the engineering officer whose hooked on Farmville after the workday ends.

So long as it doesn't disrupt their effectiveness at work, I very much support this change.

Re:A positive change (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31324666)

Being able to see pictures of their wives and kids makes all the difference in the world.

Oh, give me a fucking break. Sailor marriages are shams. They get married for money and benefits up the wazoo and then give their "spouses" a cut.

Only a moron would expect a marriage like that to actually work. You probably just want to stalk MySpace and Facebook to see how many of your shore-duty buddies are trying to cozy up to your lonely, horny wife. Believe me, boy, she's a-fuckin other men. And what about all those prostitutes you fucked in Thailand and the Phillipines?

no OPSEC here! (4, Interesting)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324038)

When I was deployed to Iraq in '03 to early '05, I had to give up my IT job and go be a grunt for 18 months, and because I didn't have a MOS to prove my skills do some domineering douche E-6 admin, I got to convoy and do escort security. Being the convoy guy, you had access to the motor pool, so I'd get in a humvee once in awhile and do some war-driving on base with what little techie equipment I brought with me just for my own amusement. What amazed me what not only my findings themselves, but news that our officers in our unit would make the commo guys hook 802.11b/g routers up to NIPRnet (unsecured, mind you) so they could have free-range internet in their tents while the rest of us sucked it up in line for hours to get 5 minutes to write an e-mail and have some troll look over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't typing and "sensitive position information" in my e-mail (as if the Iraqi's don't know where all our bases is anyway! Isn't that why I got motor attacked twice a week?).

The point I'm trying to make is OPSEC in the military is a illusion and a joke and operate under the phrase "Do as I say, not as I do". The highest official is going to thrust down on the enlisted and preach being operationally secure, but it's the same guy who wanted NIRPnet broadcasted over an unsecure wifi router for 'convenience'.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324116)

Where were you stationed in Iraq? I was at Camp Liberty.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325324)

Oh, let's see. We moved a TON! Camp Anaconda, Camp Taji, BIAP (south end, but closer Camp Liberty if I recall), then finished way south at Camp Duke (north of Al Najaf) Used to dig the new dinning hall they put up at Camp Liberty.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326286)

You were saying something about OPSEC in your other post right?

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31328316)

You're just being a troll, right? Military Iraq Facilities [globalsecurity.org] . 'Nuff said.

Re:no OPSEC here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31339724)

You associated yourself with a specific branch of the military, your job and duties, and specific vulnerabilities across specific locations in a specific time frame. I don't think the parent is trolling. Of course, your original point also stands about OPSEC being ignored.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332514)

The post names are well publicized in the press. He didn't give any revealing information about locations or layouts or even specific times he was at which camps. No OPSEC violation here.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338088)

Wow, that must've sucked - moving a lot! Most of the main body and ops stayed on at Camp Liberty throughout the tour. I was in the IZ initially (FOB Union III) for about two weeks. After that I came back to Liberty and stayed there for the rest of the tour. We had two platoons go up north to Ramadi during the middle of the tour.

Are you Active Army? Reserves? National Guard? Or Marines?

Re:no OPSEC here! (4, Interesting)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324252)

Same general thing on ship. Internet secured prior to port visits for opsec, but half the officers have wives waiting for them in port. I just told my family that if they wanted to know where I was going they should just check the news because CNN would know before I did. Officers are assumed to be more responsible and therefore given more privileges, but in reality it doesn't work that way.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31324858)

You can also send registered mail home to discuss these things, although that's probably up to your CO.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326076)

Carrier pigeons are faster. Not unusual to receive mail two months late.

Re:no OPSEC here! (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31326366)

I don't know anywhere that officers are assumed to be more responsible. In fact, it is quite well known that the opposite is frequently true, yet they are given more privileges anyways. This is actually all part of morale and unit cohesion. You see, if the officers weren't out screwing things up then the enlisted folk wouldn't have things to bitch about with each other as they fix the screw ups. It is all a clever plot to keep up unit cohesion because in any given unit there are more enlisted people to band together and bitch about the few officers that are in charge of them. If officers weren't there to screw things up there would be much more infighting within a unit as they wouldn't have a common enemy or as much meaningless busywork to keep them occupied. The fact that you aren't allowed to beat them, shoot them, or otherwise maim them allows the pressure to be kept high, where as with real enemies you just shoot them.

This entire arrangement has been maintained for many many years by clever senior enlisted ranks. This is the real reason E-9's tend to get so much more respect than many of the officers roaming about. The Os just get the better treatment so they never think to question their true purpose.

Was already slow enough during business hours (1)

stoat (125788) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325362)

I work in a mission critical (yeah, not really so much, it's weather) field on an Army post. The network is already pretty much unusable during the 7am, noon, and 3pm rushes without youtube.
Luckily being associated with spoiled chil.. pilots we have a non-government cable drop in the office.

Still no email! (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325750)

Great. I can hop on Facebook and chatter away with the world, but I still can't load Gmail to email my wife.

Fucking brilliant.

Re:Still no email! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326930)

"...can now use the publicly accessible capabilities of various social networking and user-generated content sites, instant messaging, forums, and e-mail."

What part of e-mail does gmail not fall under? Also, if you read the DTM (Directive-Type Memorandum), it mentions Google Apps specifcally, which could be argued would include gmail.

Love the misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31325778)

Did the military surrender to social media? Or did the social media sites surrender to the US military?

Mafia wars invades the SIPRNet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31325986)

Who needs security or PPL doing their jobs when you can tend to your farms and advance the cause of your favorite crime families on Facebook?

Its all fun and games until a notebook or pc is turned into a remote listening device and records a classified conversation.

mo3 up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31326258)

How long before... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31327578)

How long will it be before the first tweet is posted with GPS co-ordinates that give away an important location or mission?

Forget the "rob my house" Twitter app, now the 'bad guys' can set up a "where are they attacking from" Twitter app!

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