DOD may ban Twitter, Facebook, other social media

[http://defensesystems.com/articles/2009/07/31/dod-may-ban-twitter-facebook.aspx]

The Defense Department is considering banning Twitter, Facebook and other social-networking sites for security reasons.

Wired’s Danger Room blog reported that the reason for the latest proposed ban is that the sites may give hackers easy access to military networks.

“The mechanisms for social networking were never designed for security and filtering," said an unnamed source at U.S. Strategic Command in the blog entry. "They make it way too easy for people with bad intentions to push malicious code to unsuspecting users. It’s just a fact of life."

Strategic Command has asked the rest of the military for feedback on a social-media ban, Wired’s blog reported.

“The answer is somewhere between” full access and a total bad, said DOD spokesman Bryan Whitman, quoted in a Navy Times article. “We’re working through this challenge of how do we operate in this environment — because these are important communication tools — and at the same time, provide the necessary protection to our systems [and] ensure the necessary operational security and private security concerns that any organization would have.”

The potential ban comes at a time when the DOD has overcome some of its initial reluctance and begun to embrace social media. The Armed Forces Press Services reports that the Army, for just one example, has been using MySpace effectively for recruiting.

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