Wednesday, May 02, 2007

what are they thinking? silencing milbloggers

Army bloggers now have to go through their supervisors with blog posts and personal emails. From Michelle Malkin.
The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.

She also quotes Matt over at Blackfive:
The Bottom-Line to the this bad piece of regulation: The soldiers who will attempt to fly under the radar and post negative items about the military, mission, and commanders will continue to do so under the new regs. The soldiers who've been playing ball the last few years, the vast, VAST, majority will be reduced. In my mind, this reg will accomplish the exact opposite of its intent. The good guys are restricted and the bad continue on...

Operational Security is of paramount importance. But we are losing the Information War on all fronts. Fanatic-like adherence to OPSEC will do us little good if we lose the few honest voices that tell the truth about The Long War.

Both cite Noah Shachtman over at Wired.
He linked to the original Operations Security reg.

John's take at OPFOR.

What if all the milbloggers just flooded their commanders with their posts? I have a feeling that the commanders would either delegate to someone lower on the totem pole or not enforce the reg, especially when they turn out be positive for the mission and no threat to Opsec anyway. There will still be some fallout from this, so don't loose heart yet fellow bloggers. And depending on the commander, if they are at all tech-knowledgeable, they may see this new reg in a different light. At least that's what I'm hoping.

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