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US Marine Corps Bans Social Networking Sites 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-ask-don't-tweet dept.
Q-Hack! writes "Citing security concerns, the United States Marine Corps has issued an order banning access to social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter on its network for the next year. The Pentagon is now reviewing its social networking policy for the entire Department of Defense, which should be completed by the end of September, according to a report from CNN. The policy for the entire military is somewhat fragmented, as the Army ordered military bases to allow access to social media sites in May."
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US Marine Corps Bans Social Networking Sites

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:36AM (#28956287)

    My grandfather was a Marine in Korea and moved up the ranks from enlisted to officer very quickly. When I asked him once how he got to be an officer so fast he joked (I *hope* he was joking, anyway) that any Marine who could read and write was immediately promoted to officer. On the other hand, considering the level of discourse on most social networks, maybe modern Marines are better off not refining their writing skills there anyway.

    However, it does seem bizarre that guys who are entrusted to carry loaded automatic weapons around (and use them), aren't trusted to write a tweet to their buddies back home. A guy is given the power to shoot people, but not to blog or buy a beer (if he's under 21). Seems like a mixed message.

    • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:39AM (#28956329) Journal

      A guy is given the power to shoot people, but not to blog or buy a beer (if he's under 21). Seems like a mixed message.

      They're only allowed to shoot people on command.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by noundi (1044080)

        A guy is given the power to shoot people, but not to blog or buy a beer (if he's under 21). Seems like a mixed message.

        They're only allowed to shoot people on command.

        -Soldier! Get down and give me 20 twits!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        They're only allowed to shoot people on command.

        In a war zone? They give the command "fire at will" maybe once. Maybe. Usually if there's jihadist waiving a machine gun around and coming at you, you fire, command given or not. I know of no soldier who has ever been criticized for defending himself and his platoon.

      • by laejoh (648921) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @02:31PM (#28961009)

        Neal Stephenson puts it like this:

        This "sir, yes sir" business, which would probably sound like horseshit to any civilian in his right mind, makes sense to Shaftoe and to the officers in a deep and important way. Like a lot of others, Shaftoe had trouble with military etiquette at first. He soaked up quite a bit of it growing up in a military family, but living the life was a different matter. Having now experienced all the phases of military existence except for the terminal ones (violent death, court-martial, retirement), he has come to understand the culture for what it is: a system of etiquette within which it becomes possible for groups of men to live together for years, travel to the ends of the earth, and do all kinds of incredibly weird shit without killing each other or completely losing their minds in the process. The extreme formality with which he addresses these officers carries an important subtext: your problem, sir, is deciding what you want me to do, and my problem, sir, is doing it. My gung-ho posture says that once you give the order I'm not going to bother you with any of the details-and your half of the bargain is you had better stay on your side of the line, sir, and not bother me with any of the chickenshit politics that you have to deal with for a living. The implied responsibility placed upon the officer's shoulders by the subordinate's unhesitating willingness to follow orders is a withering burden to any officer with half a brain, and Shaftoe has more than once seen seasoned noncoms reduce green lieutenants to quivering blobs simply by standing before them and agreeing, cheerfully, to carry out their orders.

    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:41AM (#28956357)

      They're aren't banned completely, the military just doesn't want it being done on their computers.

      I think that's completely understandable, those sites are very attractive vector for exploits.

      • I'm not sure why this is even a news story - plenty of employers, my own included, don't want their employees using company hardware or infrastructure to surf Facebook, et al. And they're well within their right to impose those restrictions.

        When you're on the job, you're on the job. Unless you're a professional blogger or some kind of pop culture researcher, chances are Facebook and Myspace aren't part of your job.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by eln (21727)
          Sure, but if you're stationed in Iraq, you're basically "on the job" 24/7, with long periods of complete boredom. Further, you're unlikely to have your own computer equipment to use, and are totally dependent on the military to provide it for you. Social networking sites can offer a good way for soldiers to keep in touch with family and friends and relieve some of the loneliness they feel during their deployments. I'm sure the military monitors every packet going out through their wires anyway, so it's n
          • by malcomreynolds (1358799) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:10PM (#28958863)
            It is not about using military resources "on the job". It's about security. The problem is that extremely few people are security conscious enough to make wise decisions when online. When a civilian is not careful, then may have the hassle of dealing with fraudulent charges on their credit card. If a Marine in Baghdad is not careful, people die. Plain and simple.

            Here's a theoretical tweet: "I have to leave at about 10PM to go on recon in Fadullah. Most of the guy in the platoon doing the patrol are okay, but Lt. Jones is incompetent."

            So anyone following the tweet knows the time of the patrol, the strength and the name of one officer in the platoon. I was in army intelligence and getting just that much during an interrogation might take hours. To have someone simply give it to you is a dream come true. Some group picks up on this, knows that a platoon is doing recon and when, it is simple enough to set up an ambush, booby trap or whatever.

            This is a smart move.

            • Mod parent up, this is exactly the reason for doing this.

              I was in Communications in the air force for a couple years too. Out in the field, social networking sites are one of the biggest security risks in existence. I imagine it would be even worse for Marines.

              • I'm a bit confused. Can't they just train them to NOT put certain information on public sites?

                • by Xaositecte (897197) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @02:17PM (#28960819) Journal

                  I'm a bit confused about the need for tech support, can't we just train users to NOT do stupid things that crash their computers?

                  There's always that guy that ends up making a mistake anyways. Except, as pointed out above, mistakes over what information is and isn't safe to share over the public internet don't just crash computers. They can, potentially, cost lives.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  They do train, constantly.

                  Define "certain information". I am really not trying to be insulting, but that is a very naive question. Each person would have to carry a 1000 page volume of the things not to talk about. You could TRY to generalized it by saying "no sensitive information", but just what is "sensitive information"? Is the fact your platoon leader is a jerk "sensitive information"? Well, it could be used as a means of gaining your trust when you "just happen" to get in a conversation with one of

          • At this point, service in Iraq has become very, very different from 5 years ago. At this point, most servicemen who are not specifically combat arms are likely to have their own laptops. Even a few years ago, people plugging their personal laptops into the network was becoming a problem.

            And no, these days, most of the personnel over there are not "on" 24/7.

        • The guy who used to work here with me was basically fired for screwing around on that crap all day.

          Military folks can have their OWN computers, but putting "that crap" on a govt owned military comp would be simply stupid, IMO. And, apparently theirs as well.
          • The guy who used to work here with me was basically fired for screwing around on that crap all day.

            I don't know the particulars of the situation, but I think an employee should be gauged by their productivity and not just acting busy. If people get their tasks done, then go ahead and check your e-mail, play on facebook, read slashdot *whistles* . . .

            If there's not enough work to do and he's got time to play on the Internet all day, then your manager sucks at delegating work or you have more staff than you

        • by Derosian (943622)
          This isn't necessarily on the job, as most military personal are given a little leeway on what they do in free time, and it makes sense that some people just wanted to reconnect with their friends and family back home.
        • by Queltor (45517) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:29AM (#28958287)

          Does your employer frequently take you to foreign countries for extended periods of time? Where there are no computers other than those owned by the company? Where there is no internet access other than what's provided by the company?

          I didn't think so.

          When someone is deployed to a combat zone (Iraq, Afghanistan) they should be able to keep in touch with their friends and family. It's a mental health issue. Twenty years ago soldiers/sailors/marines would write letters (delivered by the Post Office) and make an infrequent phonecall to their parents, spouse, or significant other. Those days are gone.

          People now expect to be updated via blogs, social-networks, and to a lesser extent email. That's the world we live in and those expectations (social needs) don't go away just because someone's deployed.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by loafula (1080631)
            most military camps have mwr tents with pcs on the internet and pay-as-you-go kiosks set up by aafes for soldiers and the like to use to communicate with back home. of the 12 i had been to in kuwait and iraq, all had internet access available.. and this was in 2003. and soldiers still expect to communicate via letter. in fact, we preferred it. it's more personal and worthwhile to receive a handwritten letter weeks after someone sent it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Frosty Piss (770223)

          When you're on the job, you're on the job. Unless you're a professional blogger or some kind of pop culture researcher, chances are Facebook and Myspace aren't part of your job.

          The military is slightly different than your job. We are often "at work" 24/7 in places far far from home. Contact with the "real world" is one of the things that keeps us sane. That said, in my service branch, the Air Force, these sites have been banned from the official work network for at least 5 or 6 years. However, at deployed locations, there is almost always MWR computers for this purpose.

          • I remember Hotmail and eBay being banned when I was in... that was in 2000.

            While I agree with the decision from an operational and "hey it's my tax dollars" perspective, there's a part of me that says anything that can keep Soldiers, Airman, Seamen and Marines sane and safe is worth it.
            • There are some indications its having the opposite effect though. The constant lesser contact causes feelings of homesickness and isolation to persist, and prevents that same time from being spent bonding with the other soldiers on deployment.

          • The military is slightly different than your job. We are often "at work" 24/7 in places far far from home. Contact with the "real world" is one of the things that keeps us sane.

            Your job is different from my job in many respects. I and many others appreciate your service.

            None of that changes the fact that your employer is still able to make policy on how the hardware it owns is used. More below.

            Does your employer frequently take you to foreign countries for extended periods of time? Where there are no computers other than those owned by the company? Where there is no internet access other than what's provided by the company?

            I didn't think so.

            When someone is deployed to a combat zone (Iraq, Afghanistan) they should be able to keep in touch with their friends and family. It's a mental health issue. Twenty years ago soldiers/sailors/marines would write letters (delivered by the Post Office) and make an infrequent phonecall to their parents, spouse, or significant other. Those days are gone.

            People now expect to be updated via blogs, social-networks, and to a lesser extent email. That's the world we live in and those expectations (social needs) don't go away just because someone's deployed.

            I've been sent out of town for up to two weeks at a time for business, and my work computer still blocks Myspace and Facebook. Instead of going on about how it's my God-given right to use the company's computer however I damn well please to keep in touch with my family, I did things that were within the bounds of what my employer requires; I used email, instant messaging, my cell phone, and/or my own computer.

            I wouldn't have any intention of forbidding deployed military personnel from keeping in contact with folks back home. I do, however, support their employer's right to maintain their own hardware and networks as they see fit. As far as I'm able to tell, the Marines' policy doesn't prohibit email, phone calls, texting, instant messaging, or other means of contact.

    • by Anonymous Cowar (1608865) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:44AM (#28956407)
      Read the first line of the article:

      Citing security concerns, the United States Marine Corps has issued an order banning access to social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter on its network for the next year.

      They're only blocking it at the office, not banishing the marines from using it when they're off duty. Myspace is blocked at a ton of offices, but nobody cries foul. Working for the marines for 9 out of 10 people, is a normal office job, you show up to work, sit in your cube, and do what needs to be done. After that, you go home and can do whatever you want when you're home. This isn't a big deal, they're just trying to keep the marines from twittering their day away.

      For the remaining 1 out of 10 who are stationed "over there," they may rely on the military for network access, but unless things have changed from 3 years ago, if you wanted internet over by baghdad, you had to arrange for your own satellite hookup and use your own computers. This connection was shared amongst a group of guys and was not managed by the military. These small hookups also wouldn't be influenced by the pentagon's orders either.

      • by haus (129916) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @02:12PM (#28960737) Homepage Journal

        As a former Marine, I think that your numbers are way off. While for many in the Corps, when they are not forward deployed, they may be able to 'go home' at night (or for most the barracks). I do not think that more then a third would confuse their job with that of a traditional cubical dweller even when off deployment.

        Please note that in addition to current combat zones such as Iraq, and Afghanistan, many jar heads are working on deployments to other locations such as Japan and Cuba, where they are likely to be isolated from friends and family.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrgnDancer (137700)

      Such Battlefield promotions are very rare outside of major theater combat wars. They generally occur when a unit has lost so many officers that it cannot function well. Usually the men (or women now I suppose, though that hasn't happened to my knowledge. No women have been allowed close enough to combat in any of the wars where such things occurred) are expected to complete all the schooling and training that would normally be required for their rank after things settle down. My wife's grandfather had t

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by inviolet (797804)

        Such Battlefield promotions [from enlisted to officer] are very rare outside of major theater combat wars. They generally occur when a unit has lost so many officers that it cannot function well.

        Yep yep. Lots of them during WWII and Korea. The men who did so were called 'Mustangs'.

        • Thinking about this some more I think there are two reasons you don't see it as much anymore. First, and most obviously, you're not seeing anything like the kinds of casualty rates you saw in WWII and Korea. Units are not losing have or more of their junior officers, and being reduced to ineffectiveness thereby. Second though, they just don't need junior officer like they used. Don't get me wrong, junior officers are important part of unit function as a group, and you wouldn't want to eliminate them or

          • Well, the joke is that an infantry Lieutenant is just a guy who's in training to be a Captain. The Army's not going to let you make real decisions before then, because let's face it, you're kind of a moron.

            That said, yes and no to the parent poster.

            I've lead platoons where I had an administrative function more than anything else, for the simple reason that my platoon sergeant was much more tactically and technically proficient than me. Even better, my squad leaders knew their roles and were a pretty good

            • Like I said, I wasn't implying that junior officers could just all go away, and life would move on (after all where else would we all learn how to be captains :-P). More of a chain of authority thing. A platoon NEEDS a Platoon Leader, but if the authority required to perform the administrative and logistical functions of a platoon leader can be temporarily vested in a Platoon Sergeant via a filed letter from the commander, they may not need a Platoon Leader this week or this month. In the old Army, there

              • Yeah, apparently, I missed a huge chunk of your point when I read it. Gotta work on that reading thing.

                Honestly, I'm of two minds of this concept of junior officers. On the one hand, it's kind of a vestigial concept from the days of guys running around with swords. You ever wonder why we had to buy our own uniforms? No good reason other than that's the way we've done it for hundreds of years. Holdover from the days when officers brought their own horses and clothes because nobility had money.

                On the oth

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:57AM (#28956617)
      It is very easy to accidentally "tweet" some information that can be used to infer your location. A blog post could be read by anyone, including the intelligence operations of another nation; a simple written letter is a bit harder for a foreign nation to get its hands on.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Em Emalb (452530)

        (Disclaimer: I served in the Corps)

        The funny thing about all this location secrecy is that the majority of the time, if anyone wants to know where (for example) a particular Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is, all they need to do is read one of the trade rags that follows the Corps.

        Seriously, my family knew where I was deploying to before I did.

        But yeah, this is a non-issue, this is regarding only DOD computers.

        Mini-rant: Back in my day, on board ship we barely had email access, and it was used strictly for ship

      • It is very easy to accidentally "tweet" some information that can be used to infer your location.

        The simple fact that you are "tweeting" implies that you are in front of a computer, and not out doing other things.

    • by tcopeland (32225) <tom&thomasleecopeland,com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:34AM (#28957291) Homepage

      > any Marine who could read and write
      > was immediately promoted to officer.

      These days, though, Marines are different. Check out the Marine Corps reading list [militarypr...glists.com], especially the "Private to Lance Corporal" section. "Ender's Game", "The Ugly American", etc...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cajun Hell (725246)

      It's about judgment, not power. Deciding whether or not to shoot someone might not always be easy, but at least the short-term consequences are clear: they die. (And it hardly ever starts World War 1.) But when you tell your girlfriend exactly when you'll be coming back from your Daiquiri storage depot bombing run (coming in from the north below their radar), you might not realize that she might mention your return time to someone, with the info eventually getting back to the enemy.

      And that's just the co

      • by nametaken (610866)

        I suspect that if the second half were the case they'd have done this a couple years ago. The military doesn't actually NEED what we'd consider a good excuse to put a gag order on those in their service.

    • The problem is, communication is a two way street.

      You really, really don't want John Twittering about how Joe was killed in an ambush a few minutes ago, when the military has not had time to properly identify the body, and inform the families the proper way. The last way you want Joe's parents finding out is from following the tweets (I hate that freaking word) of Joe's unit...

      Conversely, you also don't want the enemy to get easy access to how many service people were killed in that ambush they did. They
    • by NekSnappa (803141)

      When I asked him once how he got to be an officer so fast he joked (I *hope* he was joking, anyway) that any Marine who could read and write was immediately promoted to officer.

      Don't know about during Korea, but these days the Corps has one of the higher testing/education level requirements for enlistment. http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/genjoin/a/asvabminimum.htm [about.com]

      We just like to joke about strong back, weak mind sort of things.

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      "However, it does seem bizarre that guys who are entrusted to carry loaded automatic weapons around (and use them), aren't trusted to write a tweet to their buddies back home. A guy is given the power to shoot people, but not to blog or buy a beer (if he's under 21). Seems like a mixed message."

      Only stupid people carry loaded automatic weapons, and we have already enough of them on the net.
    • "A guy is given the power to shoot people"

      No.
      They're given orders, and they're expected to follow them.

    • Other posts address different parts of your question - some are good, others are ignoramus comments made by people without a clue. I'll address more directly the difference between a firearm, and social networking.

      The uses of firearms are covered extensively in boot camp, again in advanced training, and almost daily after a soldier joins his command. Firepower is what the Marines are all about. Or, more accurately, firepower, and it's lawful, efficient use. "Every Marine is a rifleman" There is no aspec

  • I guess the real question is who they define "on its network." Major systems, I can see this. A personal laptop? Not so much...
    • by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xpticalNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:02AM (#28956697) Homepage

      I lived on a USMC base overseas for a number of years. Overseas, most US Service members live on the actual base. But they can buy internet, cable tv, and telephone service from private ISPs. The private ISPs, generally, don't block anything and the logs are not usually reviewed by US Government representatives.

      However, when the Marines are at work, they login to a US Government network. This network is firewalled and proxied at the base level. Base leaders decide what gets filtered here. Outside of the Base proxy, there is usually another Command level proxy or firewall. This is managed by (in the case of the USMC), the MC NOSC.

      So, at work, twitter and facebook are directed to be blocked. However, I've never seen a military network where facebook and twitter were allowed. So this order is nothing new; just codifying curreny, unwritten, policy.

      • by oodaloop (1229816)
        Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think NMCI runs the Marine Corp's networks now.
      • by Krneki (1192201)
        SSH tunnel and you can do what you want.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrgnDancer (137700)

      It's blocked on their network. Let me just tell you the kind of Hell you'd get if you plugged your personal laptop into a DoD network. Twitter will be the least of your worries. Since most DoD networks port lock all access (if no computer is currently authorized for that port, it's turned off. When a computer is authorized for that port, its MAC is registered at the switch and no other machines will work) it wouldn't much matter any way. You couldn't go anywhere even if you did plug in your laptop, but

      • Internet in barrack, apartments, and base housing is normal ISP provided Internet with no funky DoD stuff involved. That is not blocked in any way (unless, you know, your ISP is blocking p2p or something). We even had satellite service set up in our housing in Baghdad to give us unfettered civilian access to the 'Net during downtime. We paid for it from a local company and split it among enough people to make it reasonable. I would not have wanted to play WoW across it, but it did fine for IM, web browsing, and e-mail.

        Thanks for that. I have a friend that may go back overseas, and his most used point of contact with friends is facebook. I was wondering if this could eventually effect him. He is Air Force, but I am betting the other branches will follow suit if this works well.

    • by Hatta (162192) *

      I wonder if Slashdot counts as a social networking site. We have profiles and links to friend's profiles.

    • by Tiger4 (840741)

      Unless that laptop has its own dedicated satellite uplink, it has to send its traffic through some local infrastructure. Probably the local Marine provided infrastructure. A private machine can have any number of malware threats on board. Which means either: 1. setting up some sophisticated VPN to isolate that machine, or 2. just taking a chance the private laptop won't scan/infect/blab about the local Marine infrastructure, or 3. just banning them. Which is most secure for the Marines?

  • ...Two words combined that can't make sense
  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:48AM (#28956461)
    A Marine buddy of mine just posted this on Facebook yesterday.
  • by yogibaer (757010) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:49AM (#28956475)
    ...that's at least what the guy from Military Intelligence told us in a crash course on counter espionage in the middle of the cold war one long and grey german winter evenig. Somewhere somebody draws a big picture from all the minute details form hundreds of conversations: Troop displacement, how many sick, morale, comabt readiness and so on and so forth.Sounded a bit over the top, but made sense. What cost the KGB during the cold war at least a couple of drinks you can have today for a few lines of code. I have not made the experiment myself, but I'll bet that you can create a pretty acurate picture about which american or british unit operates where in Afghanistan and Irak. I think it makes sense: Do not blog, while in combat. Come home healthy and alive, write memoirs, bore your grandkids.
    • Where is that?
    • by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:12AM (#28956871) Homepage

      One of the more fascinating things coming out of intelligence circles today is how much we are learning from those minute details, and how much of that data we are releasing to the press. Things like being able to tell how old video of Kim Jong Il is by looking at foliage in the background, or what time of day a Bin Laden tape was filmed (notice that those videos are all against a white sheet, or in windowless rooms now). I bet you could even identify a particular camcorder model (or even unit) by the noise it introduces into a tape.

    • by Whorhay (1319089)
      When I was deployed we had a U2 crash very near our base where it was scheduled to land. We weren't allowed to tell anyone about it, not even that it had happened. By the time I got off my shift that evening CNN had an article about who what when where and speculating on why.
  • Wow! I wonder how many bases didn't already have it blocked on their firewall. I'm guessing 100%. Mine did.
  • I've been at the NIH for two years, and they've banned all of these sites ever since I've been here. I was told that it was to prevent the wasting of tax payer money, but security concerns are an equally good justification. This really isn't a big deal. Corporations must do this too. Nothing more.
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:26AM (#28957151) Homepage Journal
    If you read through to the actual notice from the marines [marines.mil] you find that they don't name specific social networking sites to be blocked, rather they describe them as

    INTERNET SNS ARE DEFINED AS WEB-BASED SERVICES THAT ALLOW COMMUNITIES OF PEOPLE TO SHARE COMMON INTERESTS AND/OR EXPERIENCES (EXISTING OUTSIDE OF DOD NETWORKS) OR FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO EXPLORE INTERESTS AND BACKGROUND DIFFERENT FROM THEIR OWN.

    And then proceed to say that they include

    EXAMPLES OF INTERNET SNS SITES INCLUDE FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, AND TWITTER.

    Though it seems that even sites like slashdot could be grouped under that definition. For that matter other sites like wnd.com or the Huffington post could potentially be grouped similarly.

  • Facebook applications are one big, festering security breach.
  • I publish www.eDodo.org a humor site for Air Force Academy graduates and cadets. Of course, the Academy blocks us. It's a tricky issue, but the bottom line is that the cadet dorms are gov't property and they use a gov't network, so USAFA gets to filter them.

    The original Dodo magazine was an uncensored cadet publication. When the administration started censoring it, eDodo.org was born. I'm hoping more and more cadets get internet enabled smart phones to access the "free" internet.

    Back to the topic: The

  • You can put the law on the books, but enforcing it is another matter.
  • The ironic thing is just last week we had a military official do a keynote address at Blackhat, and they stressed how important the internet was to the morale and effectiveness of their troops, and not just for operational needs, but social ones.

    The official said, (paraphrasing) that they had talked to a carrier Captain and asked him what the most important system on the ship was. He said the internet, and pointed out that the average age of his sailors was 18.5.

    I find it ironic that on the heels of this t

    • by db32 (862117)
      I don't. Look at the average decision making power of an 18.5yr old. It is typically pretty abysmal. "My buddies will think this is so cool" is going to come way before "maybe I shouldn't say this in a public forum". This policy is about Operational Security trumping morale, as it should. Morale doesn't matter much to dead service members. Morale will also suffer a pretty big hit when some group of marines find out their friends died in an ambush because the new guy thought he should twitter about the
  • "Not only will we keep you in a baking hot desert for years on end, but you won't be able to chat with any of your friends back home."

    I guess they are pretty confident they don't need any more troops. They can stop recruiting at high schools then, right?

  • the rest of the world made them illegal too.
  • by stinkytoe (955163) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:36PM (#28964595)
    I joined the Marine Corps just over a year ago, and one thing they taught us in recruit training is that anytime the name Marine occurs in a news story, there will be a huge blowup over the issue, and the fact that the marines are involved. For example, if an army soldier gets in trouble, they say Private Whomever. If a marine gets in trouble, the headline goes something like, "MARINE GETS DUI" or "MARINE BEATS HIS WIFE". This story definately highlights that point. They have banned social networking sites on their own intranet. They have not banned me from viewing such sites via other means. Many of my fellow marines who have deployed tell me about how they can to to a USO or MCCS tent and do pretty much what they want on the internet while deployed (depending on availability, of course). Hell if i remember correctly, when i used to work for G.E., they did similar things on their intranet, and that was 10 years ago. No one made too much noise about it then, probably because it wasn't the marine corps.

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