American military allows use of Twitter!

by on 09/03/2010

The Pentagon has announced that it has authorised the use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites across the US military. They say that the benefits of social media outweigh security concerns.

Acting on his own advice is admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the top US military officer who has a Twitter feed with more than 16,000 followers.  And operational updates on relief activities in Haiti were also issued via Twitter.

Just as in a company, the US military is developing a social media policy. This includes defending against cyber attacks and blocking access to online pornography, gambling and sites promoting hate-crime related activities. There is also provision to temporarily limit Internet access if there is not enough bandwidth, for example for forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and as you would expect, commanders have the authority to limit access to safeguard missions. The defense department will also be monitoring the use of the network.

And as in any company, training your staff is critical: “training people so they know what can and cannot be disclosed on the Internet is a more effective policy than simply banning use of social media on work computers”.

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