Wired Magazine reported today that the United States Marine Corp has banned social networking websites for a year, citing security reasons. This comes less than two months after the United States Army fully embraced Facebook as a marketing, communications and networking tool.
There are several military and government agencies using social media for several purposes.
So the question on the table is: Does social media present a national security threat?
On one hand, people post pictures, poems, musings, links to videos of cats dancing the watusi, thoughts on their favorite TV shows, business information, and other mundane things.
On the other hand, people post pictures, poems, musings, links to videos of cats dancing the watusi, thoughts on their favorite TV shows, business information, and other mundane things. (Yes, I know they are the same!)
If you are an enemy of the United States, hacking into the Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MySpace (etc) accounts of military members can give you global positioning, strategic plan and other information.
Should military members be denied the right to have personal social networking accounts, one of the few ways they can stay in touch with the outside world, just because of their job?
If we were discussing any other industry, there would be no question – but national defense is always a hot-button issue.
I personally believe that social media should be allowed by everyone, but closely regulated. If the NFL can figure out a way to oversee Twitter, anyone can, even the government. Make a zero-tolerance no-strike policy and enforce it 100% of the time.
What do you think?
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