*****Soldier Bloggers Told To Guard Information*****




 
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*****Soldier Bloggers Told To Guard Information*****
 
May 3rd, 2007  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: *****Soldier Bloggers Told To Guard Information*****


*****Soldier Bloggers Told To Guard Information*****
USA Today
May 3, 2007
Pg. 10
Troops Could Face Charges If Rules Violated
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON The Army is taking stronger steps to warn soldiers they will be punished if they reveal sensitive military information on websites or blogs.
Though the possibility of punishment is not new, the Army spells out in recently published regulations the range of actions it could take if soldiers "fail to protect critical and sensitive information."
Soldiers who write Web logs, or blogs, can face charges if they publicly reveal information such as troop movements, planned raids, travel itineraries of senior leaders, or photographs of casualties, new technology or other material that could compromise their location.
The bulk of the regulations released April 19 mirror rules published in 2005 that required soldiers to consult with commanders before "publishing or posting information" in a public forum.
The regulations are not as explicit as a rule issued by commanders in Iraq two years ago that requires soldiers in war zones to register their blogs with the military.
Army Maj. Ray Ceralde, who worked on the new regulations, said Wednesday that the intention is not to have soldiers clear every public posting with commanders.
"Not only is that impractical, but we are trusting the soldiers to protect critical information," he said.
He said there is no effort to block soldiers from setting up or posting comments to blogs.
"We're not looking for them to seek approval each time a blog entry is posted," Ceralde said.
The rules, he said, do not affect personal, private e-mails that soldiers send. "Soldiers have a right to private communications with their families," he said.
Instead, Ceralde said, soldiers are expected to consult or clear with commanders when they start a blog, in part so they can be warned about information they cannot publish.
Ceralde said Army leaders want to emphasize the importance of maintaining operational security.
The rules say solders can be charged with violating a lawful order under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
He said unit commanders have the authority to establish more restrictive requirements such as requiring that individual postings be reviewed if they deem it necessary.
As before, the regulations require that soldiers tell their family members and friends to protect sensitive information.
The blog rules were part of a larger update to regulations governing operational security.
It is unknown how many soldiers have violated blogging rules.
The military set up the regulations in 2005, as blogs and other Web postings became more popular, particularly among servicemembers who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
 


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