Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Commanding Military Control Freaks Shut Down Mil-Bloggers

Season of Remembrance Begins - The gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery are graced by U.S. flags on Memorial Day. Image Credit: Kathleen T. Rhem

Commanding Military Control Freaks Shut Down Mil-Bloggers

In a move that can only be described as BONEHEADED, the Army, today, has just outlawed blogging by members of the military. Thank-You General Casey (Maj. Ray Ceralde, the Army OPSEC program manager and author of the revision, announced the decision but the General signed the order)!!!

The MSM does not give us the straight scoop as to what is happening in the field.

Congress does not give us (the citizens who are paying for our protection) unvarnished, un-politicized and clear updates from their committee update meetings.

The Executive Branch of our Government is under political fire so anything they have to say is twisted and distorted and condemned before anyone gets the information.

Mil-Blogs allow each and every citizen of our country an open access window through which one can gage the attitude and understandings of our best and brightest in the theater of the war on terror. Morale is enhanced, family updated communications are real-time, and the MSM subterfuge is given a counterpoint.

In a free society, this decision is a disaster and will trash the last best chance to have our citizens in the military to remain connected to the society they serve.

It is not like the Military is shutting down something that didn't work.

At MAXINE, we hope this is not the death of the Mil-Blogger.

Excerpts from ARMY News Service -

Army Releases New OPSEC Regulation
Apr 19, 2007 - BY Mr. J.D. Leipold

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 20, 2007) - Changes to the Army's operations security regulation address accountability, new technology and the inclusion of all Army personnel in OPSEC practices.

The revised Army Regulation 530-1, "Operations Security," provides updated definitions; aligns the Army's policies, terms and doctrine with the Defense Department; and brings Army Contractors into the fold while addressing the role Army Family Members have in OPSEC.

"The change includes Army Civilians and Contractors, who are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice," said Maj. Ray Ceralde, the Army OPSEC program manager and author of the revision. "The reason we included Contractors in the regulation is they're more involved in operations today than ever before. If you have all your Soldiers and DA Civilians practicing OPSEC and your Contractors - who are an integral part of your operations - aren't ... well, you have a gaping hole in security that could affect everyone's lives."

Maj. Ceralde said OPSEC is a "total Army concept" and includes Families and friends though he acknowledged they aren't subject to a commander's orders.
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Regulation changes also address how technology, specifically the Internet, has changed the face of OPSEC since the last major revision to the regulations in 1995. A 2005 revision addressed new technology, but the new revision addresses technological concerns not covered in the 2005 revision.

"The Internet, personal Web sites, blogs (Web logs) - those are examples of where our adversaries are looking for open-source information about us," said Maj. Ceralde. "Open-source information isn't classified and may look like nothing more than innocuous bits of information, a piece here, a piece there, like pieces of a puzzle. But when you put enough of the pieces together you begin to realize the bigger picture and that something could be going on."
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While Army personnel may maintain their own Web sites or post information on blogs, Maj. Ceralde said they have to be careful about what they write and what they post because even unclassified information can provide significant information to adversaries.

"For example, photos of deployed Soldiers to share with Family and friends are acceptable. However, when the photo includes a background of the inside of their camp with force protection measures in plain view, an adversary who is planning to attack their camp and sees a photo like this on the Internet now knows how to counter their force-protection measures," Maj. Ceralde said.

The regulation also puts a greater emphasis on commanders' responsibilities to implement OPSEC.

"We tell commanders what they must to do to get their people to understand what's critical and sensitive information and how to protect it, but commanders have to make that perfectly clear in the form of orders and directives," Maj. Ceralde said. "The other part of this tells Soldiers that if they fail to comply they may be punished under article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for disobeying a lawful order."

Other key changes to the regulations include the addition of punitive measures for violations of specific directives, the designation of "For Official Use Only" as a standard marking on all unclassified products that meet at least one exemption of the Freedom of Information Act, directing encryption of e-mail messages that contain sensitive information on unclassified networks, and emphasizing operations security in contracts and acquisitions.

"OPSEC is not traditional security, such as information security like marking, handling and classifying information; it's not the physical security of actually protecting classified information though they're all related and part of OPSEC," Maj. Ceralde said. "OPSEC is different from traditional security in that we want to eliminate, reduce and conceal indicators, unclassified and open-source observations of friendly activity that can give away critical information."
Reference Here>>

Like it or not, web communication has become a fabric that brings a commonality to our society that transcends all differences as well as highlights them ... for the betterment of societal understanding.

For the "Brass" to slam the door of access on this communications outlet to the personnel in the military, it is not a good thing. It cuts them out of the current culture process here in North America.

Not Good - It's BONEHEADED!

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