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New DOD Regulations Allow Social Media Use

The DoD issued a new policy last week that allows military personnel to access social-media sites and other Web 2.0 applications from nonclassified government computers, so long as they don’t discuss classified information, according to ExecutiveGov.

“This directive recognizes the importance of balancing appropriate security measures while maximizing the capabilities afforded by 21st-century Internet tools,” said Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III .

Most military personnel have been able to access social-media platforms from their government computers until recently, but policies have not been consistent across the department. In early 2007, the Marine Corps blocked social-networking sites from Marines servers. However, Marines have been allowed to access the sites from personal computers, according to the American Forces Press Service.

“The world of Web 2.0 and the Internet provides these amazing opportunities to collaborate,” said David M. Wennergren, deputy assistant secretary of defense for information management and technology. “It not only promotes information sharing across organizational boundaries and with mission partners, but also enables deployed troops to maintain contact with their loved ones at home.”

According to the new guidelines, commanders are allowed to temporarily limit access to social networking sites as necessary to maintain operations security or address bandwidth constraints. It also prohibits malicious activity on military information networks and denies access to sites promoting prohibited activity such as gambling, pornography and hate crimes.

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