Sunday, August 2, 2009

We Have Always Been At War With Eastasia

There have been a lot of self-congratulatory puff pieces going on in the newspapers of the past few months about how the Army is becoming so much more tolerant of social networking, and how they're taking it off the blocked list. That the Army wants everyone to tell the Army story, blah blah blah, etc etc etc ad nauseum.

I knew it was BS. My own experience of being treated like an unperson for my thoughtcrime while supposedly fighting for the right for other people to express their ideas freely has taught me that the Army is not tolerant of other people's views. CJ, over at Soldier's Perspective, expressed some doubts, though he's got a lot more faith in the higher ups than I do.

Right now the pieces coming out are Orwellian doublespeak. Just months afterwards, Stars and Stripes reports that...

Defense officials are looking into a military-wide ban on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook because of security concerns..

"Security concerns". What, security concerns that magically materialized in the past three months? Security concerns that managed to evade everyone's notice until somehow they realized that not everyone in the Army was marching in lockstep?

I have to believe instead that, not having the luxury of a Winston Smith to sort through newspapers and throw unflattering articles down the memory hole, the Army politicians (and oh, they do exist) decided to come up with an alternate excuse that wouldn't be questioned, and wouldn't make them look like too big an idiot if they decide to change their mind later.

The part I'll wonder about is, if this ban goes through, does that mean the military will stop using facebook and twitter to recruit? I imagine the military official Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are just as susceptible to hacking as soldier's personal accounts, if not more so. Or are the rules about social networking sites that they're safe enough to use to sucker people, but not for actual soldiers?


masterspork said...

But unless I missed it, it does not cover personal computers. I mean remember the new rules about thumb drives that started up about a year ago.

Army Sergeant said...

Don't remind me. They were trying to protect government computers, and succeeded in making our jobs slightly more difficult. Thumb drives are /handy/.

It doesn't cover personal computers, afaik, though I wonder about places like Iraq and Afghanistan and morale computers.

masterspork said...

Well I left in early July, and I did not have much problems getting on myspace on a public net because of a firewall.

The only restrictions was the limitations of the individual networks. I was paying 70 a month for 200 megs of download content a day. I never used the military computers.

Joe said...

The computers at our MWR on deployment had AIM/MSN/etc banned. Facebook was how I talked to my family for a year.

masterspork said...

That is odd, I do not think that ours was. But I use Yahoo and not aim. I could get a hold of Myspace but did not try facebook.

How long ago was that?