US Military May Ban Twitter, Facebook as "Security Headaches"


Defense technology reporter Noah Shachtman has been covering conflicts over the use of social media within the US military ranks for years. This past week, he's been on top of the most recent news that the Pentagon may impose a very wide ban on Twitter and Facebook for security reasons.

He first posted the news of a possible "near-total ban" on social media last week at Wired's Danger Room blog, and there's now an update.

Snip from his most recent post:

Military Times says discussions on what to do about the social media sites involve U.S. Strategic Command, "the Pentagon's chief information officer and its public affairs organization, and are being guided by Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn."

Opinions range across the "full spectrum" from an all-out blockade to doing nothing at all, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman tells the paper.

"The answer is somewhere between," he said. We're working through this challenge of how do we operate in this environment — because these are important communication tools — and at the same time, provide the necessary protection to our systems [and] ensure the necessary operational security and private security concerns that any organization would have."

Pentagon Wrestles with Possible Twitter, Facebook Ban (Updated) (Wired Danger Room; photo: USAF)

Update: Danger Room contributor David Axe has an exclusive interview up today with the Pentagon's "Social Media Czar," who strongly advocates Web 2.0 access despite pressures to ban.