Yesterday the Department of Defense released a memo outlining the government's first official policy for social media access by military personnel. Somewhat surprisingly, it gives them unrestricted access to blog, Tweet, poke and ping just like everyone else.
Effectively immediately, Department of Defense personnel across the board, including civilian employees and troops alike, have full access to popular new media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the rest.
Before the new policy was announced, appropriate internet usage was determined individual commanders, many of whom barred those in their charge from posting on blogs or accessing social media networks.
Of course, there are still some measures in place to ensure that new media activity doesn't take up bandwidth when it's limited or compromise mission security—"cleaning my rifle on the john, lol!" is a good troop overshare; "cleaning my rifle before we storm this Taliban bunker in Marjah, lol!" is a bad troop overshare—but the Pentagon's new policy gives the OK for uses both personal and official.
It's always heartening when our government shows itself to be forward-thinking on matters of the internet, and allowing DoD employees to use the internet to its full, inane extent is definitely a step in the right direction. There's no word on the Pentagon's official Farmville policy at this time, however. [Defense.gov via BusinessWeek and Fast Company]
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