Facebook might be many things, but few have called it a threat to national security. However, according to British newspaper The Sun, security reasons are behind a new order that could prevent troops in Afghanistan using Facebook to keep in touch with families and friends.
The newspaper has said that the ‘Contact With The Media and Communicating In Public’ was issued February 4 and later leaked to the media. In part, it states:
"Service and Ministry of Defence civilian personnel are encouraged to use self-publishing on the internet or similar channels to communicate with the public directly, but should ensure that the rules on prior authorisation, conduct and behaviour, collective and personal security, use of official IT, data protection and communicating in public are followed."
The intent is to stop sensitive information accidentally appearing online. But soldiers have reacted badly. One told the paper:
"I am going to ignore it. A lot of the lads are going to do the same."
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence later told The Sun:
"Of course soldiers are allowed to go on Facebook and contribute to blogs. But we need to ensure sensitive information is not inadvertently placed in the public domain."
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