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Thursday, January 21, 2010

If you're on Facebook, the IDF is watching you

Stung by leaks of classified information casually posted on the site during the Second Lebanon War and thereafter, the IDF has set up a unit that will visit Facebook pages and seek to remove any military secrets.
Creation of the new unit is in part the result of recommendations by the Winograd Committee, appointed by parliament to identify failures in the Lebanon campaign.

As well as keeping an eye on updates posted on 'Facebook,' 'MySpace' and 'Twitter,' the new Department for Security and Information Research will track the communications of hundreds of senior officers to make sure they are not in contact with journalists.

The unit will also have powers to order lie detector tests for any soldier suspected of a leak. In a separate initiative, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi recently ordered polygraph checks for all officers considered for promotion to the rank of lieutenant-colonel or higher, to include questions about unauthorized media contact.

Over the past two years the IDF has also begun to contend with an annual intake of thousands of 18-year-old conscripts for whom social networking is a part of daily life, issuing strict guidelines on posting personal information on the web.

The Shin Bet security service has reported several attempts by militant groups, including Hezbollah, to contact IDF soldiers on Facebook and other sites.
I'd bet that every army in the World is going to do something similar to this. Too bad it doesn't seem to affect Members of the Knesset and of Congress.


At 2:34 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Shalom Carl,
Reading your blog for months now and can't get enough.
Concerning "...the IDF is watching you." , I would suggest for IDF to pay attention to Russian language social network(s). Perhaps you have some way to pass it on.


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