Army is cracking down, even though milbloggers have been historically within the existing rules.
The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops’ online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.
Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq — the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.
The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.
Let the chilling effect begin.
Two questions. 1) Since nearly every single military blogger I can think of has been very respectful of the sensitive nature of war intelligence…is this a waste of time? 2) Since we’re essentially losing this war, don’t commanders have much more important things to do besides approve blog posts?
Captain Ed reports that Wired may have overstated it, but it’s still murky.