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Army Spying on Soldiers' Blogs

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 During a time when the morale of US Army personnel is at an all-time low from a protracted war in Iraq and a de facto draft in the guise of a stop-loss program that keeps soldiers on active duty after their commitments expire, the Army is also spying on the personal blogs of its personnel. This surveillance program has been revealed in a leaked Army Regulation on Operations Security (AR-580-1).

The regulation was issued almost a year ago, on April 19, 2007. It prohibits the publication of "critical or sensitive" information, a wide-open caveat that could include anything not deemed to be "classified" national security information. The regulation also covers information that has already been disclosed, or "compromised" as stated in the regulation.

Critical and sensitive information includes Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strikes, battle scenes, casualties, destroyed or damaged equipment, personnel killed in action (KIA), both friendly and adversary, and the protective measures of military facilities.

The regulation also specifically includes previously-disclosed information: "Do not publicly reference, disseminate, or publish critical or sensitive information that has already been compromised as this provides further unnecessary exposure of the compromised information and may serve to validate it."

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The Army censorship orders cover "letters, resumes, articles for publication, electronic mail (e-mail), Web site postings, web log (blog) postings, discussion in Internet information forums, discussion in Internet message boards or other forms of dissemination or documentation."

The regulation authorizes an Army "cell" (the constant use of Trotskyite phraseology by the neocons is striking) to monitor the Internet for compliance: "The Commander of Army Web Risk Assessment Cell (AWRAC) is responsible for reviewing the content of the Army’s publicly accessible web sites. The AWRAC conducts ongoing operational security and threat assessments of Army web sites (.mil and all other domains used for communicating official information) to ensure that they are compliant with DOD and Army policies and best practices."

In addition, to government sites, other sites are also subject to surveillance by the Army cell: "Conduct routine checks of web sites on the World Wide Web for disclosure of critical and/or sensitive information that is deemed a potential OPSEC compromise. Web sites include, but are not limited to, Family Readiness Group (FRG) pages, unofficial Army web sites, Soldiers’ web logs (blogs), and personal published or unpublished works related to the Army. The AWRAC will ensure a review and analysis is conducted on the suspected data found on the Internet."

 

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