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In the wake of the Wikileaks scandal , the National Guard has announced new " social media guidelines " for the nation's citizen soldiers. While a lot of the guidelines are the same sort of common sense, don't-embarrass-your-family's good name restrictions we might place on our teenagers' use of Facebook and MySpace, there's also this passage in the official press release that would seem to be aimed directly at would be WikiLeakers:

Posting internal documents or information that the National Guard has not officially released to the public is prohibited, including memos, e-mails, meeting notes, message traffic, white papers, public affairs guidance, pre-decisional materials, investigatory information and proprietary information.

Guard members are also not allowed to release National Guard e-mail addresses, telephone numbers or fax numbers not already authorized for public release.

That said, Jack Harrison, the director of public affairs for the National Guard Bureau says it is fine for Guardsmen and women to have a life online.

“Access will vary among the states, but DoD has granted access to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube as long as users don’t compromise operational security, participate in illegal activities or try to open prohibited Web sites.”

No word on what any of those prohibited websites might be. Civilians online can also begin to expect to see more disclaimers like this one, which the Guard encourages its members to use:

“The postings on this site are my own and don’t represent the National Guard’s positions or opinions.”

The guidelines also seem to prohibit flame wars:As with other forms of personal public engagement, Guard members must avoid offensive and inappropriate behavior that could bring discredit upon themselves and the National Guard. This includes posting any defamatory, libelous, obscene, abusive, threatening, racially or ethnically hateful or otherwise offensive or illegal information or material.

Seems like that would disqualify most from posting on the majority of Internet forums, except of course for the fine, civilized discourse found on Daniweb.

Edited by EricMack: n/a

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“Access will vary among the states, but DoD has granted access to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube as long as users don’t compromise operational security, participate in illegal activities or try to open prohibited Web sites.”

It's good that they did create a rule for the servicemen to follow. There's nothing wrong with that.

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