Marines ban Twitter, Facebook, other sites

#1
(WIRED) -- The U.S. Marine Corps has banned Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social media sites from its networks, effective immediately.

The Marine Corps fears that social media sites such as Facebook could pose a security risk.

"There internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries," reads a Marine Corps order, issued Monday.

"The very nature of SNS [social network sites] creates a larger attack and exploitation window, exposes unnecessary information to adversaries and provides an easy conduit for information leakage that puts OPSEC [operational security], COMSEC [communications security], [and] personnel... at an elevated risk of compromise."

The Marines' ban will last a year. It was drawn up in response to a late July warning from U.S. Strategic Command, which told the rest of the military it was considering a Defense Department-wide ban on the Web 2.0 sites, due to network security concerns.

Scams, worms, and Trojans often spread unchecked throughout social media sites, passed along from one online friend to the next.

"The mechanisms for social networking were never designed for security and filtering. They make it way too easy for people with bad intentions to push malicious code to unsuspecting users," a Stratcom source told Wired.com.
Yet many within the Pentagon's highest ranks find value in the Web 2.0 tools. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has 4,000 followers on Twitter. The Department of Defense is getting ready to unveil a new home page, packed with social media tools. The Army recently ordered all U.S. bases to provide access to Facebook. Top generals now blog from the battlefield.
"OPSEC is paramount. We will have procedures in place to deal with that," Price Floyd, the Pentagon's newly-appointed social media czar, said.
"What we can't do is let security concerns trump doing business. We have to do business... We need to be everywhere men and women in uniform are and the public is. If that's MySpace and YouTube, that's where we need to be, too," Floyd said.
The Marines say they will issue waivers to the Web 2.0 blockade, if a "mission critical need" can be proven. And they will continue to allow access to the military's internal "SNS-like services." But for most members of the Corps, access to the real, public social networks is now shut off for the next year.
Source: Marines ban Twitter, Facebook, other sites - CNN.com

On one hard I understand the security concerns and on the other it feels like overkill. Does YouTube really have trojans or worms on it unless you actually download something to your hard drive? I'm not all that techy, so I won't comment on it much, however I do think the Marines should be allowed to use these services. At the very least they should be able to use YouTube.

Don't take away ALL their fun. >.<;
 
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#2
My sister is a marine and she goes on FaceBook and MySpace on her phone, it is the main way we get a hold of her. So, unless they take away phones next, we're all set. Ha.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
#3
When they say the sites are banned, what do they mean? Do they mean that you can't access them on government computers, using the government's internet providers? I don't have a problem with that. Especially during the workday.
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#4
I agree with it as long as the intent is to keep top secret information from leaking out by accident.

As for communicating with friends and family members, chances are a lot of these people are using these sites to do that as well. This will be annoying for them but in the end if it's a security risk then it's a security risk.

A lot of those sites have applications you can install onto your profile. Often times these pose severe security risks. How do you think those "Want to know who is reading your profile? Click here!" messages get posted by all your "friends"? Yeah, they got hit by a virus or trojan of some sort. Probably while playing some Mafia Wars or taking a survey. :-/
 

Xeilo

Registered Member
V.I.P.
#5
I can understand why they have done this, the risk of letting people go on these sites and they accidentally let out some secret information is high, and I know it has happened before. The sad thing is that people won't be able to communicate as much because of this, and it will be a hard thing for families as well.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
#6
"There internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries," reads a Marine Corps order, issued Monday."
I'm sure these sites are banned in other regular offices for the same reason. These are more personal sites anyway so users shouldn't have too much of a problem using their personal computers (or cellphones) instead to surf these than compromising their work computers (and work related data).
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#7
Well, work related data such as top secret intel could still be leaked via a cell phone on Facebook. I wonder if they are going to address that as well.

This is going to make family communication with loved ones overseas harder though. Email is the next best option but that's not nearly as interactive.
 

Obsessiforge

- Diderot Reborn -
#8
I know some more recent phones have wireless capability, so I imagine that wouldn't be cool with the brass, but things like the EDGE network should be fine...right? or am I not thinking straight again?