Silencing the miliblogs

Wired and Defense Tech report that many blogs maintained by U.S. troops in Iraq are going silent, the result of a tight-fisted new policy that puts every post on every “miliblog” under close security scrutiny. The policy states that: EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, NO INFORMATION MAY BE PLACED ON WEBSITES THAT ARE READILY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC ...

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606455_DM-SD-05-140045.jpg

Wired and Defense Tech report that many blogs maintained by U.S. troops in Iraq are going silent, the result of a tight-fisted new policy that puts every post on every "miliblog" under close security scrutiny.

The policy states that:

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, NO INFORMATION MAY BE PLACED ON WEBSITES THAT ARE READILY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC UNLESS IT HAS BEEN REVIEWED FOR SECURITY CONCERNS AND APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MEMORANDUM *WEB SITE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES,* DECEMBER 7, 1998 (HTTP://WWW.DEFENSELINK.MIL/WEBMASTERS/) AND, AS APPLICABLE, DOD INSTRUCTION (DODI) 5230.29, *SECURITY AND POLICY REVIEW OF DOD INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC RELEASE.

Wired and Defense Tech report that many blogs maintained by U.S. troops in Iraq are going silent, the result of a tight-fisted new policy that puts every post on every “miliblog” under close security scrutiny.

The policy states that:

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, NO INFORMATION MAY BE PLACED ON WEBSITES THAT ARE READILY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC UNLESS IT HAS BEEN REVIEWED FOR SECURITY CONCERNS AND APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MEMORANDUM *WEB SITE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES,* DECEMBER 7, 1998 (HTTP://WWW.DEFENSELINK.MIL/WEBMASTERS/) AND, AS APPLICABLE, DOD INSTRUCTION (DODI) 5230.29, *SECURITY AND POLICY REVIEW OF DOD INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC RELEASE.

There’s no doubt that more of Iraq is broadcast online than ever before. Soldiers now regularly upload videos of combat missions to YouTube (as do the insurgents) and there are around 1,200 active military blogs. 

Wired decries the loss of independent voices reporting from the frontlines in Iraq, noting that embedded reporters have dropped from 770 in 2003 to only nine in 2006. But both Defense Tech and the Wired are quick to point out that, most often, milibloggers are not speaking out against the war effort. 

Mike Gulf at Tanker Brothers explains:

The DoD should be embracing the MilBlog Movement: we’re the guys and gals actually getting the TRUTH out about the War, and encouraging support, and the American public to open their eyes and get the view from guys on the ground. 

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