Social Media and Armed Forces

Topics: Twitter, Facebook, Military, Social network service, United States Army, Officer / Pages: 3 (723 words) / Published: Jul 29th, 2013
The Indian Navy’s Facebook incident has again brought into light the subject of serving defence officers and the use of internet.

Though not in favour of making cyberspace free for uninhibited travel, I feel that the issue needs to be tackled in a holistic manner by maintaining an adequate amount of discretion but at the same time not losing touch with the necessities of modern life.

Press reports suggest that some kind of action is in the offing against the naval officers involved in the episode. In my opinion, two things need to be examined before the Navy proceeds in the matter. One, whether the information shared was such which was not already available in any public domain including the net or any military-related publication or journal, and two, whether there was any intention on the part of the officers to disseminate such information to persons who should not have been privy to the same.

More often than not, the call for action related to interaction of serving officers over the internet emanates from over-sensitive and touchy seniors who are not tech-savvy. Usually, such actions are merely knee-jerk reactions which are not in tune with the reality of the times.

So what is the way out? I feel there has to be a democratic inter-service debate on the issue and it should be discussed threadbare as to how broad guidelines could be incorporated which bring about a certain amount of cyber security taking into account our requirements of maintaining confidentiality in some areas, but at the same time not overly imposing an embargo on individual freedom and human interaction.

If this report is to be believed, then defence personnel are soon going to be asked not to comment on government or military policies. This attitude itself, in the past, has led to the constant derailment of military service from the pecking order as well as the absence of the military from the wish-list of job-seekers. Lack of discussion on issues affecting service-members

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