Social Media and Social Networking

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Concerns Over Army Using Social Networking Sites

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on June 16, 2009

We all know how social networking has transformed our lives since the past few years. People across the world use it to share updates, pictures, videos and personal information with their friends and family. However, like every coin has two sides, social networking has a major drawback of leaking confidential information if not used carefully. Concerned about this issue, the Indian Army recently handed over a circular asking its personnel to beware from uploading such content on social networking sites like Orkut and Facebook.

To avoid putting the national security in danger, the Army has asked all the units across the country to remove work-related information such as place of posting, ranks, etc. from their profiles, if already posted. According to the Army’s estimation, about 35,000 of its total 1.1 million soldiers are active internet users.

Under the Army Act, a soldier violating ‘good order and discipline’ can be put behind bars for a term up to 7 years. Hence, the Army has given strict warning to its personnel to abide by the rules, or else face disciplinary action.

People generally tend to post professional details to show off their credentials, which can reveal sensitive details especially in case of young Army officers. Therefore, the Army has also asked defence institutions to list out do’s and don’ts of Internet use and provide information on cyber security to its men.

In case of the U.S. Army, social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are immensely popular. However, there are restrictions on certain social media sites like MySpace and Web activities such as uploading videos to YouTube, due to confidential reasons.

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