Few people go more than a few days without updating their Facebook status, “checking-in” at some location on their social media application or tweeting their opinions on Twitter. Service members are no exception. However, they must take extra precautions to avoid the legal pitfalls of compromising operational security or making inappropriate remarks when posting anything on public websites.
The Arab Spring, which rose from street-level dissent to form a mass movement, might not have come as a surprise to intelligence agencies if only they had been able to read the tea leaves of social media. The characteristics of social media that differentiate it from other messaging media are compelling intelligence officials to change the way they derive valuable information from it. As a result, experts are calling for the creation of a new discipline that represents a separate branch of intelligence activity.
Government may have been in the slow lane to accept social media as a viable conduit for sharing information, but agencies are now coordinating their efforts to ensure messages going out to the public can be trusted. Members of a panel discussing its uses at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference said the technologies that facilitate ubiquitous communications among the public are merely another change in generations of changes.
Channel surfing gets social. The free Peel app for iOS and Android makes personalized recommendations for TV shows based on your viewing history and what your friends are watching.
U.S. federal agencies conducting the 2011 test of the Emergency Alert System saw results and failures, and are working to coordinate improved social media connection and involvement.
The problems that the military is facing as personnel make greater use of social media are the same that it has confronted with earlier communications technologies. And, the solution may be the same: greater education on, and adherence to, security guidelines.
The possibility of classified or sensitive information being leaked to social media websites is an increasing concern for government and military officials, but two products-Vantage and Unified Security Gateway (USG)-may help plug the leaks. Vantage supports a variety of platforms, including Microsoft Lync Server, Office Communications Server, IBM Sametime, Cisco Unified Presence, Jabber, and public instant messaging platforms, including Skype and Web conferencing tools.
Members of today's industry panel at LandWarNet discussed many of the issues that have long been a source of consternation to military contractors including the need for a level playing field and better, more agile acquisition policies especially for information technology. However, one person added a slight twist to the discussion by stating that not only do many in government not understand the acquisition process and its difficulties, but industry does not do a good job educating them.
As the U.S. Coast Guard examines new ways to consolidate its logistics systems into a single business model, it is using social media platforms to open a dialogue with government and industry.
The U.S. Army's updated Social Media Handbook is now available on the iPhone.
The changeover to another generation of IT professionals is inevitable; it's happening right now. But does the federal IT community have a handle on just what this transition entails, and have the Defense Department and other organizations prepared adequately to take on the changes consistently and effectively? Will they end up with a deer-in-the-headlights look, or will they be able to adjust without a hitch? Discuss your ideas and suggestions here.
Social media use by federal employees and contractors increased dramatically in the last year, but many people still wonder if it is safe and business savvy to jump in to online networking, according to a recent survey.
The U.S. Defense Department's hub for all things social media has undergone a serious facelift, complete with tips, tricks and lessons on how to share information responsibly and effectively.
The Department of Defense yesterday launched the Open Government Plan, its latest salvo aimed at increasing transparency and opportunities for engagement and collaboration.
I keep up with all things social media and Web 2.0 related by reading Mashable, one of the largest blogs focused specifically on these topics. Now fans like me can read Mashable on the go with the Mashable iPhone app. The free tool allows users to browse by channel, category, tag or author; share stories via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook; save stories to read offline later; and more.
The U.S. Defense Department has announced its policy on "Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-Based Capabilities"--in less formal words, its social and new media policy. This is the DOD's first official policy on new media.
The popularity and growth of social media networks and blogs offers federal agencies with new tools to get their message to the nation's citizens. However, the openness of social media platforms also presents a security challenge. A panel of government and commercial media experts pondered the implications of widespread adoption of social media platforms at AFCEA's Homeland Security Conference.
No, I'm not talking about the classic Marilyn Monroe film; I'm talking about AFCEA's Homeland Security Conference, going on this Wednesday and Thursday. The theme is "DHS: The 7-Year Itch-Renewing the Commitment." The event will cover such topics as cybersecurity, securing social media, transparency, identity management, information and intelligence sharing, and more.
Next week is the West 2010 Conference in San Diego. For those of you who will be attending the conference, we look forward to seeing you there. If you're unable to attend but want to keep up with the conversations and discussions, there are plenty of ways to tune in.