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Social Media

Q: What are the Legal Pitfalls for Service Members When Using Social Media?

January 1, 2014
By Nicole Woodroffe

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.

A New -INT Looms for Social Media

October 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

The type of information found on social media is far different from that intercepted via any other type of messaging media. It is pushed by its sender out to large numbers of people. It often consists of information about individuals that is not readily available elsewhere. And, it can represent an indication of groupthink that is not discernible from traditional intercepts.

Sir David Omand is a visiting professor, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London. He is a former U.K. intelligence and security coordinator and the former director of the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which provides both signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance as one of the United Kingdom’s three intelligence agencies.

“This is more than a shift from one kind of communications medium to another,” Omand declares. He points out that SIGINT experts have accommodated the shift from copper wires to fiber because the same messages were being carried by the different media. The only change was the transport mode.

Social Media Involvement Evolves

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

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.

Cool App-titude: Peel

February 28, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

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.

Real-Time Emergency Alerts--In Really Real Time

February 24, 2012
By Beverly Schaeffer

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.

New Capabilities, Same Old Issues Define Social Media

November 2, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

Plugging Social Media Leaks

September 14, 2011
By George Seffers

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. Vantage ensures a scalable, secure, managed solution is available for any of the leading platforms, according to officials at Actiance Incorporated, Belmont, California, the maker of both products. USG is a secure Web gateway to combine feature and content controls of social networks with the monitoring, management and security of Web 2.0 applications. It provides granular control of websites and applications as well as content posted to blogs, wikis, Webmail and social networking sites. USG reduces outbound data leakage and enforces compliance with regulatory and legal discovery, and corporate policy requirements by moderating, monitoring and logging content posted to popular social networks.

Industry Perspectives on Army Needs

August 23, 2011
By Rita Boland

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.

Social Solutions to Coast Guard Acquisition Strategy

April 29, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

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.

Cool App-titude: Army Social Media Handbook

March 8, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

The U.S. Army's updated Social Media Handbook is now available on the iPhone.

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