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Milbloggers - an endangered species

Page history last edited by Marijana 11 years, 9 months ago






Milbloggers – an endangered species?



The ambiguity of censorship:

national security


national revocation of freedom of speech?






"Technological advances occurring within the last two decades are shrinking the world

and exposing America to heightened homeland security risks. […] Over the centuries,

restrictions on the accessibility of military information during war time have changed.

Such changes are necessary due to various intervening factors,

such as increased weapon capabilities, better computer technology, and speedier communication devices.

When changes occur, the government and military’s policies regarding restrictions on a soldier’s right to speech

must be adapted to balance competing interests."



                                                                                                                                Tatum H. Lytle


I.          INTRODUCTION  


II.         DEFINITIONS     






V.         A SOLUTION?












Iraq war 2003 - now: There are 156,247 soldiers in Iraq. 156,247 men who see war. And there are some of them who, for some reason, want to share their experience and feelings with others using blogs. Lt G is one of them. 

Lt G's blog "Kaboom – A soldier’s war journal" has been stopped effective on June 27, 2008. The reason for this remains unclear. One potential reason is being mentioned by the blog network Wired, where it says that Lt G had to stop posting "after criticizing his superior officers one time too often."


Let us find out whether this is true and what stands behind OPSEC,censorshipand milbloggers.




          (All terms marked green are defined here)


     What is…



     a blog?

Wikipedia, "a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary,      descriptions of events, or other material      such as graphics or video." It can function as a "personal      online diary" or as a provision of comments "or news on a particular subject."

      Danah Boyd defines a blog as, using Marshall McLuhan’s term, "extension of man." She says, that blogs      "allow people to extend themselves      into a network digital environment that is often though to be      disembodying." A blog, in her opinion, "becomes both the digital body as well as      the medium      through which bloggers express themselves."



     a blogger?

     A person writing on a blog.



     a milblog?

     A milblog is, according to Johanna Roering, a military weblog, whose authors do not necessarily need to      be actively participating in the war, but who are, in the broadest sense, affected by the war. Those      people could therefore be "active soldiers, veterans, wives, and also mothers of members of the      US-military."



     a milblogger?

     A person writing on a military blog




    OPSEC is, according to the Army Regulation 530-1, “a process identifying critical information

      and subsequently analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities” to      determine critical information which could be useful to adversaries. OPSEC “protects critical information      from adversary  observation."

     Critical information?


     The Army Regulation 530-1 defines critical information as “ information important to the successful      achievement of U.S. objectives and missions, or which may be of use to an adversary of the United      States."


       Sensitive information?

     “Sensitive information  […] is information requiring special protection from disclosure that could cause      compromise or threat to our national security, an Army organization, activity, family member,      Department of the Army (DA) civilian, or DOD contractor."





Wikipedia says: “Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive, as determined by a censor. […]

Military censorship is the process of keeping military intelligence and tactics confidential away from the enemy. […] Additionally, military censorship may involve a restriction on information or media coverage that can be released to the public



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