Milblogging, Interrupted


A few days old now, but I just got alerted to it: an interesting Boston Herald report on new levels of military oversight on "milbloggers"–soldiers reporting uncensored impressions and tales from the front on their blogs.

The military has assigned a National Guard unit to monitor the Internet for possible violations of operational security—OPSEC, as they call it. No one is suggesting significant violations have occurred, and soldiers were already required to have their commanders' approval to blog, and to submit to periodic review. A mechanism to ensure soldiers are doing their duty makes sense, but overzealous officers will find violations, real or imagined, and punish soldiers.

The new rules also say commanders in the field must approve in advance anything that goes onto a public Web site. So much for trusting soldiers to observe OPSEC, much as civilian reporters have been trusted to do under liberal embedding rules.

Check out an excellent milblogging aggregator, with many thoughts on this new policy and its possible chilling effects, here.

[Link via Tom Spurgeon's wonderful Comics Reporter site.]