US Army adds new restrictions to military bloggers

May 2nd, 2007

The war in Iraq is the first one that has been blogged about by the troops, whether on individual blogs sites or via aggregation sites like milblogging.com. Reading blogs by active military members stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan has been both informative and interesting and offers an unfiltered perspective on critically important issues.

Wired news reports (Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death) that the US Army has ordered soldiers to stop blogging or sending personal email messages without first clearing the content with superiors.

The new rules obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update. … Army Regulation 530–1: Operations Security (OPSEC) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to “consult with their immediate supervisor” before posting a document “that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum.” The new version, in contrast, requires “an OPSEC review prior to publishing” anything — from “web log (blog) postings” to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

Wired reports that the directive applies to civilians working for the military, army contractors and even soldiers’ families as well as to active duty troops.