Army stresses need to monitor websites

WASHINGTON: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker has circulated a memo to all personnel saying that he wants military commanders to do a better job monitoring soldier websites and blogs for sensitive information that could aid insurgent fighters in Iraq.

WASHINGTON: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker has circulated a memo to all personnel saying that he wants military commanders to do a better job monitoring soldier websites and blogs for sensitive information that could aid insurgent fighters in Iraq.

Some soldiers continue to post sensitive information, such as photos depicting vulnerabilities and tactics, techniques, and procedures. "The enemy aggressively reads our open source and continues to exploit such information," Schoomaker wrote in the August memo.

The Army has formed a mobile training team to raise awareness about the danger of posting potentially harmful information. Commanders must now monitor their soldiers' blogs and shut down sites with sensitive information, Army PIO Lt. Col. Paul Pierett said.

"Basically, the commanders are laying the word out," said Pierce. "If soldiers don't know if it's good or bad, they can go to their commanders and ask."

Soldiers routinely take photos or videotape military action in Iraq. "If you show this information on the various websites, the enemy can start getting its own intelligence from our websites on how to use their techniques in a better way," he said.

Schoomaker attached a memo issued in February by Gen. Richard Cody, Army vice chief of staff, who warned commanders to remind all soldiers about the importance of guarding information. "Inform your personnel that we could unwittingly magnify enemy capabilities simply by exchanging photos with friends, relatives, or by publishing them on the internet or other media," Cody wrote.

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