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Army Clarifies Soldier-Blog Policy

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By Allan Holmes May 4, 2007

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In a May 2 Tech Insider post, we linked to a Wired article on the Army's new policy of requiring soldiers (as well as contractors and soldier's family members) to have any blog material approved before posting. Some speculated it would effectively end all soldiers' blogs from Iraq.

It looks like soldiers' (and others') blogs may be around for awhile.

Wired today posted a response to the article from David Axe, the military editor of Defense Technology International magazine and a correspondent who has reported from Iraq and Lebanon since 2005, according to his bio page on his personal web site, War is Boring. Axe quotes from a memo the Army issued after Wired posted its original article:

In no way will every blog post/update a soldier makes on his or her blog need to be monitored or first approved by an immediate supervisor and operations security (OPSEC) officer. After receiving guidance and awareness training from the appointed OPSEC officer, that soldier blogger is entrusted to practice OPSEC when posting in a public forum.

And this from the same memo:

Soldiers may also have a blog without needing to consult with their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer if the following conditions are met:

1. The blog’s topic is not military-related (i.e., Sgt. Doe publishes a blog about his favorite basketball team).

2. The soldier doesn’t represent or act on behalf of the Army in any way.

3. The soldier doesn’t use government equipment when on his or her personal blog.

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