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Marines vs. Facebook
The Marine Corps' attempt to thwart enemy hackers and other "malicious actors" by banning social-networking sites
T

he U.S. Marine Corps has a new enemy—Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other social-networking websites, said Noah Schactman in Wired. The Marines ordered personnel not to use these sites on the Marine computer network, saying they were "a proven haven" for enemy hackers and other "malicious actors" and therefore a security threat. The ban, which is scheduled to last a year, came after the U.S. Strategic Command said it was considering a Defense Department–wide ban.

This move will be devastating for morale, said Andy Sernovitz in The Huffington Post. American troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq depend on Facebook and other social-networking sites to keep in touch with their friends and families. Besides, it won't work. Iran couldn't stop Twitter—"we'll look like idiots for trying."

Even if morale takes a hit, said Larry Dignan in Smart Planet, banning Facebook and MySpace for Marines is a smart move. "Posting on Facebook in the field can be the equivalent of broadcasting" to burglars that you're out of the house on vacation. "It’s just an invitation for the bad guys."

Come on, said Andrew Keen in Britain's Daily Telegraph. What useful things could al Qaida possibly learn from Facebook? "If the U.S. Marines had any sense, they would turn this policy on its head" and make everyone in uniform post constantly to "drown 'malicious actors' in worthless data." Make tweets, not war.

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