Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Army blocking tools for Internet Media WAR.

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    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Army blocking tools for Internet Media WAR.

    UPDATE 3: My story quotes Sgt. Edward Watson, a blogger currently deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad, who got in some trouble with higher-ups for what he wrote online. Matt "Blackfive" Burden says Sgt. Watson is one of "eight to ten" soldier-bloggers who have reached out to him for guidance since the Army passed its new rules about blogging. Sgt. Watson's full letter to DANGER ROOM is after the jump.

    UPDATE 4: Greyhawk laughs it up.

    Ok, hey Noah hows it going? Sounds good about the article. Ill answer them as best I can for ya. I will be leaving for a series of patrols and raids and will need to head to bed in a little bit, so if you have any further questions or anything else, please try to get back with me asap for I will be unavailable after I hit the sack.

    Well I origionally started my blog and to my knowledge no one from my unit even knew I was keeping one or that they were reading it. I don't know how exactly he found it, but my former Platoon Leader stumbled up it and did some reading. We were at our outpost the day he found it, May 17th I believe.

    Initially he was pretty upset, in particular at one of my recent posts (from May 9th). In there I talked about our FOB getting mortared and our chowhall was hit. I had run inside after hearing word of people possibly hit inside, despite the 'all clear'. I received a stern talk from my former Platoon Leader about not doing something like that again. I disagreed and therefore entitled the post 'The right wrong decision'.

    After the conversation lightened, he proceeded to point out a few more of what he called 'OPSEC' (Operational Security) violations. I don't really remeber which posts he pointed out. It pretty much came down to any of the posts where I talked about things such as mortaring, engagements, one soldier who was killed, etc. He didn't tell me I had to stop, but told me I needed to edit the posts, remove his 'OPSEC' violations and he'd monitor it in the future.

    I decided that I didn't want to change the way I wrote, and for simplicity in my life, I decided to just stop my blog, removing my old post (most of which I still removed). I've slowly been screening some old ones and makeing sure there are no violations and putting them back up. Anyways, once I stopped my blog, an article was written about my site going down, which was picked up across the country and even in the local Stars and Stripes newspaper we receive here in Iraq. At this point EVERYONE and I mean everyone knew about it, including my entire chain of command and probably higher than I care to know.

    The reason I never got in any trouble was because according to the sheet they have for us that talks about OPSEC and what we can and cannot say when on the phones, computers etc I never once violated anything they mentioned. The only thing that my Company Commander tried to get me on was the regulation about registering your blog with the military. They wanted to give me an Article 15 (non-judicial punishment) for a regulation I was clueless about and they never brief anyone about starting or running blogs. My former Platoon Leader found for me on that one, and that never came about.

    I even exchanged a few emails with the 82nd Airborne's PAO (public affairs officer) and he was very encouraging of me continuing my blog. After the article, no one told me I could not continue my blog and there were many who encouraged me as well. Thats when I decided to do just that, registered my blog with my unit and continued, making sure to be extra careful what I said and how I said it. I was initially worried that my blog would lose the feel it once had, but after a while I realized that I was still able to get a unique story out, one that most people don't hear. A story about what its like, the good, the bad, the boring and the exciting, as a soldier, boots on the ground in Iraq.

    Alright, well I hope that answers your questions. Like I said if you have any more, email me back. SGT Watson, Edward C


    Hmm I wonder if AQ get into trouble for blogging?

    140,000 troops ready to train, the worlds biggest counter-terrorist Media force

    and they are BLOKED from the weapon to counter AQ's media war.


    Army still does not understand the Internet war paradigm.

    USA can win every fight in the field and still loose the "hearts and minds".

    They need to be trained not BLOCKED.

    Where is the USA's media battalion?


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