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For newbies: PERSEC, Facebook, Rum Ration, & social networks.


War Hero
Just a heads-up for those who are about to join the Armed Forces:

"SECURITY - Not a dirty word, Blackadder."

The issue with regard social networking is the personal security aspect (privacy), or operational security.

FaceBook has supposedly begun to address this issue following complaints with regard the complexity of excluding access to your data - as obviously this is how they generate revenue, they are loathe to restrict access to your personal information because it is commercially useful. It is also very useful to the ill-disposed.

For the dissemination of potentially sensitive information, personal email is by far the preferred route between a unit and the individuals within it, but even then people forward details to mates without thinking about the "need to know" implications and pass on information to people who do not need to know specifics.

MSN, Xbox & the like are probably on a par with FB, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube etc., when it comes to unguarded chatter about sensitive issues and Cheltenham GCHQ certainly has it's work cut out monitoring individuals who have no concept of how easily they can be identified or the significance of being employed in an occupation which anonymity is best employed for operational reasons.

There was a plot foiled by GCHQ not that long ago which involved the kidnapping of a UK soldier from a particular ethnic group - the idea was to behead him on television "as a warning to others". These people really are out there.

The advice is to just be sensible.. Those already serving or about to serve in an Operational Military unit should try to keep themselves low-key when discussing current military operations, exercises and training and avoid linking themselves or others with identifiable ongoing operations.

Today's Daily Wail provides a good example of how wrong it can all go:

Royal Wedding 2011: Scots Guard removed from duty for Kate Middleton slur | Mail Online
Good point here. Not many people seem aware of this sort of thing and the fact that SOMEONE is always watching. not necessarily anyone in particular but all it takes is for the wrong person to see something.......


War Hero
Is the DIB on use of Social Networking and the Internet 'releasable'. I haven't re-read it for a while - might be worth just copying and pasting.


Lantern Swinger
On Facebook all you need to do is click on the 'Account' tab top right hand corner, then click 'Privacy' and it takes you to your privacy settings. The only way to get it all to Friends only (including being able to view your friends list which may be useful) is to click 'Custom settings' and manually change all of the drop down options to Friends Only. To double check you can click on 'Preview Profile' which is on the same page, and it will show you how it appears to a non-friend.
Aye, I set the limitations settings to highest at all times

Although admittedly I suspect if the security and intelligence people lot want to get a look at your stuff the FB settings aint really gonna stop em.


War Hero
Is the DIB on use of Social Networking and the Internet 'releasable'. I haven't re-read it for a while - might be worth just copying and pasting.

Good call.

It also clarifies the area with regard offering unofficial careers related advice in the public domain & explains the reason in disclaimer in the signature blocks of those who legitimately and voluntarily provide this service.



Guidelines for Service and MOD staff using Social Media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc)

The 'Online Engagement Guidelines' are designed to allow personnel to talk about themselves and their work online, within new guidelines to protect their security, reputation and privacy.

In summary, when using social media, Service and MOD civilian personnel must:

- Follow the same high standards of conduct and behaviour online as would be expected elsewhere;

- Always maintain personal, information and operational security and be careful about the information they share online;

- Get authorisation from their chain of command when appropriate (see paragraph 4 below).

Service and MOD civilian personnel can volunteer to operate 'sponsored' online presences to help communicate their work, including as part of their official duties. The new guidelines explain responsibilities for clearance and oversight.


1. Current and emerging internet technologies, such as simple self-publishing, sharing of user-generated content and social networking, are of growing importance to Service and MOD civilian personnel in their personal and professional lives.

2. Service and MOD civilian personnel are encouraged to talk about what they do within certain limits to protect security, reputation and privacy. Such online presences provide an opportunity for Service and MOD civilian personnel to explain their work. But they also carry risks to individuals, to their Service and to Defence. Service and MOD civilian personnel are already using online presences and Defence information is entering the public domain unofficially. Guidelines are therefore required.

3. Under the guidelines, Service and MOD civilian personnel do not need to seek clearance when talking online about factual, unclassified, uncontroversial non-operational matters, but should seek authorisation from their chain of command before publishing any wider information relating to their work which:

Relates to operations or deployments;

Offers opinions on wider Defence and Armed Forces activity, or on third parties without their permission;

Attempts to speak, or could be interpreted as speaking, on behalf of your Service or the MOD;

Relates to controversial, sensitive or political matters.

If in doubt personnel should always seek advice from their chain of command/line management.

The new guidelines are aimed primarily at commanders and line managers, but will be worked into training materials etc in due course.


War Hero
Well as I know quite a bit about quite a few still serving personnel that don't let's say "quite meet that criteria" would they like my Christmas wish list now, or are they ok without a savings drive.:toothy3::toothy3::winkrazz:
Definately needs to be a sticky. Good work from N_S and SEP on the guidelines.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people who lack common sense out there


War Hero
The problem with Facebook is the unfathomable obsessive quest for celebrity, often achieved by notoriety & this weird concept of imaginary "friends" who may have lower security settings & permit access to your data.

For those that indulge in Facebook the following quote from the PRMC forum may be of assistance when editing your Facebook privacy settings, alluded to earlier in this thread:

Regarding my privacy settings, my real name is a mixture of two nicknames and that is where the trail ends.

‘Search for me on Facebook is set to ‘Friends Only’

‘See my friends list’ is set to ‘Only Me’

The only other settings that are not set to ‘Friends Only’ are ‘Family and Relationships’ and ‘Contact Information’ that are both set to ‘Only Me’.

Another neglected issue with ensuring privacy on FB is the ability to scan through someone’s ‘Friends List’. Once you have found one person, you can easily find another. Why FB users don’t set this setting to ‘Friends Only’ or ‘Only Me’ is beyond me.

I would guess that if you had the time, theoretically you could find everyone who uses FB using this method, unless they have enabled the privacy settings.


War Hero
Living as I do in a great area free of trouble,
2004 Acacia boulevard,
Shetland Wood,

I do not see as anyone would worry about personal security. We have never bothered with it. My dear departed husband Henry Billiton, who never hid the fact he worked in the Maze, who was murdered by IRA gunmen in a cowardly attack when he was on his way home, thought it was made too much of as well.
The Nigerian lady I sent my bank details to so she could send me a donation over my loss is also not bothered as she sent me her details, some quite personal.
No all in all I do think there is an touch of paranoia surrounding security.


War Hero
Dissident republican bomb attack was targeted using Facebook

A timely reminder:

"Originally Posted by Belfast Telegraph
A soldier who narrowly escaped a dissident republican bomb attack was targeted using Facebook, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The Scottish soldier's alarming security blunder could have cost him his life during a festive visit to Belfast.

And a week after the discovery of a deadly booby-trap device inside his car, new information points to a disturbing catalogue of security lapses.

The latest revelations will further anger police chiefs already furious over the military security breaches which allowed the attack to be carried out.

The story, outlined to this newspaper, is one of a series of major errors with potentially fatal consequences.

Last week a device was discovered inside a soldier's car at the home of his girlfriend in Ligoniel in north Belfast.

A stolen military grenade fitted with a magnet had been concealed under the driver's seat inside the vehicle with a trip wire linked to the buckle of the seatbelt.

Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) was behind the murder plot.

The terror faction learned that three soldiers were visiting the house in Ligoniel over the holiday period.

And, in another security blunder, the soldiers were also tailed as they travelled into Andersonstown in west Belfast, and, a short time later, were also observed using a taxi to travel to the city centre.

ONH was then given the name of one of the soldiers, and confirmed his identity using a photograph on the Facebook website.

According to a source, it showed him in uniform sitting on a tank.

The dissident group also used the Facebook site to build up an intelligence picture on the soldier before the attack."

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