Remember how the Department of Defense embraced Web 2.0
with open arms? The U.S. Army, for example, has set up multiple accounts across the most popular social networking sites--Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more--in a clear effort to reach towards a new generation of Web surfers, a new category of potential recruits.
While recruitment efforts flourished on the social Web for months, however, individual troops continually faced morphing policies at bases that ruled whether they were allowed to access their social networking accounts, or not.
If the latest draft policy gets approved, military employees and troops may soon enjoy the full expanse of Web 2.0 themselves. According to the draft memo, gathered by Nextgov
, they will be granted access to social networking sites in addition to as "e-mail, instant messaging and discussion forums."
This would be a welcome change to troops abroad, who likely grew very accustomed to using social media while at home. While in another country, the significance of these communication tools multiply.
In early August, the Marine Corps completely banned
troops from accessing Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites, deciding to wait on the results of a comprehensive review by the Pentagon. Military officials wanted to know exactly the risks of letting individual soldiers onto potentially vulnerable networks. A week earlier, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn ordered the review to be done by the end of August.
Confronting a highly advanced Internet, where risks are indeed serious and sites are vulnerable, Lynn in the review says the document "addresses important changes in the way the Department of Defense communicates and shares information on the Internet."
Unfortunately, troops will have to wait a little bit longer to hear official word.
"No decisions have been made," said Pentagon social media czar Price Floyd. "The memo hasn't gone to the leadership yet."