The Department of Defense didn’t have an official policy on what it calls “new/social media” — until now. Starting immediately, DoD employees (including troops) are free to use most of the non-porn Web, from Facebook to YouTube, without worrying about a court-martial. The usual rules on national security still apply.

The Pentagon has had a rocky relationship with social media in the past. As the first YouTube war (or more precisely the first American war begun after the founding of YouTube), the Iraq conflict, and occupation, proved to be an ample supply for sometimes disturbing and/or embarrassing videos and other content generated by soldiers on the ground. That led to a crackdown.

It’s about time troops have access to more of the Internet. Can you imagine? “Go ahead and get online, soldier. Just don’t do anything fun or communicative.” But the Defense Department has created enough loopholes to leave us feeling skeptical. And why, exactly, is porn banned? — PZS

Sources: DoD, Gizmodo

Read the official policy below:

DTM 09 026
View more documents from Department of Defense.
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