The Department of Defense has implemented an encompassing "Responsible and Effective Use
of Internet-based Capabilities Policy" last week to get everyone under their large umbrella on the same "social networking" use page (http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Web-Services-Web-20-and-SOA/Pentagon-Loosens-Reins-Over-Use-of-Facebook-Twitter-Web-20-Apps-448094/). As one could imagine the DoD was going to have to do something sooner than later to get the different organizations under their jurisdiction under the same policy.
The trouble began last year when the US Army banned the use of several "social networking" sites for their organization. The US Marines followed up with a much harsher version as I wrote about in August of last year "Marines Ban Social Media, But Can They." The Marines banned the use of all "social networking" sites from all US Marine network computers.
The DoD is the protector of the United States of America and the job involves at most times a high level of secrecy and security around operations, procedures, and intelligence. Naturally, the banning of "social media" by the various organizations in the DoD was as a precautionary measure to protect national security, i.e. the United States. But, apparently after some study and consideration the DoD feels comfortable enough to allow use of "social networking" sites by their massive employee base.
Could the DoD successfully, have banned social media? Perhaps, but policing this would be a very difficult process, one that might take up an inordinate amount of time and take away from the more important mission of protecting the this country. The policy allows for use of "social networking" sites, wiki's, etc, but there is some wording that allows the DoD to put the "kabash" on" social networking" if necessary. The cause for revoking "social networking" access is mostly common sense based on abuse or "bandwidth" issues.
I applaud the DoD for stepping up and taking the "social media" bull by the horns. An organization this large, especially one that deals in national security may have just set the standard for "social networking" use for the rest of the government and private sector. It ought to be interesting to see how other agencies, corporations, and other government entities deal with the same issue, people using "social networking sites" at work. MFV