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No More Military Bloggers?

The United States Army, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that unfiltered discussions by soldiers is a bad thing. Because of this, new directives have come down that may effective kill military blogging (and potentially e-mail as well) by requiring troops to get the approval of their commander before any post or, potentially, any other electronic communication.

This is discussed in an article on Wired News. An excerpt is below:

The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.

"This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has -- it's most honest voice out of the war zone. And it's being silenced."

Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version, in contrast, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything -- from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.