The U.S. Air Force has issued a notice reminding servicemen and women that terrorist organizations and other American adversaries comb through social media scanning for sensitive mission details. Limiting the information shared not only protects military security but also prevents enemies from knowing a soldier's personal details, such as where they live or their spouse's identity, the notice said.
It's all part of the “Loose Tweets Destroy Fleets” campaign, which takes inspiration from the World War II-era phrase “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” aimed at preventing mission-related information from getting into enemy hands. The Air Force published a list of personal information that service members should avoid disclosing in order to protect their families and the military.
“As social media keeps evolving and there's more and more avenues to let your friends and family know what you are up to, those same avenues can be used by ISIS sympathizers, 'lone wolves,' to track down and hurt our military members outside the safety of the base,” said Capt. Jonathan McDonald, AFCENT Force Protection chief, in the notice, which began circulating in the military blogosphere this week.
“So not only is it important to not post vital mission-related information, it's also important to not post detailed information, to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.”
The warning comes after the FBI issued an alert about Middle Eastern men approaching military families in Colorado and Wyoming. One instance included two males approaching a woman in front of her home in late May, claiming she was the wife of an American interrogator. She denied the claims and watched the men laugh to themselves and leave in a vehicle she had previously reported seeing in the area multiple times before.
It also comes after a goup claiming to be affiliated with the Islamic State posted personal information about U.S. military personnel, including phone numbers, addresses, known contacts, email creadentials and other highly sensitive data. It was quickly determined that much of the information was either years old or made up entirely.