Popular geolocation services such as Facebook Places, Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt could easily reveal the position of US armed forces to the enemy, U.S. Air Force has warned.
Earlier this month, in an internal website U.S. Air Force said: ... careless use of these services by airmen can have devastating operations security and privacy implications,” according to an AP report.
U.S military is reported to have about 95,000 troops in Afghanistan and approximately 50,000 in Iraq. Now the Air Force is worried that careless use of social sites by troops might bring them into trouble by disclosing their position to the enemy.
In February, the Department of Defense (DoD) released a policy memorandum regarding the safe and effective use of Internet-based capabilities, including social networking services and other interactive web 2.0 applications.
In that memorandum, DoD said commanders at all levels and heads of DoD components would continue to defend against malicious activity on military information networks, deny access to prohibited content sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, hate-crime related activities), and take immediate and commensurate actions, as required, to safeguard missions.
The geolocation software of a particular site can easily recognize the user’s position on a map. So the enemy also can take help of this feature of a site and can track troop members who use smartphones.
The Air Force has sent this message to senior commanders and asked them to spread the word out to their forces, AP reported.