US Marine Corps bans access to social networking sites

San Francisco (CA) – The US Marine Corps has officially banned access to all social networking sites.

“Internet SNS (Social Networking Sites) are a proven haven for malicious actors and content are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries,” the Marine Corp explained in a statement. “The very nature of SNS creates a larger attack and exploitation window, exposes unnecessary information to adversaries and provides an easy conduit for information leakage that puts OPSEC, COMSEC personnel and the MCEN at an elevated risk of compromise. Examples of Internet SNS Sites Include Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.”

However, the seemingly draconian ban applies only to military personnel using Marine equipment, such as NIPRNET (Nonsecure Internet Protocol Router Network) and internal VPNs.

Individual Marines are still permitted to access social networking sites on their personal computers when off duty. In addition, certain Marines – such as PR reps – have been given the opportunity to apply for a waiver to visit the sites.

“Social networking sites have always been banned from government computers,” Lt. Craig Thomas, a Marine Corps spokesman told the LA Times. “Bandwidth needs to go to the operators. What you do on your own time is your own business as long as you keep to the Marine Corps ethos of honor, courage and commitment.”