U.S. Marine Corps Bans Social Networking Sites

The U.S. Marine Corps published a notice yesterday announcing that all social networking sites were banned on their Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN).

The document states in part (and in all caps):

2. BACKGROUND. INTERNET SNS ARE DEFINED AS WEB-BASED SERVICES THAT ALLOW COMMUNITIES OF PEOPLE TO SHARE COMMON INTERESTS AND/OR EXPERIENCES (EXISTING OUTSIDE OF DOD NETWORKS) OR FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO EXPLORE INTERESTS AND BACKGROUND DIFFERENT FROM THEIR OWN. THESE INTERNET SITES IN GENERAL ARE A PROVEN HAVEN FOR MALICIOUS ACTORS AND CONTENT AND ARE PARTICULARLY HIGH RISK DUE TO INFORMATION EXPOSURE, USER GENERATED CONTENT AND TARGETING BY ADVERSARIES. 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.
3. ACTIONS. TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF REF A, ACCESS IS HEREBY PROHIBITED TO INTERNET SNS FROM THE MCEN NIPRNET, INCLUDING OVER VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN) CONNECTIONS.

It goes on to outline that in some cases personnel can use SNS (Social Networking Sites) in an official or authorized capacity, but generally it’s a total ban across Marine Corps Enterprise and VPS networks.

A lot of bloggers and people on social networking sites are commenting on the ban. Of course, people are polarized on the issue, saying that on one hand this will cut off servicemen and women from their friends and families even more than they already are. On the other hand, there’s the national security issue and the fact that propaganda may make it’s way into people’s minds, further endangering security.

What do you all think of this ban? Any former or current military service people out there like to comment? Have your say below.