Canadian Soldiers Told To Use Caution On Facebook

    February 26, 2008

The Canadian Defense Department is warning its soldiers not to post personal photos on social networking sites like Facebook, because of security concerns.

A memo told soldiers not to wear their uniforms in online photos and not to reveal their military ties. The CBC reported the memo said," Al Qaeda operatives are monitoring Facebook and other social networking sites."

"This may seem overdramatic but the infroamtion can be used to target members for further exploitation. It also opens the door for you families and friends to become potential targets as well."

The Defense Department is also worried about postings of photos and information from the war in Afghanistan. Canada currently has 2,500 soldiers serving in Afghanistan. A Canadian military official cautioned that battle scene photos could aid the enemy and provide information that could be used for their advantage.

Military families are taking the Defense Departments advice seriously. Samie Marchand-Whittle, whose husband is in the Canadian Forces, closed public access to the Facebook profile she keeps for military families.

"It’s scary to know that they could find out personal information about our families, our children, where we live," she said. "It is really scary."

Sunil Ram, an international security and defense analyst, does not agree with the military’s warning about posting information on social networking sites.

"What we’re really talking about is censorship more than anything else," he said. "This is the military’s attempt to control the imagery of what is actually happening on the ground."