Social Networking Lands Israeli Soldier In Jail

    April 24, 2008

An Israeli soldier will be spending 19 days in jail for uploading a photograph taken on his military base to Facebook.

The Israeli military will not comment on the content of the image but said the soldier was serving in an elite intelligence unit. The Israeli press is reporting that it is the first case where a soldier has been reprimanded for using a social networking site.

The Israel Air Force has recently told all service men under their command that are serving in sensitive units to remove any photos they have uploaded to Facebook. Those rules do not apply to members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

A spokesman told Israeli newspaper Haaretz the IDF would take steps to educate soldiers about the dangers in the "careless civilian use of the Internet."

The defense ministry started an investigation earlier this year to check for the potential of security risks on social networking sites and found that some soldiers had uploaded detailed pictures of air bases, operations rooms and submarines.

The BBC reports that militants in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories follow Israeli Web communities, including Facebook and photo sharing site Flickr, to compile information.

The Israeli army introduced new guidelines two weeks ago concerning social networking sites after a military review found that soldiers were posting pictures of their bases and other sensitive images online.