Writing from the nation's capital, this blog explores technology, telecommunications, national security, policy, and their impact on people, with an occasional rant.

Monday, March 22, 2010

DoD's Open Internet Policies and USB -- Not so Fast

Air Force web users are still stuck in the Internet of the past. Despite DoD's recently released policy which states unclassified networks will "be configured to provide access to Internet-based capabilities across all DoD components," many Air Force users of base-level networks are still blocked nearly a month later. The Dep SecDef-signed policy was the result of a months-long review of the mishmash of separate policies across the department.  Each service had its own policies, many of which conflicted, allowing sailors to access some sites while airmen were prohibited.  Perhaps the Air Force is still sorting out how to remove its draconian restrictions. 

Meanwhile over at Wired's Danger Room, Nathan Hodge writes about DoD's not-so-fast on allowing USB drives.  There will be many restrictions on the USB drives when they are eventually allowed.  These won't be USB drives ordinary people drive.  Back when the dives were suddenly banned,  there were anecdotal reports of military authorities having confiscated any and all USB drives they rounded up in searches.

Hodge aptly notes this is just the tip of the ice berg.  The real problem is the "heavy-handed" military approach to unclassified networks.  But the problem isn't the "public" networks as Hodge writes, but rather the private unclassified systems soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines use on a daily basis for most all staff work and communications.

The irony is that airmen are banned from following the senior military officer -- the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs -- on twitter.  Admiral Mullen is not alone.  The National Guard Bureau Chief and many official military offices are also on Twitter.  But Air Force network managers don't seem to see the value of modern networking and communictions.  Twitter shouldn't feel singled out though, because the Air Force is blocking Facebook, Linked-In, most blog hosting sites, webmail sites, and much much more.

The Air Force hoped to be the service that led the military's cyberwar efforts. Nice try Air Force.

No comments: