Yesterday the Department of defence released a memo outlining the government's first official policy for social media access by military personnel. Somewhat surprisingly, it gives them unrestricted access to blog, Tweet, poke and ping just like everyone else.
Effectively immediately, Department of defence personnel across the board, including civilian employees and troops alike, have full access to popular new media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the rest.
Before the new policy was announced, internet usage was left up to individual commanders, many of whom barred those in their charge from posting on blogs or accessing social media networks. Of course, there are some measures in place to ensure that new media activity doesn't compromise mission security or take up bandwidth when it's limited, but the Pentagon's policy gives the OK for uses both personal and official.
It's always heartening when our government shows itself to be forward-thinking on matters of the internet, and allowing DoD employees to use the internet to its full, inane extent is definitely a step in the right direction. There's no word on the Pentagon's official Farmville policy at this time, however. [Defense.gov via BusinessWeek and Fast Company