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Marine Corps opens up social networking on government computers

Camp Pendleton service members and civilian employees now have the ability to surf the net more freely with the Marine Corps’ lowered restrictions on access to some of the world’s most popular social networking Web sites.


4/2/2010 By Lance Cpl. Mike Atchue , Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

According to Marine Corps Administrative Message 181/10, all users of the Marine Corps Enterprise Network will be able to use social networking sites, video sharing sites and personal, Internet-based e-mail.

“The Marine Corps understands and embraces Internet-based capabilities,” said Major Gen. George J. Allen, director for Command, Control, Communications and Computers; and the Chief Information Officer of the Marine Corps, in an official statement. “We can collaborate and enhance our business processes, and also provide a level of morale for our force that has never been seen before.”

According to the new MarAdmin, social networking sites are important to the Marine Corps and can be utilized for recruiting and sharing general news and useful public information.

In addition to being able to update official social networking pages from anywhere, users will be able to employ the newly, unrestricted sites for personal use for reasonable durations of times, in efforts to boost morale.

“The mission is the highest priority, especially for those who primarily use computers for their job, so the expanded internet is beneficial,” said Cpl. Eddie Zarate, fiscal chief, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “It’ll also help Marines research information for schoolwork, utilize online novels from the commandant’s reading list and could even help expand the information for Marine Corps Institute.”

Officials at Headquarters Marine Corps reassessed the notion that operational security and mission effectiveness would be compromised if access to social networking sites was allowed, and concluded that unrestricting the Web sites would be safe.

“We do have a responsibility to ensure that we use the Internet in a responsible way, and that means ensuring our Marines are educated on information assurance and operations security,” said Allen. “This policy will provide the best of both worlds - a trained force that can use the many capabilities of the Internet.”

The Camp Pendleton Scout News Online currently hosts Facebook and Twitter accounts that provide news and useful information to the base community. Links to those sites can be found through the base’s official Web site at http://www.pendleton.usmc.mil.