Daily Israel Report

IDF Pursues Loose Internet Lips

IDF Information Security personnel continue to warn soldiers to be careful about what they post to social media sites - warn of consequences
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 11/29/2011, 5:53 PM

IDF Observers
IDF Observers
Flash 90

Following the old dictum that "loose lips sink ships," IDF Information Security officers are seeking to keep soldiers from divulging sensitive operational information on the Internet.

The most recent example involved soldiers posted in Israel's north uploading autobiographical videos documenting their experiences to YouTube.

According to IDF officials the videos, which were described as having a "sporting spirit" and depicted the soldier's "clowning around" also inadvertently contained information that could aid the enemy when closely examined pixel by pixel. 

Installation locations, technological information, and the position and type of some logistical stores could be derived by astute viewers, officials added.

In recent months the IDF Operations Division issued strict instructions to all personnel regarding the conduct of IDF officers and soldiers on social networks. Publication of these images not only harms national security, commanders warned, but also helps NGO's pursue law fare suits against the IDF.

Previously, a 2010 letter to soldiers made it clear that they cannot publicize operations in Judea and Samaria on social networks and forbid the uploading of photos related to IDF service - especially photos that would reveal the identity of a soldier conducting operations.

Further, soldiers were instructed to refrain from accepting online connections who do not reveal their real names and not to convey military information to personal contacts.

An IDF spokesman told Arutz Sheva the video that prompted today's action was probably taken a few years ago, but was still viewed as a serious breach of operational security.

"IDF hardware and its location was depicted in the video," the spokesman said. "This harms our operational readiness and could compromise information security and lives should more recent videos appear online."

"The IDF Information Security department is constantly working to prevent these kinds of security violations and we will pursue disciplinary action. We emphasize that these regulations are routinely publicized in every unit in the IDF."