Topic: The Deputy Secretary of Defense recently signed a new policy regarding the use of internet based capabilities — including social media. Mr. Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs discussed what the new policy means for the DoD community. A gentleman from Google, Sumit Agalwal, was present, but only responded to one or two questions
Here is the DoD Social Media page, which includes lots of guidance.
Some information to help you track (and perhaps influence) the progress of this project:
The stated desire is that personnel on active duty will be educated in proper use of social-media outlets, and be encouraged to use those outlets within appropriate (and long-standing for other forms of communication) guidelines.
As a side note, Liberty Pundits encourages the Department of Defense to proceed rapidly with their training of the men and women in theater and stationed around the world. We have anecdotal evidence of a recent pullback in military blog posting and social media involvement. When asked if this was an unintended consequence of a new policy, Mr. Price said that he wasn’t aware of any pullback and that he hoped it was not a consequence – stating that was just the opposite of the intended consequence. He stated several times that the “default switch” to access was to be set to open.
Specific guidance is still being formulated – expected in 180 days. Further, the decision to deny access seems to be at the local commanding officer level in both substance and duration. Can anyone say “void for vagueness” before another person says “active personnel checked some of those Constitutional rights at the door”? I asked – Mr. Price jokingly said that he didn’t accept the premise of my question because he didn’t understand it. Pretty funny. He deferred to the 180-day rule-making period.
Overall impression: Mr. Price seems to be an enthusiastic supporter of social media. I expect a lot of bumps in implementation as middle-ranks push the edges of their discretion.