THE ISRAELI ARMY has chucked a soldier into military prison for 19 days, after the plonker ignored the Israeli military’s new rules about Facebook photos, and posted pictures of himself in his army base on the not-working site.
Israeli army spokespeople say that the action taken was so severe because the soldier was part of an “elite intelligence unit”, and it’s just not acceptable for elite personnel to be not-working. They should be out hunting down eight year old rock throwers, instead of messing around poking each other and throwing virtual pies on facebook.
The Israeli press are reporting that the jail sentence is a new precedent, and that it is the first time a soldier has been punished for his private social Internet habits.
Two weeks ago the Israeli army announced that they saw Facebook and other social notworks as a national security threat, after a military review found that soldiers were posting pictures of their bases, sensitive equipment and even photos from inside top secret submarines. The Army quickly reacted by publishing new anti-social guidelines and rules to stop what they believe are significant leaks of classified information.
Apparently, Palestinian and Lebanese militants spend significant portions of their day trawling through Israeli web forums and checking out the Facebook, Myspace and Flickr pages of Israelis, in order to hoard information on them. Funny that, because Israelis are doing exactly the same thing.
The Israeli Air Force, which is hypersensitive about the identity of its pilots even in the Israeli media, where it regularly fuzzes out their faces on screen, has ordered all personnel to remove all their photos, air force related or not, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The BBC reports that in a conversation with the Israeli defence ministry, they were told that approximately 100 soldiers are currently under military police investigation for not obeying the anti-social not-working rules which have purportedly helped the unwitting enemy (or, rather, unwittingly helped the enemy) in their nefarious plans. Punishments apparently range from a month in the army slammer, to a slap on the wrist and being told to never ever be naughty again.
An IDF spokesperson also said that the Israeli Army was now taking steps to educate soldiers about the extreme dangers of "careless civilian use of the Internet". Because, let's face it, when you have a whole arsenal of sophisticated weapons at your disposal, it's rather silly to just go around upsetting people on the Web instead. µ
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