Armymen told to quit all social networking sites

The Indian Army has issued orders asking all personnel — both officers and other ranks — who had joined social networking sites like Facebook or Orkut earlier to immediately quit them, and also directed those who had not joined such sites not to do so in future, well-placed sources confirmed.

Sources said the Army was facing difficulties in monitoring whether any of its personnel were inadvertently posting any sensitive information on these sites. Armymen had earlier been ordered not to post any official data on any such sites.

Sources said the Army was earlier monitoring if officers were posting any pictures of themselves in uniform, their weaponry, or of their units. But it was then decided to ask all personnel to exit these websites altogether to remove any possibility of information leakage.

A significant number of armed forces officers are known to be active on social networking sites like Facebook and others.

The Army feared officers could be lured into inadvertently leaking classified information on these websites by those who might seek to trap them for espionage through “honeytraps” and other methods. The orders will be binding on all 36,000 officers and other personnel of the 1.13 million-strong force.

The Army hopes that officers will get the message and will not post any official data about themselves by proxy through family members as well.

“Despite the orders, if any officer or soldier is found violating them, strict action will be taken,” a source said.

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