This is something that we have touched on before, and Facebook is the best place for our enemies to gather intelligence. According to FOX News, via an Austrialian news report, the Taliban are using fake Facebook profiles to lure in unsuspecting Soldiers and solicit information from them. I have seen a lot of this lately, and it is not limited to only male Soldiers, female Soldiers are also being targeted. Any bit of information you place on your facebook profile, concerning missions, leave, TICS or anything of the like can be exploited by our enemies and can place Soldiers lives in danger.
This is one of the reasons for all of those OPSEC briefs you get so tired of hearing, but it is for a reason. Take for example, awhile back a Soldier placed a picture of a vehicle that had been hit by and IED in Afghanistan. It was just the vehicle itself, so the Soldier felt like it was ok. But it was not, the reason being, it gives the enemy a chance to gather BDA(Battle Damage Assessments) from these pictures. Which we do not want them to be able to gather, we do not want them to use the pictures for propaganda either.
Even something a simple post like this, “Leaving the FOB for a four day mission”, seems ok to some people, and it may not be that bad in it’s simple context. But someone gathering intelligence would take that info and combine it with everything else you have posted, or have available on your facebook page, and come up with your location and when you left the fob, and are expected to return. Anything you post in refernce to your mission, or your R&R etc, can place other Soldiers as well as yourself in danger.
And the Taliban know all to well how to exploit the information on Facebook as well as other sites. Here is part of the article from Fox;
The Taliban is using fake Facebook profiles of cute girls in an attempt to befriend soldiers with the intent of gathering information about operations, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
Australian and coalition troops are being targeted by Taliban insurgents posing as “attractive women” on Facebook, according to the paper, and now troops are being warned about the potential danger.
A review by the Australian government found a false sense of security exists among personnel due to an excessive reliance on privacy settings.
According to the Telegraph, troops are being told that geo-tagging – the process of websites that secretly logs the location of where a post is made or where a photo is uploaded – is of special concern.
The review warns that family and friends of soldiers are compromising missions by sharing confidential information online, according to the Telegraph.
“Media personnel and enemies create fake profiles to gather information. For example, the Taliban have used pictures of attractive women as the front of their Facebook profiles and have befriended soldiers,” the review says, according to the Telegraph.
The review recommends education for family and friends on the dangers of sharing details like names, ranks and locations.
Three Australian soldiers were allegedly killed by an Afghan Army trainee earlier this month, the Telegraph reports.
The Australian government said it is expecting to release new social media guidelines by the end of the year.
Even something as simple as a picture you post on your facebook of you deployed gives more information than you could imagine. One picture can easily give away the are in which you are stationed and which unit your are deployed with.
Protect yourselves and your fellow Service members, and be careful who you share info with on Social Networks. Ask questions if you are not sure if someone is who they say they are. We come across more than 6 fake profiles on a daily basis, sometimes more depending on the day of the week.
Never give or post any information on a Social Networking site that can be used by our enemies to gather any type of intel! Do not post every time you leave the FOB on a mission, their is a reason why you do not create a pattern when you go out on mission!!! Because the enemy is ALWAYS watching and observing what you do on a daily basis! Protect yourself, protect your fellow Soldiers, and protect your families! Keep your lips sealed, and your facebook pages private! And do not accept every beautiful woman’s friends request, because she may actually look like this:
Same goes for family members, be careful what you post about your Soldier and what he/she is or is not doing on a daily basis. That also goes for leave schedules, never post a time or place for your Soldiers coming home or leaving.
LOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS!!! KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!! DON’T GIVE OUR ENEMIES AN ADVANTAGE! KEEP IT OFF OF YOUR PAGE!!