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Marine Corps opens up social networking on government computers

Camp Pendleton service members and employees now find themselves with the ability to surf the net more freely, by opening up restrictions to some of the world’s most popular social networking sites.

According to Marine Administrative Message 181/10, all users of the Marine Corps Enterprise Network will be able to use social networking sites, video sharing sites and personal, Internet-based e-mail.

“The Marine Corps understands and embraces Internet-based capabilities,” said Major Gen. George J. Allen, director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers, and the Chief Information Officer of the Marine Corps, in an official statement. “We can collaborate and enhance our business processes, and also provide a level of morale for our force that has never been seen before.”

The new MarAdmin details and explains the importance of social networking sites in relation to the Marine Corps and advocates the use of them for recruiting and official accounts for general news and public information.

In addition to being able to update official social networking pages, users will be able to use the newly, unrestricted sites for responsible and reasonable use and durations of times to help boost morale, no matter where there locations may be.

“The mission is the highest priority, especially for those who use computers to complete their tasks, so expanded internet is beneficial,” said Cpl. Eddie Zarate, fiscal chief, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “It’ll help out Marines who are researching information for schoolwork, novels from the Commandant’s Reading List and even to expand the information for Marine Corps Institute exams.”

After the completion of a study by Headquarters Marine Corps on the former MarAdmin, it was determined that operational security and mission effectiveness would not be sacrificed, by providing access to these social networking sites.

“We do have a responsibility to ensure that we use the internet in a responsible way, and that means ensuring our Marines are educated on information assurance and operations security,” said Allen. “This policy will provide the best of both worlds—a trained force that can use the many capabilities of the Internet.”

Currently the Camp Pendleton Scout manages a Facebook and Twitter site that provides news and information useful to the Camp Pendleton community. Links to those sites can be found through the base’s official Web site at http://www.pendleton.usmc.mil.

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