Soldiers online security fears
ROYAL Anglian Regiment soldiers are being told to alter their profiles on social networking websites amid fears they could be targeted by terrorists.Seventy-two soldiers from the regiment have been told to remove personal details from the Facebook site because the entries could allow al-Qaeda cells to gather vital information about the soldiers, their lifestyles and their families.
ROYAL Anglian Regiment soldiers are being told to alter their profiles on social networking websites amid fears they could be targeted by terrorists.
Seventy-two soldiers from the regiment have been told to remove personal details from the Facebook site because the entries could allow al-Qaeda cells to gather vital information about the soldiers, their lifestyles and their families.
Major Fabrice Landragin, media officer for the Royal Anglians, said soldiers had been told to modify their entries in light of the innovative strategies used by modern terrorists.
He said: “We are in an IT world and everybody wants to know everything about everyone.
“Facebook is definitely not a secure place and soldiers understand the importance of operational security.”
On the website some soldiers had given their full names, dates of birth, home towns, the names of family members and partners, locations where they had served and pictures posing with colleagues and weapons.
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The Army warning appeared in a military security document, dated October 17, which was distributed to regiments around the country.
The document, details of which were revealed in a national newspaper, said that soldiers using the Facebook, MySpace and Friends Reunited sites may be at the greatest risk.
It is the first time that either the security service, MI5, or the military has warned troops of the dangers of posting personal information and pictures on websites, a national newspaper reported.
Under the heading “personal security”, troops are warned not to reveal their service connections on chatroom and dating sites. It adds: “Be particularly careful if you are on Facebook, MySpace or Friends Reunited.”
Anyone who has an email address can join Facebook. It is possible to set up false accounts and view the personal pages of Army staff listed on regimental forums.
Earlier this year the security services uncovered an alleged plot to kidnap a British Muslim soldier who had recently returned from serving abroad and to behead him on the internet.
Last week it was also reported that young British Muslims are now “self-radicalising” in their bedrooms after viewing extremist websites and that this type of terrorist was the hardest for the intelligence services to counter.
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