Internet Policies: June 2009 Archives

Army gives soldiers access to Twitter, Facebook, GCN

"An Army order directs network managers across the country to stop blocking soldiers' access to certain Web 2.0 Web sites such as Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, according to several media reports today. The order issued May 18 jointly by the 93rd and 106th Signal Brigades, permits access to five social media sites within the continental U.S, said Stephen Bullock, strategic communication director for 7th Signal Command, which oversees the brigades. Bullock said the order "wasn't really a reversal of policy," as much as an effort to address inconsistent and often arbitrary decisions that had been made from base to base. "So we gave guidance that made it a consistent set of web filtering standards, resulting in better service for our users," he said. Access should be available to Facebook: Delicious, Flickr, Twitter and Vimeo via the Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol Router Network, he said."

NASA JSC MOD Memo: Policy on Use of Social Media

"Reply to Attn of : DA-09-010
TO: All MOD Personnel
FROM: DA/Director, Mission Operations
SUBJECT: Policy on Use of Social Media

The following is MOD policy for use of "social media" (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.). This policy is consistent with JSC Announcement 08-032 and NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 2540.1F "Policy on Personal Use of Government Office Equipment Including Information Technology."

This policy applies to all MOD employees: NASA, NASA contractor, and subcontractor personnel who are authorized by contract to use Government office equipment.

NASA employees and contractors are permitted limited use of Government office equipment for personal needs if the use does not interfere with official business and involves only minimal additional expense to the Government. Personal use means uses other than for official Government business. Some personal use is considered inappropriate. Specific provisions regarding personal use and activities particularly considered inappropriate are identified in NPD 2540.1F*. More specifically, section e, paragraph 10, defines "Inappropriate Personal Uses" to include: "Use for posting Agency information to external newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other public forums without authority."

To be compliant, MOD will enforce a policy of not permitting the posting to "social" sites of mission operations information that has not been released by the Public Affairs Office (PAO). This includes, but is not limited to, realtime information. PAO is responsible for posting such information.

Original Signed by:

Paul S. Hill"

* (10) Use for posting Agency information to external newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other public forums without authority. This includes any use that could create the perception that the communication was made in one's official capacity as a Federal Government employee or uses at odds with NASA's mission or positions. Inappropriate use also includes participating in Chat Rooms, News Groups, or other similar activities where the posting and NASA internet address will be seen by the public. Adding a disclosure statement that the views expressed do not represent those of the Agency is not an acceptable alternative.

Keith's note: Wow. So ... MOD can pre-emptively make decisions that JSC (and NASA) PAO should be making. How dysfunctional. This is certainly in overt conflict with what the White House wants all Federal agencies to be doing so as to be "transparent" and "open". Stay tuned.

Food and Drug Administration Transparency Task Force; Public Meeting, FDA

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a public meeting to solicit recommendations from interested persons on ways in which FDA can make useful and understandable information about FDA activities and decisionmaking more readily available to the public. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information to the public about government activities and initiatives. For FDA, providing information to the public in a timely, user-friendly manner is important to enhance the work of the agency."

Government transparency and accountability is a priority for the Obama Administration. On January 21, 2009, President Obama issued two memoranda to the heads of executive departments and agencies regarding openness in government. In the memorandum on Transparency and Open Government (``Transparency and Open Government memorandum''), the Administration has pledged to take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information to the public rapidly, and in a form that is easily accessible and user friendly. Executive departments and agencies have been charged with harnessing new technologies to make information about agency operations and decisions available online and readily available to the public. Further, executive departments and agencies have been instructed to solicit public input to identify information of greatest use to the public."

Keith's note: NASA is going to have to comply with this Administration directive at some point. The complete FDA Notice is below. How much of the FDA approach could be repurposed for use by NASA? What additional things would be needed? Thoughts?

NASA plans invite-only launch access for Twittering, blogging media, FreeSpace

"NASA, which has tiptoed into the new world of social media with Twittering astronauts and Facebooking rovers, is taking the next step with an invitation-only outreach to "the twedia" to cover a space shuttle launch. There are so many details to work out that the so-called TweetUp, originally planned for next week's launch of space shuttle Endeavour, has been rescheduled for the August flight of shuttle Discovery, said Michael Cabbage, a spokesman for the U.S. space agency."



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