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Senators Express Concern To Secretary Gates Regarding Military Blog Regulations


Location: Washington, DC


Senators Norm Coleman (R-MN), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) today sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates requesting the department reexamine a regulation that will restrict military personal from participating in internet blogs. The Senators believe that a better balance can be found between protecting the release of secure information, while allowing troops to individually express themselves using this new medium.

Text of the letter is as follows:

May 4, 2007

The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Department of Defense
1300 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301-1300

Dear Secretary Gates:

Since the War on Terror began six years ago, the American people have benefited greatly from direct correspondence with men and women in uniform serving abroad via military blogs. Military blogs have helped military families stay connected with loved ones back home and have deepened public perception and understanding of both successes and setbacks that have occurred in the War on Terror.

It is with this in mind that we write to express our concern regarding recent updates to Army Regulation 530-1 relating to security requirements for electronic communications.

While the Army's new regulations rightly address the vulnerabilities created by this new medium, we are concerned the regulations may also inadvertently weaken what has proven to be a significant asset in our media age: the firsthand accounts of American military men and women on the ground.

We ask that you closely examine communications regulations within the Department of Defense to strike the necessary balance between information security and individual expression.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. We look forward to your response.

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