back to article US Air Force: 'Loose tweets destroy fleets'

The US Air Force has warned its personnel to keep quiet of their activities on Twitter – or as they put it: "Loose tweets destroy fleets." The notice reminds everyone that terrorist organizations and sympathizers will exploit any military information posted on social networks and other websites. The warning extends not only …

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Makes sense really. If you strip away any specific aspect of USAF, etc, it comes down to the basic "don't be an arse on-line" advice:

Think before you post.

Post only what is really needed.

Avoid sharing stuff with world+dog where it could come back to bite you and/or loved ones.

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Facepalm

>Think before you post. Post only what is really needed.

Do you know which generation you're talking to?

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Anonymous Coward

Computer Program Passwords and User Ids.

WTF? Does that mean they have had instances where usaf staff have done this? If so you need to seriously look at your training and remove anyone with an I.Q. under 10.

My user id is iceman and my password is ilovemaverickbutliketogoosegoose

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Anonymous Coward

That is actually an eminently sensible idea. Data leaks of any kind can cause real risks, however innocent they may appear to the person disclosing the information, and given the absolute herdes of people now using Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter they have already been lured into this habit of "sharing" that most new Operating System try to get us into as well (albeit not as aggressively as Windows 10 appears to force matters) so a reminder to think before you give is not a bad idea at all.

This is where strategies collide, really: on the one hand there are governments who want to get as much data about us as they can bend the laws to allow, on the other hand they have to start taking care of their own data a bit more before that doesn't immediately becomes a risk in itself (the OPM being a very clear case in point). Oops.

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Eminently sensible, yes

But really, the only proper attitude from a security standpoint is to not use social networks when you have a job in National Security.

And that is not something that today's young generation can accept, because contact with home is a vital element for morale.

That means that it is likely quite easy to track a given person's activities if that person is married, because there is no way that he won't be telling his wife when he's coming back home.

I approve of the warning, but realistically it is next to useless. People are people, not security drones. They need to have a barbeque every now and then, and social media is now a part of our lives.

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Re: Eminently sensible, yes

the real problem though is "friends and families"........all it takes is for the daughter to post something on the lines of "my daddy is a B-52 pilot and we live at....." and you're open to extortion, kidnapping, blackmail....

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Childcatcher

Sign of the times

The age old message of "loose lips etc" does need re-iterating. A bunch of lads in the mob on a run ashore who are taking selfies with geo tagging enabled and posting them is not such a good idea if they want to avoid baddies.

Funnily enough a recent airstrike was called in in some ISIS noddies based on similar intelligence if the reports are to be believed.

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Childcatcher

Re: Sign of the times

Not to be outdone, the Russians also have been caught out on social media. Security training is not something that can be done once and then left at that. It requires ongoing efforts and many, many reminders. And even after all of that, there will still be some twit who will allow unaccompanied "tech support" into the server room after giving that unauthorized individual an admin credentialed account and password.

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theres more F-16 fighters in that photo than the RAF has working Tornadoes and Typhoons combined

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Pssst... photoshop.

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Past... Probably not, the USAF really do have enough planes to do that. It's called an elephant walk and they do it because they can.

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theres more F-16 fighters in that photo than the RAF has working Tornadoes and Typhoons combined

You could make a similar comment about our navy, on course to be a one ship and one submarine outfit by 2025, or our soon to be five-tank army.

But much as I disapprove of Feckless Dave's stealth disarmament strategy, imagine how much safer we'll be because he won't be able to participate in other people's hobby wars. We don't need the military to defend our borders because they are now intentionally porous (you did vote for that, didn't you?), and as a nation we've got nothing worth invading or stealing. And a side benefit is that the clueless clowns of Defence Procurement won't be able to indulge themselves in multi-billion pound cost overruns when there's nothing to procure. And the Chinks and Ruskies will be in right old pickle if they put all the usual effort into try and hack'n'spy and steal defence secrets, but there are none to steal.

What's not to like?

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Elephant in the room

It's called a Elephant's march/walk :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_walk_%28aviation%29

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Anonymous Coward

"theres more F-16 fighters in that photo than the RAF has working Tornadoes and Typhoons combined"

They also represent the armed forces of a country with 40x our land mass, 5x our population and 6x our GDP.

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They also represent the armed forces of a country with 40x our land mass, 5x our population and 6x our GDP.

Choose your preferred metric! If we assume that it's population, then I have to ask why with only 5x the population, the US needs 70x as many combat aircraft as the UK? Even on the suspect land mass metric, they've either got twice as many as they need, or we've got half the number we need.

From a naval point of view, the CIA World Factbook identifies the US coastline as only 1.6x that of the UK, so I have to ask if you're arguing that the UK needs 14 aircraft carriers, and nearly 400 frigates?

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How many is too many?

Choose your preferred metric! If we assume that it's population, then I have to ask why with only 5x the population, the US needs 70x as many combat aircraft as the UK? Even on the suspect land mass metric, they've either got twice as many as they need, or we've got half the number we need.

From a naval point of view, the CIA World Factbook identifies the US coastline as only 1.6x that of the UK, so I have to ask if you're arguing that the UK needs 14 aircraft carriers, and nearly 400 frigates?

Doesn't necessarily mean they have too many. One can equally argue we don't have enough...

There's no "right" answer to that. Depends on which side of the equation one sits. That and threat landscapes shift all the time, suddenly an excess can become insufficient.

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Thanks for pointing that out. Interesting that it's the same picture in Wiki.... Learn something new here everyday.

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Re: How many is too many?

That and threat landscapes shift all the time, suddenly an excess can become insufficient.

Do they now? Like the surprise Islamic extremist threat that magically appeared on 9 September? Because it wasn't obvious that arming, grooming and encouraging a bunch of twig-beard nutters to fight the Russians through the 1980s might backfire?

Or the possibility that Russia might retrench to a centralised, nationalist and militarist agenda after their economy imploded in 1998?

All of the threats our military might have to be justified against date back multiple decades. The only sudden shift aspects are either idiot Western politicians either cutting their own defence forces too quickly too fast (Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron), or idiot western politicians pouring fuel on existing foreign conflagrations (Reagan, Bushx2, Obama, Blair, Cameron).

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Re: How many is too many?

Needs more dakka I bet.

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Bah!

But doesn't this slogan only work for the navy and Hertz?

Air forces don't have fleets. They have Squadrons.

Which means the Air Force can only go after the folks at the LHC for sucking money out of NATO budgets.

"Loose hadrons defund squadrons".

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Re: Bah!

"Air forces don't have fleets. "

Yes they do........

like the Nimrod fleet, the Harrier fleet, the Tornado F2 fleet, the Buccaneer fleet, the Sea Harrier fleet, the F-35 fleet.

Or at least we would have them if they hadn't been scrapped prematurely. Or were late

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Meh

Re: Bah!

Not surprised it's come to this; for reasons beyond my ken 'Merkin culture (such as it is) seems hell bent on pressing everyone with digital dexterity to post any and all mundane details for world + dog to ignore.

Was going to say that the F-35 does not seem to need any help being rendered useless, but x7 beat me to it. Our gubmint holds out the begging cup when it comes to properly funding education and health care (sorry, Obama, buying health insurance != getting proper care), but has plenty of frogskins to spaff on yet another boondoggle "jetplane go WHOOOOOSH Top Gun chop-socky!!" wet dream. Bah indeed.

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Yes they do........

Half of those are (or were) owned by the Fleet Air Arm. Otherwise known as The Navy.

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Re: Yes they do........

"Half of those are (or were) owned by the Fleet Air Arm. Otherwise known as The Navy."

Considering that back in the 1970's the Royal Navy had more helicopters than the RAF and Army combined, I think they can be regarded as an air force. Or at least could be.....perhaps not now.

We couldn't retake the Falklands now because we don't have enough helos to do it.

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I think they can be regarded as an air force.

I double dog dare you to tell a fleet air arm pilot he/she flies for the Air Force.

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Re: I think they can be regarded as an air force.

Stevie - I said "an air force" not "the air force"

And having met many members of the Junglies over the years, no I won't take up your offer

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If you tweet you are tweeting Hitler!

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Coat

? Twitler ?

Leaving now.

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Anonymous Coward

A few years ago whilst on exercise the ARRSE website was getting updated with what was a little bit too much information by bored squaddies. We were reminded that EXSEC was as important as OPSEC and that if it continued the grownups would take action to identify people.

They were right and it stopped. It wouldn't have happened in the first place if they'd have properly briefed the troops and kept them updated but unfortunately leadership wasn't an area they were strong in.

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Syntax error (Too much pedantry?)

Is El Reg trying to embrace and extend the English language? I've been using it for 58 years but no matter how many times I read the leading sentence "The US Air Force has warned its personnel to keep quiet of their activities on Twitter" it still fails to parse. The simplest correction would be to replace 'of' with 'about' but then it would become an oxymoron i.e. service people can tweet but must not tell anyone that they're doing so.

Why so pedantic? Well, in the context of El Reg being an I.T. news site, I don't think it's unfair to compare that sentence to a line of flawed source code.

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Coat

Or...

One careless Twitter and we take it up the shitter.

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