So Facebook is in command of the British Army
What could possibly go wrong?
The British Army has made a coronavirus-related tech U-turn after telling soldiers that commands issued over WhatsApp are now legally binding. In written orders posted to a Ministry of Defence intranet site, an Army unit told its soldiers that from now on, orders delivered over WhatsApp are to be treated just as seriously as …
I'm fairly certain that this is more related to troops self isolating being given orders to "stay at home" via irregular methods and them then turning up to the base infecting people claiming they want the order directly face to face.
One doubts that this is going to be used while troops are in kit; they have far better equipment available.
"End to end encryption that the government can't crack?"
Don't worry, Facebook will slurp the keystrokes (purely for quality control purposes, of course, definitely not for targetted advertising) before passing the text to the encryption/transmission part of the app...
Oh dear. Another example of not knowing the difference between a "civvie SUV" and military Wolfs. Or the difference between an armoured vehicle and a rapid response vehicle. What the military *should* have been buying is up to the military specification procedures.
The original deployment as to take snatch landies from N.I. and paint them sand coloured while making smug statements about how their experience in Belfast meant they knew how to deal with Johhny Terrorist
But don't take my word for it, there is rather a good display at that bastion of hippie communism - the imperial war museum. The high court recently allowed group of families to sue the MoD for negligence in not equipping with the same level of armoured protection other forces had
End-to-end encryption IS NOT A PROBLEM if the user is USING A PRIVATE CIPHER before the messages enter the channel. Maybe the Army is using this approach -- just as any well informed "bad guys" have been doing!! Why worry about end-to-end encryption if your messaging is already secure?
Try this for size:
Kinda sweet really.
GCHQ, are you seeing this, I cracked this in like 5 minutes.
I know WhatsApp was rolled out as a crisis measure in lots of places a few years back during bad flooding but those USP that it had then have been taken on by MS Teams, Google thing etc. Whether you loath Teams or not isn't relevant at least you can have some oversight and control of it unlike anything from Facebook.
We need to learn from zombie apocalypse movies. World War Z, partly filmed in Glasgow, showed North Korea alone survived the zombie apocalypse because the dictator had everyone else's teeth removed.The vector of disease transmission there was biting by teeth.
The vector of disease transmission here is kids touching their faces with their hands.
So instead of killing all the kids, we just amputate their hands.
Or gloves. Gloves could work.
The missus pointed this out to some random guy in the supermarket after she'd watched him touch his face about six times whilst browsing the aisle - it didn't go down well with said numpty.
Maybe the answer is homemade "space helmets" from large goldfish bowls, like you always wanted to do as an eight year old?
Oh dear. As zombie fiction goes, WWZ is one of the best there is. Depth of plot, depth of writing, depth of characterisation, depth of *thinking* generally. The changes in military doctrine to "Zack ain't in a hurry, why are you?", fortified motorways in Britain, all that generally - it's a work of complete genius. As zombie films go though, WWZ is one to avoid.
Biting is a great example of why to avoid the film. There are plenty of other ways to break skin, so removing teeth really won't help.
And North Korea in the book is one of the creepiest parts. In the book, their Glorious Leader forces the entire population into underground bomb-shelter bunkers. These are deliberately left sealed, because it's very likely the entire population of the country in those bunkers are now zombies, but no-one knows for sure.
"The Register verified from the full screenshot (not published) that the WhatsApp order was posted on the internal Defence Gateway intranet."
First off and somewhat worrying is that a person has access to this when they are no longer a member of the full time Army. FTRS or reserves probably shouldn't have access either. You sign the official secrets act for life and not just until you leave the initial employment period. The idiot that shared this info with you should look at the remaining people that worked at Bletchley Park who still to this day do not talk about what they did there. (You should visit, it's a very good day out and really brings home the efforts of all involved / make sure you visit the radio room first, on the right as you exit the main entrance. Awesome people there and just wow sets you up for the rest of the site if you have no idea about radio etc)
Disclosing internal military communication practice, not a good idea whatever the reason.
Finally using bloody WhatsApp? At least use Signal FFS or maybe Telegram. Fracking WhatsApp! Who the hell thought that was a good idea.
X forces member, they never had my personal mobile number and never will. That's what a work phone is for.
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'FTRS or reserves probably shouldn't have access either.'
Pretty hard doing all the mandatory online training without access to the Defence Gateway. Also given the classification of information that it can hold the person who sent the screenshot either didn't break the Official Secrets Act, or the person who put it on the Defence Gateway also did.
That's not to say a disciplinary case isn't warranted but that's got nothing to do with the OSA.
I had to read a long way down before finding the 1st post that mentioned some of the options available, that were probably more sensible.
What should also be consider is Next Cloud. This has it's own add in messenger, is also available on Android and Iphone/Pad. Plus, it can be run on their own servers. (if they have not been farmed out to 3rd party US firms)
"The Army Sergeant Major is the most senior member of the other ranks of the British Army. Both appointment holders have actually been commissioned officers holding the rank of captain, although uniform and insignia similar to that of a warrant officer class 1 is worn while holding the appointment." Wikipedia
Army SM is a newish role, the highest among the solider warrant officer ranks, therefore that makes him both high-ranking and competent (unlike a lot of officers), They are basically very experienced mature soldiers who act as advisors but do sometimes have a bit of a shout. Mostly at the senior ranks who then shout at the lower ranks.
Personally, I always avoided RSM's as much as possible and heard rumours that there existed a higher warrant officer role at the battalion / garrison level. Never really wanted to meet one to find out ;-)
Here's the new bloke in his non shouting mode; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRDKCQ4eSB4
Yep , one for each level of HQ. They are advisors to the Commander on matters enlisted, not shouty type SMs.
In Australia …
The RSM-A is responsible to the Chief of Army, but responsive to all ranks across Army. The RSM-A is a member of the personal staff of the Chief of Army. The RSM-A’s primary role is to represent to the Chief of Army, and others, the solicited and unsolicited views concerns and opinions of Soldiers in the Army, but also carry the Chief of Army’s message down and across the ranks.
SMS has unreliable delivery, no delivery receipts ( other than auto-reply ). Also with WhatsApp, sending images, videos, voice recordings, other attachments and gifs is easy and not done over (expensive) MMS.
Also you might as well message individuals on the same system as your group chats.
Doesn't matter to a certain extent. Facebook is a data mining company who make their money selling that data on. You get enough people using it and you have no secrets anymore. Even if you limit chat to "non-operational only" (and I would posit that giving orders over WhatsApp is definitely "operational"); the metadata; timestamps; geolocation etc. gives potential miners an amazing amount of your data. Even if you believe the "end-to-end" data guff (and frankly I don't), the metadata etc is enough to seriously compromise an army's activities. Then you look at the potential customers - anyone who wants to give facebook money. That's everybody else's military, for a start.
It wouldn't be especially hard for the forces to commission their own chat app. Encrypt it reliably (that'd be the expensive bit) and run it through our own servers.
I very much doubt they will actually issuing orders like this. Orders tend to take about five minutes or more even when delivered verbally. So I expect these will be more like what's app instructions like 'return to base' and once assembled the troops will receive their full orders. At best a "warning order" may be issued over what's app, something like "O-group at base 06:00 hours" or the like.
By all accounts, US Special Forces are using Signal and VPN app on their military issued phones.
The most useful app to communicate is the one the most employees have already installed on their personal phones.
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