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Social-media tools could support security

April 16, 2009 at 7:31 PM

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- National Defense University researchers are encouraging the U.S. Defense Department to develop a strategy to use social media to strengthen national security.

Mark Drapeau, National Defense University associate research fellow, said the current piecemeal approach to social-media technologies like Facebook and Twitter by the Defense Department needs to be addressed, Nextgov reported.

Drapeau, who co-authored a study on social media and U.S. national security that is expected to be released by the National Defense University, cited the recent terrorist attacks in India and the speed of critical information reported on the incident through Twitter as evidence of a potential networking power that could also be used to strengthen national security.

Drapeau has called on the Defense Department to develop a comprehensive strategy for utilizing social-media technologies to support U.S. government strategic security objectives.

"It's still important to be aware of the power and reach of these tools," Drapeau said, according to Nextgov.

"If you work in national security, some of these things happening in other countries may affect your job or mission. What's happening over the past couple years is people in other countries are using Facebook, Twitter and blogs to organize. In some cases, even when government security knew it was happening, they were overwhelmed by the amount of people who show up."

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