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Army cracks the whip after internal message lands on WhatsApp

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 6:35am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Alarmed over finding an internal official note of a Jammu & Kashmir-based top army general on a mobile phone-based social networking application, the army headquarters in New Delhi has immediately come out with a directives to all its units asking them not to share such confidential communications on social media.

Last week, a three star general, posted in army headquarters here got a shock of his life when he received on Whatsapp messengers service on his mobile phone a restricted communication titled as "From GOC to all Commanders".

The communication was about all necessary coordination for ceremonial last rites of Major Mukund and Sepoy Vikram, who died in an operation in Sophian a fortnight ago. Names of all officers and men along with their units – who were given task to do the last rites – were mentioned in the message.

Immediately, the Directorate of Military Intelligence put an advisory on Indian army's internal internet network (intranet) besides a detailed instructions to all units and commands for stopping with immediate effect sharing of such classified and restricted information on a social application.

"While the exponential growth in social media has provided an individual with myriad tools for communication and interaction, these tools have also created new types of risk. More so, it is pertinent that all army personnel be aware of the risks associated with social media and take precautionary measures," the army's note says.

"All officers and armymen have been advised not to post contents of any official communications on any of these social media applications,"said an army advisory, posted on interanet.
Moreover, everybody has also been asked to use these mobile application with restrictions.

Recently, the director general of military operations raised an alarm over use of smart phone chat and social networking applications with reference to China. These applications, they say, are vulnerable to security breaches and can be used by China for snooping. DGMO has advised military personnel and their family members to restrict use of such applications as it can lead to "inadvertent loss of sensitive information."

The army claims that the location-sharing feature of the mobile phone applications may be fraudulently used to track and target people, especially those working in defence, scientific, industrial research or other government sectors.

An army officer said that with the growth of smartphones enabled with internet is posing serious threats to the restricted environment of the Indian army.

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