A new twist on an old military slogan is offering up a serious message to armed service members in the information age, revealing heightened concern about targeting by social media-savvy groups like ISIS.
“Loose tweets destroy fleets” is the phrase offered up in a recent operational security notice from the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs team. It’s a spin on the old phrase printed on propaganda posters by the U.S. military during World War II, “loose lips sink ships.”
In a news release sent out online from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, military members are warned of a “fine line between letting your friends see what you’re up to and providing an adversary critical information about your connection to the military and its mission.”
Air Force CENT Force Protection chief Capt. Jonathan McDonald is quoted in the release specifically citing the potential for “ISIS sympathizers” and “lone wolves” to track down military members and their loved ones using their social media activity.
Back in March, purported ISIS sympathizers from a group known as the Islamic State Hacking Division released an online “hit list” of 100 service members urging lone wolves to kill those on the list.
At the time, a defense official told ABC News, it did not appear the information on the list was gained through a data breach. Instead, the official said it all appears to have come from publicly available information on social media and Internet sites.
The release from last week offers up other advice for military members to protect themselves, including tightening security settings in all social media accounts, using secure phone lines, encrypting email exchanges and “making sure you are shredding all paper including any notes or post its.”