British Defence warns of Twitter terror risks

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British Defence warns of Twitter terror risks

Location service caution not a gag order.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has created a series of videos depicting the dangers of personnel revealing too much information on social networking sites.

Personal Security Online - Video 1 shows a female Naval officer reading out an invitation to a club posted on Twitter.

As she disembarks a ship she uses Foursquare to share her location and does so again once inside the club. 

After showing the woman dancing with an armed terrorist, the MOD poses the question: “Is it just your mates who know where you’ve checked in?” 

The MOD’s warnings pertain to all location services including Facebook Places, Gowalla, and Twitter, and provides advice on security settings, video and still imagery. 

The videos were created as part of the MOD’s training material for new recruits, but were not meant to gag officers, according to Computing UK

Another video by the MOD shows a mother posting an status update on Facebook after receiving a private message from her son, giving away that he is based in FOB Jackson in Afghanistan and was “Very excited by a V VIP visit”.

The next scene depicts a masked terrorist with bullet belts strapped across his shoulders drinking a cup of tea with her as she takes him through her family photo album. 

“It may not just be friends and family reading your status updates,” the MOD warned.

The agency's blog reminded staff and their families that some people may be using these sites for “unsavoury reasons”, such as identity theft or “those who may wish us harm” and could be collating information across multiple sources to build a profile. 

“You need to be especially careful if you have identified yourself as being a member of the military or an MOD civilian,” it said.

“It might only take one careless comment, or posting a picture without checking what’s in the background to put friends and colleagues at risk.”

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