While critics might scoff at the notion of social media as a vital national security issue, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, is chock full of sobering reminders that what happens online doesn’t always stay there.
The topic is one that senior leaders should be paying attention to—in particular, Gen. Robert Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, who has folded his arms and refused to engage with social media, like some 19th-century cavalryman who refuses to ride on the railroad. Headlines aside, both Russia and China have invested heavily in social media influence operations and begun weaponizing that capability. The authors explain how both governments and usurpers have used this new medium to advance their agendas.
The message is particularly relevant to the Marine Corps. John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff and retired Marine general, stubbornly refuses to use Twitter, choosing to find out about Presidential tweets from his aides. The Corps’ belated and tone-deaf response to the Marines United scandal showed how out of touch its senior leadership is with the rank and file as well as their digital existence. On the occasion of the recent centennial anniversary of women entering the Corps, one female Marine remarked on Twitter that, “If you want to know why I’m not reenlisting, read the comments on the USMC Instagram page.”
The commandant, in particular, would benefit from the book, as well as Singer’s primer on cybersecurity. Two years ago, at a think tank speech, Neller punctuated sensible remarks about cybersecurity and the need for troops in the field to manage their electromagnetic profile with this comment.
"We realized that we didn't have the right solution because, you know, Seaman Hicks decided she wanted to check her Facebook page, and so she walked out on the weather deck at night with her phone, and what's that phone got?" Neller said. "It's got GPS. So anybody in the world is going to know there's some GPS somewhere out floating across the ocean, most probably on a ship."
Some of us listening in the audience were dumbfounded because his comments reflected a lack of understanding of the domain that at his level of leadership is stunning.
Without connecting to network towers, cell phones can’t be tracked in the middle of the ocean. The GPS on the fictional Seaman Hicks’ phone receives signals, it does not transmit them. And ship’s captains can and do limit internet access and block access to social media sites like Facebook, mitigating that threat.
It appears that the Commandant doesn’t understand how Facebook, GPS or cell phones work. He might want to add LikeWar to his reading list.
“Mal Ware” is a veteran of the AI racket who is so salty, he is still posting to his MySpace page. He writes a monthly column here on AI, as you can plainly see.
GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.