Air Force Tells Troops Not to Use Foursquare
One of the oldest principles of military strategy is not letting the enemy know where you are. So you can imagine the liability of active soldiers "checking in" on location-based apps from the battlefield.
The Air Force has posted an official warning on its internal website, according to the Associated Press, that forbids troops from using location-aware services such as Foursquare, Facebook Places, Loopt and Gowalla while in the field. It may seem obvious, but with the growing amount of technology, even soldiers have easier access to such services and may participate without thinking of the ramifications.
The Air Force states that "careless use of these services by airmen can have devastating operations security and privacy implications."
Terrorists are increasingly savvy about using technology to thwart American operations. If they can simply use the service to see where just one serviceman is, the security of the whole group is compromised.
And before you ask, yes, Foursquare and other services do have check-in points in Iraq and Afghanistan, although it's not clear if this message is preemptive to or in reaction to an actual security breach. The Air Force has sent the same message to senior commanders in the field for communication to troops, and the U.S. Army reportedly plans to make the same announcement to its soldiers next week.