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Soldiers ordered to not use Facebook

Army chiefs have banned soldiers from using social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, blogging and joining online forums over fears that serving personnel might inadvertently breach security, according to a report.

According to The Sun, posting information on the internet through social networking, blogging, online discussion forums, as well as playing online games, has been dubbed "public disclosure of information".

The ban is the result of an order that was leaked to the newspaper, entitled "Contact With The Media and Communicating in Public", which was issued on February 4.

The move, said the report, has been met with anger by troops, who said they use sites such as Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends at home.

An NCO quoted in the paper said: "The fun police have taken over. I can't talk to my wife and kids or even play Call of Duty 5. Do they really think we're going to give away secrets?"

Another solider described the order as "the most offensive thing I've ever heard".

He added: "We're prepared to die for the country and are treated like children. I am going to ignore it. A lot of the lads are going to do the same."

However, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said that the guidelines were not an outright ban, pouring cold water on The Sun's claims.

He said: "Of course soldiers are allowed to go on Facebook and contribute to blogs.

"But we need to ensure sensitive information is not inadvertently placed in the public domain. A routine instruction has merely been refreshed and reissued."

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