US soldiers allowed to use Twitter and Facebook

US soldiers now allowed to Tweet and use Facebook to stay in touch with loved ones - but does this open up a potential security nightmare for the military?

US troops are now allowed to use Twitter and Facebook following a recent review of internet use by the US Defence department.

A number of sites blocked by the Pentagon in 2007 - including YouTube – will all now be unblocked and accessible to soldiers in war zones, allowing them to stay in touch with their loved ones back home far easier than ever before.

US Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a Twitter feed with over 16,000 followers.

This Web 2.0 phenomena...

"We need to take advantage of these capabilities that are out there - this Web 2.0 phenomena," said David Wennergren, deputy assistant secretary of defence for information technology.

"And what we had were inconsistent approaches. Some websites were blocked and some commands were blocking things.

"The idea is be responsible and use these tools to help get the job done," he added.

"There are two imperatives. One is the ability to share information. The other is about security - we need to be good at both."