23 April 2008
Israel has sentenced a soldier to 19 days in jail for uploading a
photograph taken on his military base to the social networking website,
The Israeli military declined to comment on the nature of the image, but
said the soldier was serving with an elite intelligence unit.
Local media say it is the first such conviction for an Israeli soldier.
The case follows widespread reports about the potential security risk of
soldiers posting photos on the web.
The Israel Air Force has recently instructed all servicemen under their
command who are serving in sensitive units to remove any photos they may
have uploaded to Facebook, the Haaretz newspaper reports.
These rules do not apply to member of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
A spokesman told Haaretz the IDF would take measures to educate soldiers
about the dangers inherent in the "careless civilian use of the
The defence ministry launched an inquiry earlier this year to check the
potential security risk in the dozens of social networking groups
dedicated to life in the Israeli military.
The review has found that some troops had posted detailed pictures of
air bases, operations rooms and submarines.
The BBC's Martin Asser says militants in Lebanon and the Palestinian
territories are believed to monitor Israeli web forums and communities,
including Facebook and the photo sharing site Flickr, to get
He says some personnel are authorised to post pictures, but only after
vetting by military censors.
The defence ministry told the BBC military tribunals have investigated
and disciplined about 100 soldiers who broke the rules and unwittingly
helped the enemy this year.
Our correspondent says the worst offenders were punished with a month in
jail, while others were warned they would face similar punishment if
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