Military to Clamp Down on E-Mail

Wednesday, 12 March 2003, 4:33 PM EST

Concerned that sensitive information might leak out, some units of the US military are starting to clamp down on e-mail communication from their soldiers and sailors, who have been using it from ships, bases and even desert outposts to stay in touch with family and friends.

The uncertainty underscores the double-edged nature of a technology that is providing a new opportunity for instantaneous interaction from remote locations, a development the Pentagon believes is helping to improve morale in the field and among relatives back home.

At the moment, much of the electronic communication is unmonitored by the military, providing an opportunity for what some fear could be inadvertent leaks.

The Air Force last week warned its service men and women that it might begin limiting or blocking electronic messages because some people had sent home sensitive information, including digital pictures that might have compromised unit safety.

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