'Post' finds reservists posting IDF videos on YouTube

Army working to raise awareness about danger caused by information carelessly uploaded to the net.

YOUTUBE88 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Dozens of videos posted by IDF soldiers, mostly reservists, and which show sensitive military material are freely available on the popular video site YouTube. A Jerusalem Post probe reveals videos showing the interior of bases across the country, battalion and company-size live-fire training exercises in various locations, videos taken inside guard posts, as well as many videos showing the day-to-day travails of reservist soldiers. This comes after the Post revealed Sunday that the IDF and Defense Ministry were working to limit the amount and type of Israeli military information available on the popular social networking site Facebook. In that probe, the Post found photographs of the interiors and exteriors of army bases, IAF air traffic control towers and their electronic equipment, weapons systems on navy vessels, types and amounts of weapons used by infantry battalions. Also shown were names and numbers of infantry and reconnaissance units, infantry training grounds and fighting formations, undercover forces training, and much more. The IDF's field intelligence unit classifies photographs depicting advanced weapons, weapons storage, training with weapons, the interior of bases as well as their external layout, declaring the name and number of the unit a soldier is serving in, especially relating to sensitive units, and much more as classified material. The ministry said any soldier caught posting sensitive material to the Internet would be court-martialed. The ministry announced a new list of rules last week which aims to prevent soldiers and ministry employees from revealing classified information on social networking sites. The rules allow soldiers to create pages on networking sites as long as they do not identify themselves as soldiers or reveal information about what they do. Many of the most incriminating videos found on YouTube have been posted by soldiers on reserve duty. The soldiers, armed with cameras, video cameras, and video-enabled cellular phones, film their tours of duty, go back home and upload their videos onto YouTube. Some soldiers are going to great lengths to memorialize their reserve duty, even editing their videos, adding music and graphic titles to them, as well as rudimentary special effects. While many videos posted could be construed as harmless mementos of daily tediousness, many other videos depicting live-fire exercises go into great detail, including code-words, battle formations and fighting tactics, where weapons and ammunition are clearly seen. The IDF Spokesperson's response to a Post query is that "regulations stipulate that it is not permissible to film or take pictures inside any IDF facility or during an IDF operation unless the photographer has express permission. These regulations are designed to prevent people without proper security clearance from accessing classified information and the appearance of such materials in the press or on the Internet. The IDF is working to raise awareness among soldiers and reservists about operational and security dangers that maybe caused by classified information carelessly uploaded to the internet. The IDF is taking a broad response to the problem, which includes education, monitoring and disciplinary enforcement."