The Pentagon has announced tough new rules governing which web sites members of the armed forces can access in order to reduce the number of people who are accessing white supremacist web sites. The directive says service members “must not actively advocate supremacist doctrine, ideology or causes” and this includes writing on the blogs of such groups. This is the first time the Pentagon has addressed the issue of what on the Internet is off limits to members of the armed forces. Last July, Stars & Stripes reported that 130 members of newsaxon.org, a social networking Web site are connected with the National Socialist Movement. Joe Schoep, who terms himself, “commander” of the group denounced the move as a violation of freedom of speech. He also claimed such directives aid the growth of his group.
There is always a danger as well as a plus in confronting such hate groups. They prefer the darkness of not being known to those in authority, and they seek the disaffected individual who seeks self concept development in being part of a “group.” Yes, there is an issue of freedom of speech, but when one enters the armed forces one also abandons the right to complete free speech.