Troops in Afghanistan get Facebook warning

Danish soldiers cautioned about discussing operations

COPENHAGEN -- Danish soldiers in Afghanistan have been told to be more cautious after some were found to have discussed operations on the social networking website Facebook, Denmark's armed forces said Friday.

"Just as we use technology to find out the Taliban's intentions, it would be silly of us to believe they are not doing the same thing to us," Lieutenant-Colonel Kim Astrup of the army's operational command told Reuters.

The army had no evidence covert data had been intercepted, but Astrup said some information sent via the Internet had been gleaned by outsiders. He did not disclose by whom.

Astrup said soldiers' private information shared online with friends and family could put missions at risk.

He said the army would not ban the use of Facebook and other social networking sites since it was important for the troops' well-being to communicate with friends and relatives.

"We are just urging them to use their common sense," Astrup said.

He said he did not believe passwords or the use of the Danish language would prevent the Taliban from eavesdropping on private chatting on the Internet.

Denmark has about 700 combat soldiers serving with NATO in Afghanistan, mainly in the southwestern province of Helmand. A total of 25 Danes have been killed there since the mission began.
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