Weapons of Mass Communication

The Pentagon is worried. "The rapid proliferation of digital cameras, phonecams and wireless gadgets among soldiers and military contractors," according to Wired News, has Pentagon officials "telling commanders in the field to strictly monitor the use of consumer wireless technology through Directive 8100.2," which allows only devices with "strong authentication and encryption technologies." In addition, "Defense Department lawyers may be reviewing how the spread of consumer digital-imaging technology ... affects the military's obligation to abide by a Geneva Convention article against holding prisoners up to public ridicule." Noting that "the first impulse of government is to put a lid on information about itself, even when the public has a right to know," Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page suggests digital cameras be given to all servicemembers.