Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Protecting Military Secrets...?

I have attended a briefing recently with regards to my overseas NS training in Australia, code name Exercise Wallaby.

During the briefing, one of the more important agenda is about "Security". It is about security of military information and such. There are of course quite a number of military sensitive information embedded in the whole overseas exercise and we are cautioned not to have loose talk or even photographs of military equipment and such.

Photos like the one displayed on Mr. Brown Show website (see below)would be considered as a breach of Military security.

The reason is that the photo includes the military assets (or what we normally call equipment). Take a closer look below and you could see that the photo captures the military equipment.

It is a valid concern indeed. Not so long ago, there was suggestions made by a committee to waive the ban on NSMan to bring camera phones to in-camp training for fear of such military security breach. Some military intelligence experts commented that the ban should stay because a picture of how the military equipment is being handled would be a vital information for military spies. It is not just about the military equipment but the personnel's proficiency in handling the equipment as well as the tactical manoeuvrings that matters most in military intelligence.

Since I am going to be involved in Exercise Wallaby, I did a simple search on google on Exercise Wallaby. To my surprise, there are quite a lot of information available on the net and some of these information are far more damaging than what Mr. Brown has put up on his web.

Take for example, the Razor TV produced by Straits Times which has an extensive report on Singapore's utilization of Australian training ground. (There are a total of three parts in this series.)

If we are talking about security breaches, the reporting in the Razor TV is far more damaging that I have seen anywhere else. From the strategic perspective to equipment utilization and it even includes the classified flow cart of how the integrated information system works etc etc.

The reporter could just walk through the camp compound and do interviews etc. I thought this is an exception case of military security breach but what surprises me is that even the Mindef's Publication has put up reports along with photos of equipments and the operating members behind the equipment.

The following are the photos of CyberPioneer:

Well, maybe all these hype about Exercise Wallaby and integrated Air-Land information system is a deliberate efforts by Mindef to make public. Thus, such sensitive information has been cleared and declassified for public consumption.

But I do feel a bit uneasiness for such sensitive information to be made available. It really makes foreign military operatives' job much easier in analysis and information collection.

Goh Meng Seng


solo bear said...

On one hand, the SAF wants to "showcase" its military. So it only allows certain parties to "advertise" SAF's training methods and equipment.

On the other hand, it is afraid of "non authourized" leakages. These leakages may show SAF's weaknesses.

Just can give one example without mentioning specifics. Our Air Force may be the best in terms of equipment in SE Asia. As for the manpower to make them operational.....

Sorry. Can't go further. Sensitive info.

Vincent Sear said...

I tend to think that these are "authorised" leakages, for "showcase" purposes. What SAF is concerned about are "unauthorised" leakages. If the proper ranking vetted it and authorised it, then it's OK, but not for any NSman decide or access or use out of personal jest.

Parading of military equipment and release of military exercise footage are quite common.