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During an information-war era, Russia returned to the basics of a bid to protect its confidential information from prying eyes, by telling troops to stay away from their smartphones and social media.
of the parliament passed a bill banning military personnel from posting about themselves or colleagues online.
The State Duma adopted the final reading of draft law prohibiting military personnel to post about themselves or their colleagues online, using devices that could share audio, photos, videos and geolocation Data via the Internet is also restricted to them.
– State Duma (@state_duma) February 19, 2019
The highest home of Russia must approve the bill before it signing the law of President Vladimir Putin. The Russian report Kommersant's statement is expected to take place next month.
The online trails left by the troops ban the Kremlin's stand on certain issues, including claims that Russian troops do not fight in eastern Ukraine, as well as the extent of Russia's role in Syria, reported The New York Times.
Russia has officially declined any role in the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in Ukraine that killed nearly 300 people aboard. But digital sleuths from the Bellingcat investigator group have reduced the Kremlin line by finding online photographs of an anti-Russian summit used in the attack.
"We have found that the soldiers quickly use many social media, posting pictures of each, posting base pics," Eliot Higgins, co-founder of Bellingcat, in NPR in 2016.
Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov signed a bill note passed Tuesday, explaining why Russia needed the measure.
"The information, distributed by internet soldiers or mass media, is used for information and [psychological] harassment and in separate cases to form a state-conscious policy analysis of Russia," said of the note, according to a translation of The Times .
The ban includes tablets and laptops, but phones of more basic models are no exception, the BBC's report.
In the US, service members are allowed to use social media, if they follow the rules.
The Army advised soldiers to: "Think of the message that is identified and potentially look at it."
But sometimes a digital footprint can be left unintentionally. Last year, the BBC reported a fitness tracking app called Strava that published travel routines of service members, revealing the outlines of military bases.