Information Security – The Second Lebanon War vs. The Gaza Operation

During August 2006 Israel mounted an operation against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. In Israel this is refered to as the second Lebanon war. During that time the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had allowed freedom of information in a form and shape that was not allowed until then. Reporters were standing at the boarder between Israel and Lebanon reporting about any army movement they observed. The various Israeli news channels were showing, in details, the different advancement moves the army had made to the detail. Any incident was reported in nearly real-time including casualties and the unit names that were hit. Reports about missile hits on Israeli civilian targets were also reported, and in some cases those reports allowed the Hezbollah to align their fire. The different Internet forums were buzzing with information and rumors.

The army had learned its lesson.

During the current Gaza operation the Israeli army went from one extream to the other. The entire area that the army had assembled its forces before the attack had been closed to civilians and to the media. Soldiers had to give away their mobile phones before entering into battle. The media is completely shut off from the battle field as reporters are not allowed in. The Internet forums are monitored, and the army censorship is tight.

With regards to the safty of the soldiers then there is no doubt this is the right course of action to take. For the civilians (and for the media) this had created a situation where not a lot is known, and bits and pieces are uncovered as the battle goes on.


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