Country Risk

Social media posts reveal submarine deployments

07 December 2017

Key Points

  • Submariners may be identified on social media, despite generally demonstrating a higher level of operational security than most other military personnel, particularly if social network analysis is performed on their online activity.
  • Submerged submarines cannot be tracked using open sources, but sophisticated analysis of these sources may be used to produce near-real-time assessments of the likelihood of a given submarine being at sea, and its likely level of readiness.
  • The threat that these OSINT techniques pose to the security of submarine operations is greatest for navies in societies with greater freedoms and greater access to technology.

The Russian Ministry of Defence published on 4 October draft regulations banning social media posts by their professional contract personnel.

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