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Michelle Behrenwald – Citizenship and Freedom

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LifeWay.com and ChurchStaffing.com Team Up to Offer Ministry Personnel Center

Bryan, OH (PRWEB) November 17, 2004

Today over 300,000 churches in the United States employ well over half a million professional pastors and ministry workers.

LifeWay.com and ChurchStaffing.com today announce the launch of a full-service job and placement service for churches and pastors. With the introduction of the Lifeway Ministry Personnel Center, professional clergy and churches of all sizes will be able to tap into a great number of online resources designed to make the time of job transition go much easier.

“The internet provides the perfect environment for the ministry job search process,” according to Todd Rhoades of ChurchStaffing.com. “Using LifeWay’s new Ministry Personnel Center, church search committees are able to add their job opening to a database of over 700 current church and ministry job openings. They can also search nearly 6,000 ministry resumes at the new website.”

According to Rhoades, there are also a great number of services provided for the ministry job seeker. They can search the internet’s largest database of church job openings, add their resume, and even have access to low-cost resume tune-up and resume re-writing services. “It really brings the job seeker and the churches seeking workers together quickly, providing nearly instant contact. It allows churches to broaden their job search to a national scope with ease,” said Rhoades.

Other services include a unique range of church personnel printed resources, pre-employment background check services, and managed search options for larger churches.

ChurchStaffing.com, headquartered in Bryan, OH is a leader in the Christian website industry, partnering with such groups as LifeWay.com, Leadership Network, Worship Leader Magazine, Church Central Associates and others to provide ministry and staffing solutions to churches and individuals.

LifeWay.com is part of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Lifeway is one of the world’s largest providers of Christian products and services, including Bibles, church literature, books, music, audio and video recordings, church supplies and Internet services through LifeWay.com. Established in Nashville, Tenn., in 1891, the company owns and operates 122 LifeWay Christian Stores throughout the United States, as well as two of the largest Christian conference centers in the country.

For information: http://www.lifeway.com/jobboard

Contact: trhoades@churchstaffing.com


Todd A. Rhoades


6391 ST RTE 576

Bryan, OH 43506

Phone: 419-636-6862

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More Church And State Press Releases

Egypt refutes US religious freedom complaints

Egypt refutes US religious freedom complaints
Egypt on Saturday angrily dismissed complaints from the United States concerning religious freedom in its key Middle East ally, saying that Washington has no right to hand down judgments.
Read more on AFP via Yahoo! News

Group wants prayer discontinued at council meetings
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Rowlett Mayor John Harper on Aug. 27 requesting that that the council disallow invocations during city council meetings.
Read more on The Rowlett Lakeshore Times

Religion briefs: Convoy of Hope benefits community
The No Limits Church will present Freedom Zone Conference 2010 at 7:30 p.m. today at Bossier Inn & Suites, 2015 Old Minden Road, Bossier City. The 2010 Women of Purpose Conference will begin with a Meet and Greet at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Canaan Baptist Church, 171 Mansfield Road, Stonewall.
Read more on The Shreveport Times

OnlineAdviser Competes in Business Plan Competition

(PRWEB) November 14, 2004

How can financial advisers deliver independent high quality service to middle income Americans? Few firms have tackled this question and even fewer have found successful answers. Freedom Benefits Association based in Philadelphia is trying to develop a better approach through a service called OnlineAdviser and recently submitted its ideas to the “New Profiteer – The Business of Change” sustainable business plan competition. The business plan was entered under the category “Best Community Enterprise”, emphasizing the overall benefit to the community when individuals are empowered to make better financial decisions.

The competition culminates in a presentation at the Sustainable Business Venture Fair, Thursday, November 18, 2004, 4:00-7:00pm, at the Philadelphia Sheraton Rittenhouse Hotel. Tony Novak, the principal of Freedom Benefits and the primary force behind OnlineAdviser, has no unrealistic hopes for immediate community support for the project. “Delivery systems for financial advice through employee benefits is a relatively obscure topic to most small business development experts”. Novak says “the primary purpose of entering the competition was to raise awareness that this viable option for providing financial support does exist”. While this business has operated at a profit each year since it inceprion, a range of challenges has slowed growth.

Tony Novak is a financial writer who began focusing on financial services for middle-income individuals in the 1980s. He was the author of an influential article for the financial services industry titled “The Other 95%” referring to the observation that traditional financial services firms tend to focus on serving only the top 5% of wealthiest Americans. After more than twenty years in traditional financial advisory firms, Novak now devotes himself to writing for consumer-focused publications and providing personal support for non-traditional financial services. Novak emphasizes that high-income individuals and established businesses have always received the best advice from experienced accountants, attorneys and financial advisers. These advisors help build and retain wealth, but at a cost not affordable by most people. There is a wide gap in quality and availability of advice received by the wealthiest clients vs. a person of average means.

Middle-income individuals and small businesses tend to receive advice from product salespeople. These may include stockbrokers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, accountants who manage investments and insurance agents. While these perform specific valuable services, the quality and range of advice is not the same as received by those with independent advisers. The majority Americans have never met with a fee-based financial adviser. One result is that most Americans do not receive full information on a number of non-transactional financial issues, no cost options or no-load financial products. Advisers naturally recommend only those options for which they will receive compensation; seldom does a middle income client receive truly independent advice.

OnlineAdviser service was launched by Freedom Benefits Association in 1997 to provide low cost public access to an experienced financial adviser, especially at the point of critical financial decisions. The expansion of Internet-based financial services has increased the range of options available to many people but has not provided a way for individuals to get independent one-on-one financial advice. By using newly developed telephone and information technology, it might be possible to connect a person who has a question with a person who has a good answer precisely at the moment the information is needed. Novak admits that the current system is far from perfect, but notes that it is a step ahead of what is now available from event the most sophisticated financial firms. The main obstacles faced by OnlineAdviser include:

1) Compensation for Advisers – Advertising, commissions, asset-based fees or other financial support from traditional financial service companies is not available to support most areas of OnlineAdviser service. OnlineAdviser cannot tap the same revenue sources as banks, brokerages and other advisory firms. This means that employers, business associations, public sources or private donations must pay for the advice. Most advisers with years of experience can command much higher salaries in traditional financial firms that focus on more profitable transactions.

2) Adviser experience – It takes more than a decade for a financial adviser to develop the skills and knowledge base to be comfortable addressing a wide range of financial questions “on his feet”. An adviser must master a working knowledge of law, taxes, insurance, investments, health care system, federal and state entitlements. With so many of these areas in constant state of flux, continuing education alone is almost a full time job for an adviser. There are relatively few advisers who are qualified to provide this type of service.

3) Tax Treatment – The IRS designated retirement planning advice as a tax-free employee benefit but other areas of financial advice are not given the same generous tax treatment. A change in the tax law would encourage more businesses to offer this service to their employees.

4) Skepticism – Individuals are so accustomed to hearing sales pitches that they have a tough time adjusting to non-product based financial advice. Many people with limited financial experience are still more likely to be influenced by firms with the best advertising and most persuasive sales representatives.

OnlineAdviser has served more than 35,000 individuals since 1997 in every state across the country. The majority were free services including support for taxes, unemployment compensation, health insurance, COBRA conversions, retirement plan rollovers, and divorce issues. More information about OnlineAdviser service is available at www.FreedomBenefits.org or from Tony Novak at (610) 664-8669.

# # #

More Income Tax Vs Freedom Press Releases

Which is more important national security against terrorism or protecting the rights granted to us?

Question by ImmoralAmbulance: Which is more important national security against terrorism or protecting the rights granted to us?
Which is more important—national security against terrorism or protecting the rights granted to us in the Constitution?

Best answer:

Answer by oracleofohio
Protecting our freedoms, hands down.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

The Tribunalization of Justice: the Constitutional Validity of the National Tax Tribunal



The passing of the Forty Second Amendment to the Constitution of India in 1976, tribunals became key dramatis personae in the justice delivery system. In order to achieve the objectives of the amendment, which was to ensure speedy disposal of cases, an array of tribunals were set up. These included the Administrative Tribunals, the Rent Control Tribunals and also Tax Tribunals. The constitution and functioning of these tribunals have been controversial and intensely debated. The Constitution of the National Tax Tribunals, through the passing of the National Tax Tribunal Act, 2005 in pursuance of Article 323-B (1) (a). The Act provides a machinery for the adjudication by the National Tax Tribunal of disputes with respect to levy, assessment, collection and enforcement of direct taxes and also to provide for the adjudication by that Tribunal of disputes with respect to the determination of the rates of duties of customs and central excise on goods and the valuation of goods for the purposes of assessment of such duties as well as in matters relating to levy of tax on service. The Act is bound to raise constitutional issues of immense significance as to validity of conferral of the power and functions of the Tribunal, the exercise of such powers and functions, and the concept of judicial review under the Constitution.


The Edict Machinery of Tribunals in India:


The concept and the constitution and functioning of the Tribunals established under Administrative Tribunals Act. The exclusive jurisdiction hitherto have the benefit of by the Tribunals in service matter and distinguish the High Courts was put at stop partially by the Supreme Court of India in its landmark judgment in ‘L.Chandra Kumar Vs.Union of India and others. The Supreme Court diversified and re-distributed the jurisdiction of service matters etc in between these Tribunals for which purpose they have been established and High Courts as per the spirit of the Constitutional mandate enunciated by the framers of the Constitution, keeping in

view the ‘Basic Structure Theory’ and the provisions contained under Article 226,227, 32 and Articles 323 A and 323 B of the Constitution of India.

The salient feature of our Constitutional system that whenever new legislations or enactments are passed, either by Parliament or Legislative Assemblies, it is generally found that, they, being tested in courts of law, either on their validity as a whole or certain provisions of such acts if they are offending any provisions of Constitution, any public policy or established legal principles. Therefore, no exception was shown to the ‘Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, enacted in terms of Article 323 –A of the Constitution of India. Consequent upon the establishment of service Tribunals in the country ‘under the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, a string of litigation had erupted before the High Courts of several States and also in Supreme Court, questioning the validity of certain provisions of the Act and also ultra vires of Articles 323-A and 323-B. Firstly, the ‘Apex Court’ by a Five Judge Constitution Bench, headed by the then Hon’ble Chief Justice, Justice P.N. Bhagwati, examined the constitutional validity of Article 323-A and its provisions in S.P. Sampath Kumar Vs. Union of India and others3 said Bench while upholding the validity of Article 323-A, held that the Service Tribunals created under Article 323-A are substitutes to the High Courts and the exclusion of the jurisdiction of High Courts is legal. Thereafter, a seven Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in ‘L. Chandra Kumar case’ while dealing with power of judicial review vested in High Courts and Supreme Court under Articles 226,227 and 32 respectively vis-a-vis Articles 323-A and 323-B not only deviated from the earlier discussion of the Supreme Court in ‘S.P. Sampath Kumar’s case’, but also held that, the Tribunals are supplementary in their role and the power of ‘Judicial Review’ vested in High Courts and Supreme Court under Articles 226, 227 and 32 is an inviolable basic structure of the Constitution and struck down clause 2(d) of Article 323-A and clause 3(d) of Article 323-B of the Constitution of India to the extent they exclude the jurisdiction of High Courts and Supreme Court under Articles 226/227 and 32 as unconstitutional and also Section 28 of the

‘Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985’ which excludes the jurisdiction of High Courts. The Supreme Court in the above case further held that: “The Tribunals created under Article 323-A and 323-B of the Constitution are possessed of the competence to test the constitutional validity of statutory provisions and rules. All decisions of these Tribunals will, however, be subject to scrutiny before a ‘Division Bench’ of the High Court within whose jurisdiction the concerned Tribunal falls. The Tribunal will, nevertheless, continue to act like Courts of ‘first instance’ in respect of the areas of law for which they have been constituted. It will not, therefore, be open or litigants to directly approach the High Courts even in cases where they question the vires of statutory legislations (except where the legislation which creates the particular Tribunal is challenged) by overlooking the jurisdiction of the concerned Tribunal.” In the same case, when an argument was advanced for the superintendence over the Tribunals by the concerned High Courts, the Supreme Court categorically held as follows: “To this end, it is suggested that the Tribunals be made subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court within whose territorial jurisdiction they fall. We are, however, of the view that this may not be the best way of solving the problem. We do not think that our Constitutional scheme requires that all adjudicating bodies which fall within the territorial jurisdiction of the High Courts should be subject to their supervisory jurisdiction. If the idea is to divest the High Courts of their onerous burdens, then adding to their supervisory functions cannot in any manner, be of assistance to them”. Therefore, in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in ‘Chandra Kumar’s case'(emphasis furnished supra) this Tribunal is now functioning as a ‘Court of first instance’ like any other Tribunal in the country established under Article 323-A of the Constitution of India. It is also to be noted that the ‘Judicial Review’ propounded by the Supreme court in ‘Chandra Kumar’s case cannot be treated/equated with an ‘Appeal’ in as much as the constitutional exercise by way of ‘Judicial Review’ displayed by the High Courts originated from the ‘Basic Structure Theory’ read with Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.


Appellate provisions under the direct and indirect tax enactments


Aforementioned to National Tax Tribunal, under the direct and indirect tax enactments, appeals on substantial questions of law from the decisions of tribunals such as the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal lies to the High Court.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Under Section 252 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 an appellate tribunal known as Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has been set up which consists of both judicial members as well as Accountant members. This tribunal hears appeals against orders passed by the Deputy Commissioner of Appeals or the Commissioner of Appeals, as specified in Section 253 of the Act on questions of law as well as questions of fact. Under the direct tax regime, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal is the final authority as regards determination of questions of fact. Under Section 260 A of the same Act, an appeal lies to the High Court, from every order passed by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal if the High court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law. However, there is also a provision for filing further appeals to the Supreme Court from any judgment of the High Court as specified under Section 261, only if the High Court certifies that the case is fit for appeal to the Supreme Court. In cases where High Court refuses to give such certificate, the aggrieved party has an option to invoke extraordinary jurisdiction of Supreme Court through special leave petition under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, High Courts and the Supreme Court have been given similar powers of hearing appeals in respect of disputes concerning wealth tax under the Wealth Tax Act, 1957. The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal Under Section 129 of the Customs Act, 1962 the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) has been constituted which consists of Judicial as well as Technical Members. The Tribunal hears appeals against orders passed by the authorities mentioned in Section 129 A of the Customs Act. It also hears appeals against orders passed by the excise authorities as specified in Section 35 B of the Central Excise Act, 1944. Earlier, instead of appeal a reference used to lie regarding questions of law. An appeal lies to the High Court on a substantial question of law against an order passed by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, under Section 130 of the Customs Act, as substituted by the Finance Bill, 2003. Similar provision has been incorporated in respect of appeals to High Courts under the Central Excise Act, 1944. The tribunal also has appellate jurisdiction in anti-dumping matters and the Special Bench headed by the President of the tribunal hears appeals against orders passed by the designated authority in the Ministry of Commerce. The appeals under the Service Tax are also heard by the tribunal. This tribunal is the appellate authority on matters relating to classification and valuation, with the appeals lying to the Supreme Court in these matters.


The Need for Establishment of National Tax Tribunal in India:


The necessity for uniformity and certainty in the administration of tax laws (both direct and indirect tax laws), appeals or references from the orders of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal lie with the High Courts, these Courts get flooded with such cases which need considerable time to dispose them. Due to the heavy workload of the High Courts, there is a huge backlog of tax related cases as a result of which huge revenue is blocked in such litigations. This is adversely affecting the national economy. Hence, urgent measures are required to be taken to speed up taxation matters pending

before the High Courts. It may also be noted that there are at present 21 High Courts. Many a time, decisions of the High Courts vary from each other which create uncertainty, delays and problems in the administration of tax matters. Conflict of decisions amongst various High Courts

on the same point of law have the effect of distorting uniformity and give rise to unnecessary appeals to the Supreme Court which results in further delay.

National Tax Tribunal will help in clearing the backlog and mitigating the burden that lie at the doors of High Courts. The constitution of the National Tax Tribunal would relieve the taxpayers from the burden of pursuing the tax disputes for a long period and substantially reduce the workload of different High Courts which could not concentrate and devote as much focus which the complex tax laws presently demand.


Judicial Sovereignty and the National Tax Tribunal


In the Landmark Judgments of the Court in L Chandra Kumar and Sampath Kumar that even if the Tribunals have to play a supplemental role, given the powers that they enjoy, including the power to strike down legislation as ultra vires the constitution, the NTT will have to enjoy Judicial Sovereignty as understood in the Indian constitutional context. Judicial Sovereignty in India always has been a very controversial subject. The judicial pronouncements and the scholastic opinion in this regard, point out different stages at which the independence of the judiciary will have to be assessed. Judicial Sovereignty will include the collective independence of the judiciary from the other branches of the State and also the independence of the individual judges. The first aspect relates to appointment, removal etc whereas, the second aspect relates to matters concerned with security of tenure, salaries and allowance etc. Let us take up these issues in relation to the National Tax Tribunal. The Members and the Chairperson of the National Tax Tribunal are appointed by the Central Government in accordance with the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India or his nominee. Though the other two members in the committee are not from the judiciary, it is submitted that this is sufficient safeguard against executive fiat. In terms of the qualification also sufficient safeguards seem to have been provided. The legislation provides that all members including the Chairperson have sufficient legal qualifications and adequate experience to handle complex matters relating to tax as also maters relating to the vires or otherwise of legislations and administrative actions. More importantly, the method of removal of the member and the Chairperson also has been made sufficiently elaborate to minimize executive interference. Section 11 provides that removal and suspension can take place only in consultation with the Chief Justice and on completion of a formal enquiry. The Chairperson also has been given enough discretion to constitute the benches of the National Tax Tribunal. In terms of salaries and other benefits, the members and the Chairperson have been accorded the same status as that of High Court judges. Also of significance is the fact that these Tribunals have been vested with contempt powers under section 12 of the NTTA, 2005 in addition to certain powers of the Civil Court granted to it in section 16. The legislation also protects actions taken in good faith in the course of discharge of duties by any member, Chairperson or other employee, which also helps in maintaining judicial independence. In all it is submitted that the provisions of the enactment do indeed secure judicial sovereignty.


The Differentiation of National Tax Tribunal and High Courts in India


There is a provision in the Act that may cause adversity to tax-payers. The Act stipulates that an appeal before the NTT can be preferred only if the appellant deposits at least 25 per cent of the tax or duty payable on the basis of the order appealed against. The NTT is also given the discretion to condone this requirement. There is no such stipulation in cases that go before the

high court. Yet another distinction is that no interim order can be passed by the NTT without hearing the other party. No Tribunal constituted under 323A or 323B of the Constitution can ever

oust the jurisdiction of the high court under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution. The writ jurisdiction of the high court will continue, despite the provision that appeals from the NTT will go to the Supreme Court. The NTT will, therefore, be one more forum working along with the

High court.

The Government makes it appear that there is huge pendency before the various high courts involving fiscal disputes. The truth seems to be that the overall pendency does not exceed 30,000 cases, the maximum being around 10,000 in Mumbai and an equal number in Delhi. Probably, constitution of permanent tax benches in these two High Courts will solve the problem for revenue. The NTT will not be governed by the Civil Procedure Code, though rules of natural justice will apply.




There cannot be fault with the intention of the Government, to reduce the backlog of cases, in proposing the National Tax Tribunal, but the way in which the NTT has been setup raises a lot of concern. Apart from creating multiple and simultaneous structure for the resolution of tax disputes, which will obviously lead to a lot of turmoil, the NTT also faces challenges in the form of allowing Chartered Accounts to appear before it. The enactment seems to fair well in terms of securing the independence of the judiciary but fails the Constitution on account of abridging the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts in relation to the transfer of cases. This is a grave blemish that will have to be rectified. Efficiency arguments for and against the Tribunal can be analyzed or answered only if a systematic and scientific study happens in that regard. The Law Commission must come out with official statistics in this regard. More importantly, we will have to decide whether Tribunals are the best way to deliver justice in relation to tax matters or whether mere creation of exclusive tax benches in the High courts would solve the problem. Vacancies in the High Courts are not filled regularly nor is there a concerted effort at the national level to streamline procedures relating to dispose off pending disputes. The Government has not been able to come up with any realistic presentation statistics of existing tribunals nor has it explained tribunalize the tax administration for the justice further. At least in future, efforts like this, to create an alternative forum and working substitute for the Court must be backed with methodical study, more debates and comprehensive planning, in order to guarantee that they do not end up as unproductive outlay at the hands of the exchequer.



1) Durga Das Basu- Shorter Constitution of India- Thirteenth Edition 2001 Wadhwa Nagpur.

2) H.M.Seervai-Constitutional Law of India: A Critical Commentary- Universal Law Publishers

3) Walter W. Brudno- Taxation in India-Harvard Law School International Program in Taxation.

4) The National Tax Tribunal Act, 2005- Bharatgazette Government of India.

5) The National Tax Tribunal (Amendment) Act, 2007- Manupatra Bare Act.

Harsh Vardhan Jajodia – hobby is to bring to light the problems faced by the people in the legal field

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Madcap – Church and State

Madcap – Church and State
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Latest Church And State News

What Does the Word ‘Church’ Mean in ‘Separation of Church and State?’
What does the word “church” in the often-used American phrase “separation of church and state” mean? Most folks think this appears in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Does “church” just mean churches as used by those who believe in Jesus, or all religions no matter what they call their places of worship?
Read more on ContributorNetwork via Yahoo! News

Burmese Officials Order Closure of Church in Chin State
Officials in Chin state, Burma, ordered a Baptist church to cease holding worship services after the pastor refused to wear an election campaign T-shirt supporting the military government’s Union Solidarity and Development Party
Read more on The Christian Post

China church to ordain bishop Vatican objects to
China’s government-backed Catholic church will proceed with the ordination of a bishop who does not have the pope’s approval, despite objections raised by the Vatican, a spokesman said Friday.
Read more on AP via Yahoo! News

Nice Freedom Of Religion photos

Some cool Freedom of Religion images:

Freedom of Religion, Four Domes of the Orthodox Church of All Russian Saints, Burlingame, San Francisco Bay area, California, USA
Freedom of Religion
Image by Wonderlane

Twitter and National Security

The New York Times recently posed an interesting question:  “How many twittering politicians does it take to threaten national security?  The question was posed in response to Congressman Peter Hoekstra’s (R, MI) ongoing tweets about his delegation’s visit to Iraq.  Hoekstra tweeted arrival times and itineraries, details that were supposed to be kept secret:”Moved into green zone by helicopter Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new US embassy Appears calmer less chaotic than previous here”


The US government discourages employees from publicly disclosing information about overseas trips to unsafe destinations, but there is no official policy in place, according to Loren Dealy, press secretary for the Armed Services Committee.

Privacy and security issues have typically caused government institutions to restrict the use of Twitter and social media.  Nevertheless, social media usage by government employees is increasing.  Plus, it is used by individuals, businesses, politicians, activists, criminals and terrorists.  Because it is used universally, social media use has ramifications for US national security.

The US Army has already identified Twitter as a potential tool for terrorists.  A report by the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion says that:

Twitter is already in use by some…to post…extremist ideologies and perspectives
Terrorist use of Twitter could evolve over time to reflect tactics that are already in use…by activists
Terrorists could theoretically use Twitter…in the US as an operational tool


Despite recognizing Twitter and social media usage as a potential threat, the Department of Defense has yet to develop a comprehensive social media plan.  To that end, they have hired the National Defense University research team of Drapeau and Wells to study social media tools and outline a framework for their use.  Research professor Linton Wells says of the effort:

“We can’t ignore [social media] if other nations are using it, both friends and adversaries. If the government keeps not making use of these technologies, we’ll fall behind and be unaware of things that could affect us.”

Jack Holt, senior strategist for emerging media at the Department of Defense, agrees with Wells.  He says that failure to monitor international dialogue on social media sites is risky:

“Not being involved [with social media] is probably a greater risk than anything you may encounter from being involved…listening to public conversations and adjusting policies based on what is learned would prevent larger controversies and backlashes against the United States.”

The NDU research paper, entitled “Social Software and National Security: An Initial Net Assessment” divides government usage of social media into four categories:

Inward sharing (within departments)
Outward Sharing (with other government agencies)
Inbound sharing (input from the public sector)
Outbound sharing (with the public sector and other nations)


The study suggests that social software such as Twitter can, if utilized properly, yield the following advantages:

Improve the understanding of how others are using social sites
Unlock the self-organizing capabilities within government agencies
Promote collaboration with groups outside of government
Speed the decision-making process
Increase adaptability


In addition, incorporating social software into the day-to-day work routine will decrease the probability of the US being shocked by an event or outmaneuvered by a foe.  In all instances, the deployment of social software in the US government information stream will increase the government’s ability to deal with complex new challenges.



Please join us at My Twitter Toolbox to get a free report and more Twitter favorites – visit us today at http://nams.ws/security

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