The story of the deaths of 12 miners in West Virginia leads much of the media today. Unfortunately there was a bitter twist to this story when the families of those miners were initially told that 12 of the miners were found alive, only to later find out that only one of the 13 miners survived. Understandibly, the grief stricken families were outraged at how this could happen. The mining company and many others are struggling to find out how this tragic miscommunication occurred and why it wasn’t fixed sooner. The initial take seems to be people with cell phones leaked the erroneous information out and it spread like wildfire.
All of this sounds very familiar to military personnel, who had to grapple with families and the media being preemptively told of casualties before the official word came down. This situation begs debate on how do we balance free speech with information assurance in a situation like this? Are private companies and organizations entitled to demand secrecy about ongoing operations as military and government organizations can?
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