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Inside the US military's tactical IRC system

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via <a href="http://publicintelligence.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/tc-chat-rooms.png">publicintelligence.net</a>
via publicintelligence.net

First used by the military in the 1990s, online chat systems like IRC have become an indispensable part of tactical communication. Public Intelligence has collected a series of documents about how the protocol is used for calling in support, targeting enemies, and checking in on orders. While chat allows for quick communication even with limited bandwidth, it presents the same challenges civilians see: short messages can be ambiguous or confusing, as in one case where a "large band of hungry camels" ended up being reported as a potential enemy vehicle sighting until the issue was cleared up.