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Rocketta
May 14th, 2007, 07:50 PM
Defense Department blocks some Web sites

By ROBERT WELLER, Associated Press Writer
Mon May 14, 4:32 AM ET


Soldiers serving overseas will lose some of their online links to friends and loved ones back home under a Department of Defense policy that a high-ranking Army official said would take effect Monday.


The Defense Department will begin blocking access "worldwide" to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Web sites on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander.


The policy is being implemented to protect information and reduce drag on the department's networks, according to Bell.


"This recreational traffic impacts our official DoD network and bandwidth ability, while posing a significant operational security challenge," the memo said.


The armed services have long barred members of the military from sharing information that could jeopardize their missions or safety, whether electronically or by other means.


The new policy is different because it creates a blanket ban on several sites used by military personnel to exchange messages, pictures, video and audio with family and friends.


Members of the military can still access the sites on their own computers and networks, but Defense Department computers and networks are the only ones available to many soldiers and sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iraqi insurgents or their supporters have been posting videos on YouTube at least since last fall. The Army recently began posting videos on YouTube showing soldiers defeating insurgents and befriending Iraqis.


But the new rules mean many military personnel won't be able to watch those achievements ó at least not on military computers.


If the restrictions are intended to prevent soldiers from giving or receiving bad news, they could also prevent them from providing positive reports from the field, said Noah Shachtman, who runs a national security blog for Wired Magazine.


"This is as much an information war as it is bombs and bullets," he said. "And they are muzzling their best voices."


The sites covered by the ban are the video-sharing sites YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, and FileCabi, the social networking sites MySpace, BlackPlanet and Hi5, music sites Pandora, MTV, and 1.fm, and live365, and the photo-sharing site Photobucket.


Several companies have instituted similar bans, saying recreational sites drain productivity.
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Army memo:
http://tinyurl.com/2x2qka



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That's pathetic. They can give their lives for this country but they sure better not go to Youtube! :fiery:

John A Roark
May 15th, 2007, 12:42 AM
C'mon, now--not EVERYTHING the DoD does is a conspiracy against freedom, sheesh!

harloo
May 15th, 2007, 12:58 AM
I could understand maybe youtube and many of the news sites but Photobucket and MySpace? So now the soldiers can't share pictures and keep in contact with loved ones through Myspace? Outrageous.:o

RVD
May 15th, 2007, 01:39 AM
C'mon, now--not EVERYTHING the DoD does is a conspiracy against freedom, sheesh!Sure, but they are certainly doing their best to limit contact with family members, and information flow. :shrug: Not everything the soldiers do is top secret. And if they are going to continuously extend tour duties, they could at least allow these men and women to continue contact with family members to maintain their sanity.

Unless someone can come up with a sound reason as to why this sudden censure isnít counter-productive, Iíll continue to think otherwise. Besides, you and I both know that the DoD isn't a bastion for free-flowing info to the public. Even on matters of public record. :shrug:
Bottom line: The perception they constantly convey is quite suspect. Not to mention this administration's stellar track record. :hehehe:

drake3781
May 15th, 2007, 03:06 AM
I actually agree with this policy, on work time and DOD computers (as it seems to be applied). The soldiers need to be focused on work during working hours, and the machines need to be free for the tasks for which they are provided.

The soldiers can do what they want on their own PCs and networks, it says, in their own time.

I think the DOD should also provide - to the extent possible - some shared computers for use during off-duty time, on a separate network from the official ones, and allow all access to any sites on those PCs.

RVD
May 15th, 2007, 03:25 AM
I actually agree with this policy, on work time and DOD computers (as it seems to be applied). The soldiers need to be focused on work during working hours, and the machines need to be free for the tasks for which they are provided.

The soldiers can do what they want on their own PCs and networks, it says, in their own time.

I think the DOD should also provide - to the extent possible - some shared computers for use during off-duty time, on a separate network from the official ones, and allow all access to any sites on those PCs.At first I thought the same thing, however why stop access to just these sites?
Also, there's this small psychological factor called 'moral' that the DoD doesn't seem to care about undermining....umm...

...further.

Scotso
May 15th, 2007, 05:59 AM
At first I thought they were blocking them for all Americans, which would have been terrible. But this is no different than businesses blocking access to IM programs and such. :shrug: No big deal... they aren't forced to serve in the military.

Rocketta
May 15th, 2007, 04:53 PM
At first I thought they were blocking them for all Americans, which would have been terrible. But this is no different than businesses blocking access to IM programs and such. :shrug: No big deal... they aren't forced to serve in the military.

It's very different. We are not talking about a population of people who have a personal residence of their own where they can have internet connection and do personal stuff. Just because you signed up for the military doesn't mean that you should have less rights or privileges than someone in jail would have. It's a fine policy if people have access to their own personal computers but they don't they are in the middle of the desert and the DoD computers are their only access. Also, factor in the fact that this restriction is probably just another way for the gov to control information that should be free to the public. Yeah it's a problem.

Also factor in that the article says the military uses Youtube to highlight their successes...it starts smelling even worse.

*JR*
May 15th, 2007, 05:23 PM
With all the antiwar and anti-Bush posts here, this site is likely 2B banned. :tape:

griffin
May 15th, 2007, 07:55 PM
I actually agree with this policy, on work time and DOD computers (as it seems to be applied). The soldiers need to be focused on work during working hours, and the machines need to be free for the tasks for which they are provided.

The soldiers can do what they want on their own PCs and networks, it says, in their own time.

I think the DOD should also provide - to the extent possible - some shared computers for use during off-duty time, on a separate network from the official ones, and allow all access to any sites on those PCs.

It's not like the soldiers go home at the end of a shift - a lot of these men and women rely on the DoD networks for computer access in their downtime. So the blockade doesn't just affect them when they're on duty.

miffedmax
May 15th, 2007, 08:04 PM
C'mon, now--not EVERYTHING the DoD does is a conspiracy against freedom, sheesh!

Much as I'd like to agree with you, everything from Jessica Lynch to torturing prisoners to Pat Tillman to deciding that car bomb victims don't count to trying to prevent photographs of coffins has just left me too cynical to believe anything they say.

Sadly, our military has greatly eroded its credibilty with a large segment of the population, not just that part that historically mistrusts them, including the left, conspiracy buffs etc.

Of course, I also feel that the media is largely to blame, for consistently underreporting and flat-out ignoring the many officers and enlisted men who have jeopardized or hurt their careers by daring to speak the truth and dare contradict the Pentagon and the Administration.

As I recall, didn't the Bush Admin fire several top ranking generals before this mess ever started, like Gen. Shineski, who dared opine that it would take 500,000 troops to do the job?

This decision may be correct, but it's going to be hard selling it when you've been caught crying "Wolf" on daily basis for the last four years.

samsung101
May 15th, 2007, 09:31 PM
I think the Pentagon does need to do more to keep up with
the modern technology available to the soldiers. I don't
blame them for trying to keep better tabs on what is put
out on the worldwide net. But, they're going to have to
do better than this, it's just one series of outlets.
There are plenty of others, and new ways to communicate
every day.

E-mails, text messages, videos, etc., all getting across
all the time all over the world from soldiers and their
families.

Mind you, it's 2007....this has been going on for a few years
already.

Apoleb
May 15th, 2007, 09:48 PM
eh, me thinks this is more about limiting what the outside world can know about what's going on the military than about keeping soldiers at work. Does anyone remember the video with some men in the military taunting Iraqi kids with water?