Dept of Defense to block YouTube, MySpace, others

From Stars and Stripes

Monday, the Defense Department will block access to MySpace, YouTube
and a host of other sites on official department computers worldwide,
in an effort to boost its network efficiency.

Troops and
families living on U.S. bases will still be able to view the sites
through private Internet networks, but the move leaves servicemembers
in Iraq and Afghanistan who use the popular picture- and video-sharing
sites with little or no access to them.

officials said the move is solely a reaction to the heavy drain the
streaming video and audio can put on the defense computer network.Ironically,
the Defense Department this year had just begun expanding its own use
of YouTube to reach a younger, broader audience and show clips of U.S.
troops in action. (my emphasis)

ADDED: OK I’ve mulled this over a bit and I have two questions. The first question comes from skepticism of the above stated reason to block access to these sites and the second accepts the reason at face value.

First question…WTF?
Admittedly I know nothing of the DoD’s system but it wouldn’t be possible to at least find the bandwidth for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? YouTube is very popular with the troops. It’s a means of communicating with friends, family and “the world.” Or would DoDprefer that not to happen? Pardon me for questioning but I do wonder given the way the war is going, the recent crackdown on soldier’s blogs and well some of those YouTube videos have not been very flattering ( and under investigation).

Second question…WTF?
DoD’s 2007 budget is $439 billion and they have a system that can’t handle the present level of streaming video and audio without being drained? What level are we talking about here? How robust is this system? Again pardon the questions but government certainly has had its problems when it comes to IT systems. Does DoD have the same?
Seems either way this ought to be questioned.

4 thoughts on “Dept of Defense to block YouTube, MySpace, others

  1. Erm, Scout, can you possibly check the tagging on the excerpt? Looks like there’s some “make this small” formatting that’s spilled over into your commentary. Which is a shame as I’d like to read it.
    On the face of it, I’d agree with the WTF, but I wonder what else is going on. (I certainly recall a recent BBC article about how the British armed forces were going to get their bandwidth amped up.)

  2. You’re right, scout, that the bandwidth issue is a crock. If it is a real issue, it’s a serious battle-readiness logistical issue, particularly in light of Rummy’s wet dream of a supertech military, so YouTube or no, it’s something that MUST be corrected. If it can’t handle that, it can’t handle the requirements of any larger scale conflict.
    More like your first point – “screw the troops that might have some stress relief from seeing home, we need to control the PR so we can say the surge is working”. And that is hideous, putting their own lust for permanent power ahead of the needs of the troops. Neo-cons are horrible people.

  3. The DON/NMCI system has had myspace/facebook/similar sites blocked for at least a year. A lot of sites you go to using this system will have in place of the ads a message that whatever you are doing is not an effective or approved use of navy resources or something right along those lines because they have blocked the sites the ads are coming from. Since I’m at work, I understand why they want me to not access stuff like that.
    I’m sure in places overseas where keeping power is hard enough let alone internet connection, keeping bandwidth use to a minimum is seen as mission critical. Most likely they saw a bandwidth issue, someone said tell us what is using the most besides our mission critical programs and they happened to be myspace, youtube, etc.
    Obviously the situation for the people overseas in areas like that are in a unique situation. They can’t go home and play on their own computer. Even if they have their own pc they still probably have to use the system set up by the DOD, since i’m not sure how many private internet networks there are in Iraq, etc. Rather than set up individual computer networks or other setups that could allow some to access, while work computers could not they chose to go the easy route and probably didn’t even think about how many military have few choices when it comes to internet access.
    I’m not excusing, just explaining what I can.

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