User-generated content, other high-bandwidth websites blocked for U.S. soldiers

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Monday, May 14, 2007

The Department of Defense seal

The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that access to popular high-bandwidth websites, including user-generated content sites like MySpace and YouTube, will be blocked on military computers. The block takes effect on Monday and will apply worldwide for all military personnel using Department of Defense computers.

The block is targeted at sites that contain user generated content. Including MySpace and YouTube, a total of 12 sites will be off limits according to Robert Weller of the Associated Press: Metacafe, iFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Pandora, MTV, 1.fm, live365 and Photobucket.

According to U.S. Strategic Command officials the block is due to "bandwidth/network issues" resulting in possible "clogging [of] the network".

The move affects soldiers' ability to view content on these sites, but does not affect the military's ability to provide content. Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, told Carmen L. Gleason of the American Forces Press Service in mid-March: "We want the American public, from an unfiltered vantage point, to be able to see what coalition forces and Iraqi security forces are doing here in Iraq."


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