Furor Over Pentagon Blocking Certain Websites

May 15, 2007

Much furor was occurring on the internet yesterday when the Pentagon announced that it was blocking access on the Department of Defense network computers from sites such as YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos and FileCabi, BlackPlanet and Hi5; music sites Pandora, MTV, 1.fm and live365, and the photo-sharing site Photobucket, like that’s supposed to be something new. The thing that people aren’t realizing is that access to those sites has been blocked on most DoD networks for quite some time now, so I really don’t understand what all the uproar is about. These are afterall, computers to be used to conduct business. It’s not like there are no private companies out there that block their employees access to such sites. The majority of them do. At my job, we are on the DoD computer network and we’ve not had access to those types of sites for a long time. What isn’t mentioned is the fact that while here in the states on the bases there are T1/T3 connections to the internet, the networks in Iraq are VERY slow even without the added strain that those types of sites would add. Basically like a very slow dial-up connection.

I’ve read reports by people that they think this is an attempt to stop the troops from blogging and having communication with the outside. Let’s get real here! The whole thing boils down to the fact that those sites are not only full of sometimes extremely large media and graphics files which bogs down the networks, but also many of them are loaded with viruses. It sounds like damn good business practice to me.

The Pentagon did ALSO announce that this would not affect the ability of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from accessing those sites from the internet cafes which are available for use by the troops and are operated by a private vendor, or from their private computers. Many of the areas have internet available to the troops in their rooms now. So relax folks, the troops will still be able to access those sites, just not while they’re at work, as should be the case. If troops are accessing those types of sites at work, then they’re probably not being very attentive to their jobs, which is not a good thing, in the middle of a warzone. It makes perfect sense to me.

Stars & Stripes


2 Responses to “Furor Over Pentagon Blocking Certain Websites”

  1. Anthony on May 16th, 2007 11:08 am

    Man, I’m really slow! I was just about to write this article. As you can tell, my eyes have been closed for the last day.

    I’ve noticed that folks like 1U and other leftist sites are freaking out about this topic.

    I don’t see the big deal. It is an effort to keep Soldiers from checking there Myspace while they should be working. Same reason I don’t have minesweeper or Hearts at my computer in the office.

    This is no different than any private business restricting access on their computers or removing games. It is as simple as, “Do your damn work!”

  2. Terri on May 16th, 2007 11:23 am

    You’re so right Anthony. They’re making such a big deal out of something that’s actually been in place for quite some time. Marty said they’ve not had that access to those sites on any of their computers either at Fort Hood or in Iraq, for several years. It’s a simple matter of protecting what little bandwidth they have over there and ensuring that they’re actually doing their jobs instead of screwing around. They are very capable of obtaining internet services for their CHU’s (living quarters) or visiting the Internet Cafes.

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