Feeds

US forces to block YouTube, MySpace on DoD network

Say they need bandwidth for killer robots

Top three mobile application threats

The US forces will "block worldwide access," to a range of websites including YouTube, MySpace and Photobucket from the unclassified Defense Department internet (or NIPRNET) as of today.

In a widely-reported memo, General BB Bell (commander of US forces in Korea) announced the upcoming blocks. He suggested that the changes were as much to preserve bandwidth as to muzzle critical comment and news-media access. "Recreational traffic impacts our official DoD network and bandwidth availability," he wrote.

It's true, of course, that modern warfare is intensely bandwidth hungry. In particular, unmanned combat platforms like the "Reaper" aerial hunter-killer and its smaller brethren need to send huge amounts of real-time video, which has to compete for satellite backhaul with the ordinary NIPRNET traffic from grunts on the ground.

The General's assertion that resource issues lay behind the decree was lent some credence by the inclusion of internet radio site Pandora.com on the banned list, too, and it was stressed that soldiers were still free to access YouTube and the rest via their private ISPs or other non-DoD channels.

A soldier could still upload his YouTube footage after returning to the States, for instance, or even during his tour if he/she could reach any affordable commercial providers while deployed.

Nonetheless, many analysts have seen this as at best a foolish gag on some of the most positive reporters from the Southwest Asian frontlines. Military bloggers and uploaders overall tend to be quite on-message from the DoD point of view, and now this support for the cause will be largely stifled. Others, of course, interpret the blocks as a straightforward case of censorship.

There could be an element of truth in all these positions. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.