Feeds

US forces to block YouTube, MySpace on DoD network

Say they need bandwidth for killer robots

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.