Saturday, May 19, 2007

Military bans YouTube and Myspace

[Via Wired] The Defense Department isn't trying to "muzzle" troops by banning YouTube and MySpace on their networks, a top military information technology officer tells DANGER ROOM. Rear Admiral Elizabeth Hight, Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, says that the decision to block access to social networking, video-sharing, and other "recreational" sites is purely at attempt to "preserve military bandwidth for operational missions."

Not that the 11 blocked sites are clogging networks all that much today, she adds. But YouTube, MySpace, and the like "could present a potential problem," at some point in the future. So the military wanted to "get ahead of the problem before it became a problem."

The Admiral won't say, however -- despite repeated questions during a Thursday conference call -- exactly how much bandwidth the sites were absorbing before they were blocked. She notes only that they were these were the 11 Internet sites taking up the most network traffic on military networks. And that checking these sites for viruses and malware before they hit Defense Department computers was also a significant concern. Other sites -- including popular blogging sites, like wordpress and blogspot -- could be blocked in the future, if they appear to present network issues.

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