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Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, May 14, 2007

No MySpace for Troops in Iraq

Apparently the Defense Department has some serious bandwidth issues and have decided on a solution. Web sites like Googles YouTube, MySpace and others will be blocked starting today. Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan won’t be able to use the DOD network to access these sites.

According to Stars and Stripes

In a message to troops from U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. B.B. Bell on Friday, he acknowledged many of the sites being blocked are used by troops to keep in touch with family and friends.

“This recreational traffic impacts our official DOD network and bandwidth availability, while posting a significant operational security challenge,” he wrote.

Apparently the DOD doesn’t want their network being used to stream music either. Other sites being blocked include MTV, Live365, Pandora.com, 1.fm, and Blackplanet.

I know that bandwidth has been an issue and I’m not fan of MySpace but many families use YouTube and MySpace to share photos and videos. Given a little time, other sites will just become popular and pick up the slack. It won't solve the bandwidth problem.

This kind of selective blockade is just wrong. There are certainly other ways to restrict bandwidth usage without picking on specific sites. My first thought was back to when Google refused to turn over search data after a government subpoena was issued in January 2006. Could this be viewed as retaliation.

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