Cutting through the bullshit.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Now hear this!

Due to bandwidth limitations and security concerns, mail privileges have been permanently revoked.

According to an article by Alan Sipress and Sam Diaz in today’s Washington Post,

In a memorandum to troops dated Friday, Gen. B.B. Bell, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, said the task force had noted "a significant increase in the use of DoD network resources tied up by individuals visiting certain recreational Internet sites," he said. Bell added that the traffic poses "a significant operational security challenge."

The Defense Department began blocking access on its computers to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other Web sites yesterday, severing some of the most popular ties linking U.S. troops in combat areas to their far-flung relatives and friends, and depriving soldiers of a favorite diversion from the boredom of overseas duty…Soldiers and their families frequent the sites to exchange notes, swap pictures and share recorded messages -- a form of digital communication that, along with e-mail, has largely replaced the much-anticipated mail call of previous wars.

In computer rooms on bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, soldiers crowd around rows of monitors, lining up for a chance to glimpse the latest news from home or leave their distinctive boot print in cyberspace. Some postings on YouTube are grainy battle videos shot with small cameras recording the brilliant flare of roadside explosions and crackle of gunfire set to rock music. Others are more melancholy depictions of loss, showing struggling medics and fallen comrades…

The Defense Department Web site policy comes one month after the Army issued a regulation barring soldiers from posting entries on blogs, participating in online discussion groups or sending personal e-mail unless the content is cleared by an superior officer…

Just one more way that the Pentagon supports the troops.

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