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U.S. Military Blocks MySpace & YouTube
rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 12:46 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

The Defense Department will begin blocking access "worldwide" to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Web sites on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander.

The ban affects only military computers, not the personal computers owned by military personnel.

[cnn.com...]

[edited by: encyclo at 1:43 pm (utc) on May 14, 2007]

 

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 12:57 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

That link is broken, but going from the snippet - I can only assume that this is a knee-jerk reaction to the potential for sensitive video footage from mobile phones etc. to end up on these sites.

If that is the case then they underestimate their own personelle... in a military environment you almost certainly wouldn't use any machine that could possibly be traced back to you to do the upload.

Bluesplinter

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 12:59 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

That link is broken

Just remove the index.htm from the end, and it works.

maccas

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 1:09 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

"The US military has taken the war in Iraq into cyberspace, with the launch of its own channel on the video-sharing website YouTube"

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

hmmm are they with youtube or against youtube.

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 1:14 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Cynically, I am thinking that perhaps they don't want the propoganda intended for the domestic market adversely affecting the propoganda aimed at their military?

Different kinds of people who need to be persuaded in different ways probably need different persuasion. Hence the military are showing insurgents giving up to the domestic market through YouTube but hiding it from the military market, e.g. they may look too staged and over-positive to those with actual experience on the field.

grelmar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 1:23 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

From Danger Room [blog.wired.com]:

“We’re not passing any judgment on these sites, we’re just saying you shouldn’t be accessing them at work,” said Julie Ziegenhorn, spokeswoman for U.S. Strategic Command. “This is a bandwidth and network management issue. We’ve got to have the networks open to do our mission. They have to be reliable, timely and secure.”

Which may sound more like a convenient excuse than anything, but the secure mil networks are much more constrained for bandwidth than you might think. They have their own secure network infrastructure that, if I remember correctly (and correct me if I'm wrong), relies primarily on encrypted satellite distribution for their overseas deployments.

Just trying to squeeze all the operational traffic onto that network can be challenging, especially when you consider just how "wired" the US military is. Virtually every vehicle in the US mil is now equipped with two way networking, providing a constant feed of positional data back to C&C, and more and more soldiers are outfitted with similar equipment (I forget the acronym for the program, sorry). Right now, it's mostly officers and NCOs that have the two-way GPS transponders, but the military dearly wants to deploy the equipment to every last footslogger.

Add in all the operational data being transmitted back and forth between C&C and frontline command (digital maps, operational information, updated photographs of 'persons of interest', etc), medical records being shuffled out to field hospitals, supply chain data, and those bandwidth hogging powerpoint presentations that the Pentagon can't seem to live without, and you're talking about one of the most data intensive networks around.

I think the timing looks fishy, right on the heels of the new muzzle rules for milbloggers, but the bandwidth constraints look like a legitimate concern.

Tapolyai

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 1:24 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it has very little to do with politics.

I think this has to do more with bandwidth and security than anything else.

Ah.. second too late :D

[edited by: Tapolyai at 1:24 pm (utc) on May 14, 2007]

celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 1:41 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most U.S. military bases have been blocking Myspace, YouTube and other similar sites for years.

Some of the newer networks outside of the continental U.S. may have had more open access, but I guess those will be shut down now.

walkman



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 3:00 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

great move--from the army's perspective--in so many levels but most importanly: No vids of the war (or any stupid jackass stunts) posted by soldiers and bandwitdh.

webdoctor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 3:20 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

great move--from the army's perspective--in so many levels but most importanly: No vids of the war (or any stupid jackass stunts) posted by soldiers and bandwitdh.

Head over to YouTube [youtube.com] and search for "IED". Plenty of non-US-generated content there.

"No vids of the war"?

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 3:24 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

They have their own secure network infrastructure that, if I remember correctly (and correct me if I'm wrong), relies primarily on encrypted satellite distribution for their overseas deployments.

The secure networks that many commands operate have absolutely no conenctiosn to the Internet (thus they are actually pretty secure), so they couldn't connect to YouTube and MySpace anyway.

As was mentioned, it's doubtful that the issue has anything to do with politics. It's a bandwidth issue. Especially for commands outside the U.S., there is a limited amount of bandwidth available, and it often gets piped through a very limited number of pipes back to the "real world." There are certainly a number of private businesses that alos block such sites at work- simply because computers at work are supposed to be used for work.

I worked as a military contractor for 3 years in South Korea. As I remember, the unclassified network did not connect to any of the pipes available on the commerical side in Korea, but instead went back to the States before hitting a commercial backbone. So you've got the entire U.S. military network piped through 2-3 pipes (at the time) across the Pacific. You do NOT want that clogged down with hundreds/thousands of soldiers constantly downloading Paris Hilton parody videos.

Taxpayer money is better spent on other things (like $10,000 toilets and $600 hammers). :)

whoisgregg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 3:45 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

From my experience deployed in Iraq, bandwidth was equivalent to a 56K modem on a good day and that still wouldn't stop soldiers from trying to visit bandwidth-hungry entertainment pages -- making the problem worse for soldiers interested only in sending and receiving as much personal email as possible in the short time they are alloted.

Sadly, since some soldiers probably exclusively rely on myspace for their personal communication with friends and family, there is a negative side to blocking that particular site. But, overall, blocking bandwidth hungry sites is a good thing.

Dc71



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 4:30 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

It is no surprise that their are mainy differnt internets our their. By this I mean secret loops that never even allow you out to real sites and even mirror your sites! Its been going on for years I am not sure it will ever change. The do this to enhance security and more or less spy on their own people. Its just the way things are done with networks like SIPPR and others.

But the good news is the Canadian Military still allows MSN Messenger which says something for the security level of Microsofts main servers.

walkman



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 4:46 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> Head over to YouTube and search for "IED". Plenty of non-US-generated content there.

I have to wonder how hard you tried to miss my point: what do you think I meant...no vids of war at all, or just no more vids from US soldiers?

webdoctor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 5:20 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have to wonder how hard you tried to miss my point: what do you think I meant...no vids of war at all, or just no more vids from US soldiers?

(AFAICT) I don't think I missed your point. You posted:
great move--from the army's perspective [...] no vids of the war [...] posted by soldiers

I was only trying to point out that there are plenty of videos from Iraq which *don't* come from the US military. Why do you think it's good to stop the troops posting "their" videos? Doesn't this seem like one side is being censored... (?)

celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 5:30 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Doesn't this seem like one side is being censored... (?)

Maybe. But if you're working to prevent sensitive information from being leaked, restricting soldier access to the unclassified network is the way to do it.

FWIW, this restriction will not just clamp down on just soldiers, but also include the thousands of DoD contractors/civilians who work in these zones. All of them have access to more sensitive information than what a non-soldier/non-DoD contractor would have access to.

Hugene

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 5:43 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Really really bad move for the US military: contribute to the psychological damage of its soldiers by isolating them from their loved ones. And such a hypocritical move considering they recently launched a YouTube channel. I believe the bandwidth argument is bogus, otherwise they would have left MySpace there, you don't necessarily have to load the videos there (or maybe I haven't been on that site for too long now). Truth is, communication should be a service provided by the military to its personnel (image WW1 with letters to or from the front forbidden) and if they can not accommodate the demand that posting pictures requires, maybe they need to upgrade their networks.

celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 5:57 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Really really bad move for the US military: contribute to the psychological damage of its soldiers by isolating them from their loved ones.

They can still send emails and make phone calls.

I believe the bandwidth argument is bogus, otherwise they would have left MySpace there, you don't necessarily have to load the videos there (or maybe I haven't been on that site for too long now).

No, it's not bogus. In fact, this move is two-fold. The DoD will save tons of bandwidth by eliminating video uploads/downloads and shore up its stance on information security.

Truth is, communication should be a service provided by the military to its personnel...

It is a service provided by the military to its personnel. The military has dozens of DoD-provided communication platforms on which soldiers and families can communicate. The problem is, soldiers are people too and sometimes wish to hang out with non-soldier folk. As a result, they sometimes upload/post things that shouldn't be made public.

...and if they can not accommodate the demand that posting pictures requires, maybe they need to upgrade their networks.

LOL. Hardly any organizations (including the DoD) has problems that money won't solve.

walkman



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 6:04 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> Why do you think it's good to stop the troops posting "their" videos?

bored young men will do a lot of stupid stuff that can--and has--embarras the military. They think it's cool to show them doing x or y but that maybe a PR nightmare for the military. Not to mention that Pentagon has to control the message; with 150,000 soliders who can post their own versions it's hard to do.

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 6:09 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

maybe they need to upgrade their networks.

Congress is always trying to CUT money for the military. Do you honestly think they would actually approve ADDITIONAL funding just so soldiers can spend time downloading YouTude videos?

No, you just don't understand that it is VERY expensive to buy bandwidth that spans the oceans. And just as soon as additional capacity is purchased, demand quickly swells to fill up that new capacity.

Dc71



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 6:46 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bandwidth isn't a factor I know you just want to keep the conversation on topic but if you think the military is trying to say money on bandwidth your the gulliiable type their looking for.

" Top levels of Military Internet Services Have no business using the commercial levels of the internet "

However in case of massive communication break down or destruction of key military data points the gatekeepers of the internet will just absorb and take over your internet.

Poof the flick of a switch and we are all gone.
404 things happen

bcc1234

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 6:59 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

If that is the case then they underestimate their own personelle... in a military environment you almost certainly wouldn't use any machine that could possibly be traced back to you to do the upload.

While there are plenty of bright people in the military, there are plenty of dumb ones as well, just like in the general population.

A couple of years ago, I was contacted by someone in the army (don't remember the rank) about one of my business ventures. He was writing from a military e-mail address and we exchanged a couple of messages back and forth, so the from address wasn't spoofed.

The guy offered to "get" rare and old Iraqi coins and other artifacts if I could sell them on-line.

So they should probably block ebay if they haven't already :)

night707

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 7:04 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Censorship is always a disgrace for those who try to enforce it as it shows, how weak their position is.

In Sri Lanka they block critical websites where people discuss the government. So they do it in China, Iran and some other countries like for example Thailand they try to block youtube.

If the U.S. Military is doing the same, they will have to accept getting named alongside the Mullahs in Teheran and any other enemy of freedom and democrazy.

Nevertheless, there are still a million ways to access youtube, critical forums etc. despite such ridiculous ideas and efforts.

They can`t stop the rain ...

.

.

webdoctor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 7:13 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

bored young men will do a lot of stupid stuff that can--and has--embarras the military.

Let's move away from the political angle. If your staff misbehaved while at work, breaking workplace rules, breaking laws, or simply making films in which they were mucking around (when they had a job to do), and then these videos got posted on YouTube, would you really respond by blocking access to YouTube?

I think I'd go for retraining and/or discliplinary action and/or fire those who stepped out of line - to make it clear what's acceptible and what isn't.

Not to mention that Pentagon has to control the message; with 150,000 soliders who can post their own versions it's hard to do.

"Control the message" sounds awfully like something from George Orwell :-)

In any case, if controlling the message is so important then what about the embedded journalists? Plenty of "off message" stories coming from them - at least where I am... (?)

Edit:

Story now on the BBC [news.bbc.co.uk]

The spokesman for US Strategic Command and Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations [...] denied that the military was unhappy with the nature of content being posted.

"We're not stopping anybody looking at anything. It's not the nature of the stuff being posted."


celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 7:48 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bandwidth isn't a factor I know you just want to keep the conversation on topic but if you think the military is trying to say money on bandwidth your the gulliiable type their looking for.

Bandwidth isn't the only issue, but the move will help free up a lot of it. The unclassified military network (through which all of these videos are being distributed) is clogged.

However in case of massive communication break down or destruction of key military data points the gatekeepers of the internet will just absorb and take over your internet.

Huh? There won't be any "massive communication breakdown" or "destruction of key military data points."

Censorship is always a disgrace for those who try to enforce it as it shows, how weak their position is.

This move has more to do with information security than censorship. If it were about censorship, the military would completely ban cell phones, email traffic, etc.

In Sri Lanka they block critical websites where people discuss the government. So they do it in China, Iran and some other countries like for example Thailand they try to block youtube.

The U.S. isn't Sri Lanka, China, or Iran. Americans can negatively or positively discuss the government on personal blogs, late night television shows, documentaries, and hundreds of other mediums. Try doing that in some of those countries you mentioned.

If the U.S. Military is doing the same, they will have to accept getting named alongside the Mullahs in Teheran and any other enemy of freedom and democrazy.

The U.S gets "named" alongside others and by itself on a daily basis. Why would it matter now?

From webdoctor:
In any case, if controlling the message is so important then what about the embedded journalists? Plenty of "off message" stories coming from them - at least where I am... (?)

Embedded journalists are only allowed to work with certain units and you'd better believe the military chooses those units. Aside from that, soldiers are privy to more sensitive information than journalists and can cause more damage to information security.

walkman



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 9:22 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> "Control the message" sounds awfully like something from George Orwell :-)

Welcome to the US Military--leave your free speech and many other rights at the door. The US military is no democracy, you do what you're told; plain and simple.

Dc71



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 10:46 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well the way I like to think of all of this is as follows.

The military internet is dialup.

Dialup runs its own set of rules.

If you want my dialup, you can't , get your own. Dialup is not monitored traffic " To the best of my knowlege. "

However anything can be traced , except when it comes to the military. Their system just works differntly. And from my limited understanding of it, runs over top of our own encrypted over 128 bits and the packets are spread so far around everywhere from china to the US to Canada it is untrackable and untraceable. Just the way you want it when conducting information gathering.

Something the chinese are so good at no one even knows their system is comprimized until its too late.

celgins

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 12:55 am on May 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Their system just works differntly. And from my limited understanding of it, runs over top of our own encrypted over 128 bits and the packets are spread so far around everywhere from china to the US to Canada it is untrackable and untraceable.

There are several types of military signal and communications networks on both the unclassified and classified side, but neither can be talked about on a forum. :)

venrooy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 6:08 am on May 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Actually being in the US military is not a job. When you sign up, they actually own you. You no longer have the same rights that everyone else shares.

whoisgregg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3339122 posted 1:24 pm on May 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

image WW1 with letters to or from the front forbidden

You may not be aware of this, but letters from the front were routinely censored [pbs.org] to remove details that could be helpful to the enemy.

World War II was the last time the U.S. military implemented that practice. Contrary to the popular beliefs of tin-foil hat theorists... ;)

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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