Sites like YouTube and MySpace have been helping soldiers in Iraq and other places around the world keep in touch with family and friends will no longer be accessible to troops on the DoD network.
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.
“This recreational traffic impacts our official DoD network and bandwidth ability, while posing a significant operational security challenge,” the memo said.
This move comes even as the military started using YouTube to fight the battle of public perception.
Iraqi insurgents or their supporters have been posting videos on YouTube at least since last fall. The Army recently began posting videos on YouTube showing soldiers defeating insurgents and befriending Iraqis.
But the new rules mean many military personnel won’t be able to watch those achievements — at least not on military computers.
Now Al Qaeda insurgents are going to have way more MySpace friends than our troops. How the hell are we supposed to win the hearts and mind of the Iraqis if our troops can’t even put them in their top 12?
The 13 sites included in the ban are YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, and FileCabi, the social networking sites MySpace, BlackPlanet and Hi5, music sites Pandora, MTV, and 1.fm, and live365, and the photo-sharing site Photobucket.