Washington DC - Military personnel are now prohibited from surfing 12 popular social networking and video sites, according to a new government memo. In the memo, General B.B. Bell, Commander of the U.S. Forces in Korea, outlined the new guidelines that will block sites like MySpace, Youtube and Photobucket. Such sites are an unnecessary “drain” on network resources, according to Bell.
The restrictions will cover military computers and networks and will not affect personal computers that are often carried into the battlefield by today’s soldiers. The Department of Defense says the government isn’t passing judgment on the blocked sites, but stress that this is a bandwidth and management issue. For several years, the individual branches of the military have blocked certain websites on bases.
Military bases, especially many in third-world countries, often have very limited bandwidth to the Internet. Usually most of the available bandwidth is taken up with VoIP calls from service members to their family.
The blocked sites include MySpace, Youtube, Photobucket, MTV, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Pandora, 1.fm and live365.