Government Defends Social Networking Sites Block

The Department of Defense has been asked to reconsider its decision to block military access to social networking sites on its computers. In regardes to use of the sites, where soldiers share photos, videos and audio recordings with family and friends back home, the DoD cited bandwidth and security issues. In a May 15 letter to the Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey argued: "If network congestion was an issue, for instance, it is surprising that no bandwidth-intensive gaming sites are on the list of prohibited sites. I believe the military should have opted to ration any scarce bandwidth resources it was encountering rather than summarily blocking access by U.S. troops completely."

DoD spokesman Air Force Major Patrick Ryder said a response was being prepared to Markey's letter. "We have received the congressman's letter and are developing a response. However, as a matter of policy, we don't discuss the specifics of correspondence intended for Congress, so it would be inappropriate to comment. In regards to the issue of DoD's decision to block certain recreational Web sites, I can tell you that this step was taken to ensure DoD computer networks are available for combat operations and critical support activities." Rear Adm. Elizabeth Hight, vice director, Defense Information Systems Agency, said more sites could be blocked in the future.

News source: PC World

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8 Comments

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despite the article, the issue has nothing to do with network congestion, or even security issues, to a degree. for every bit of data sent out of each bases intranet (thats the WAN on each base) the DoD has to pay money... just like you would if your ISP billed you per, say, kb of data sent to and from your home. personally, i think we (yes, im in the military too) should have access to surf as we please... we train people to combat computer attacks, actually, the air force has a new major command set up just for that purpose. unfortunately, todays military... except for the marine corps, ironically, does not care about the individual's morale, only the well-being of the machine. so by that logic, this is the only step possible... what's next "you can't get married if your in the military, and if youre already married you have to get a divorce"? (<<< that was exageration)

t_bonerman02 said,
despite the article, the issue has nothing to do with network congestion, or even security issues, to a degree. for every bit of data sent out of each bases intranet (thats the WAN on each base) the DoD has to pay money... just like you would if your ISP billed you per, say, kb of data sent to and from your home. personally, i think we (yes, im in the military too) should have access to surf as we please... we train people to combat computer attacks, actually, the air force has a new major command set up just for that purpose. unfortunately, todays military... except for the marine corps, ironically, does not care about the individual's morale, only the well-being of the machine. so by that logic, this is the only step possible... what's next "you can't get married if your in the military, and if youre already married you have to get a divorce"? (<<< that was exageration)

riiight

That is not true. The DoD has its own networks (as well as using commercial) on DoD owned equipment. Granted anything going across a commercial network costs additional money. However as more networks are changed to DoD owned internal to the DoD there is no fee for access or bandwidth (internaly).

This doesn't mean that the networks don't suffer. I won't tell you where I am but I have seen network utilization reports and beleive me. You give a soldier a way to sham (I am a former soldier as well) he will find a way to shaw even more.. Instead of doing the job he was paid to do during duty hours s/he will be out surfing for porn, ebay, etc... I have seen it all to often. And all use of any U.S. Gov system is consent to monitoring. Limited Moral use has always authorized unless critical network use was required to supercede it. That is normal practice for almost any employee's org.

It was designed for Command and Control not to surf porn, buy off ebay, or go to migenta.com . There are MWR facilities in most locations that let you do most that - the porn. But tell me if you are a US tax Payer ..how would you want your dollars spent.. Paying you to do a job... or paying you to sit and leech bandwidth for your own personal gain?

Remember the INTERNET was developed form ARPANET and the DoD maintained many of the Root DNS servers for many years. ( I know one of the DNS admins)

Why doesnt the DoD create its own chat/file sharing servers? for family and friends.....

Thats would kill 2 birds with 1 stone... soldiers keep in touch and the DoD have control of the servers.

GoatOfMendez said,
Why doesnt the DoD create its own chat/file sharing servers? for family and friends.....

Thats would kill 2 birds with 1 stone... soldiers keep in touch and the DoD have control of the servers.

Because, technically, the DoD controlled internet isn't supposed to be used for this kind of communication; it's for business use only.

There already is one for the ARMY its called AKO and soon AKO will be working with a DoD portal type. AKO has been around along time.

Besides the DoD has always reserved the right to limit comercial access when it is required for mission.. this is all jsut old news rehashed and has no real value. All these sites actng like its news........