Deployed troops can still post their videos to YouTube, despite the recently announced Pentagon ban against accessing that site and ten others from government computers. The trick, says Rear Admiral Elizabeth Hight, is to use your own internet access or visit one of the rec center internet cafes, which plug into separate, commercial networks. The ban, she says, applies only to the 5 million computers worldwide connected to the official Department of Defense intranet.I suppose we could resort to going to the local Internet cafe to get around such bans if they occur stateside.
— Getting Around the YouTube Blockade, David Axe, DangerRoom, 17 May 2007
Meanwhile, one possible motive for the Pentagon crackdown seems eerily familiar:
The next step might take the form of a purported “upgrade” to the Army Knowledge Online intranet. The AKO portal connects soldiers to education materials, personnel directories and other military services. It can even be used to store large PowerPoint presentations so that those huge bandwidth hogs don’t have to be emailed to every intended viewer. The next-generation AKO, called Defense Knowledge Online, will include blogging, instant message and chatroom functions, according to Vernon Bettencourt, the Army’s deputy chief info officer.Use the ISP’s own services, rather than those of the competitors….
Could the Pentagon’s motive be political?
That’s all well and good, assuming that DKO’s blogging capability doesn’t give Pentagon chiefs an excuse to ban all commercial blogging tools. After all, DKO blogs will be completely under military control. And judging from the recent crackdown on soldier-journos, complete military control might mean the end of unfiltered frontline reporting from the grunts on the ground.Could ClearChannel’s motive for not playing the Dixie Chicks be political?