Helping Make Information Accessible

May 16th

On one front the military is creating a war channel on YouTube, while on the other they are censoring soldiers. Pretty screwed up.

Censorship in China is bad. Why is it any better when the US government does it?

Published: May 16, 2007

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Comments

feedthebot
May 16, 2007 - 3:25am

Yeah, I was totally freaked out by the whole "no myspace or youtube" for you thing. Unbelievable.

Dabo
May 16, 2007 - 3:49am

Indeed this US military censorshiop is screwed up. Banning pictures of returning soldiers' coffins is another example. Just another indicator of the failure of this so-called "war on terror", which they're desperately trying to white-wash with propaganda, spin and censorship...

julien
May 16, 2007 - 3:54am

because they're communists, obviously.

Craig
May 16, 2007 - 6:37am

A British perspective from someone who has visited America a few times: I am amazed that so many Americans still think they have (or ever had) 'freedom of speech'.

The re-writing of history by Hollywood; the news in the US which to my eyes seems very biased, to the point of propaganda; and the fact that someone like George Bush can effectively buy a presidency does one of the largest nations in the world no favours on the world stage.

Jacob
May 16, 2007 - 8:17pm

Sorry, but you're completely wrong on this one, as is the post you linked to.

They are not censoring soldiers. They're creating policies about what soldiers can and cannot do on government computers and government networks. This is no different from corporate IT policies which control company equipment/networks. None of these policies affect what the soldiers do on their own time, with their own computers.

There are plenty of good reasons for controlling what sites are accessed over defense networks, including bandwidth and security issues.

May 16, 2007 - 8:36pm

Sorry Jacob, but you're completely wrong on this one. Look at it this way. Leader's advice:

Yes you can post that video. Go to the village where 12 of your platoonmates were recently killed, and play at the internet cafe durring off time between 10 and 12 pm (when the internet cafe is closed). Hope the upload works well and you don't get hurt.

Jacob
May 16, 2007 - 11:00pm

Aaron,

They're not on vacation or a Green Peace mission, they're soldiers fighting a war. They'll have plenty of (safe) opportunities to upload/watch their YouTube videos - there's no sane reason why they can't wait a couple months. There are also plenty of other approved channels they can use to communicate with friends and family.

What I take issue with, though, is how this gets misrepresented. These new rules are not about censorship, they're about regulating how resources are used - especially bandwidth. The military has been censoring communications by its soldiers since forever, and they will continue to do so for security. They can't afford to put the convenience of a few solders above the safety of everybody else.

I find it amazing the sense of entitlement some people have. You have to wait to upload your videos to YouTube on your own time? Gee whiz, cry me a river.

But I doubt I'll convince you, so here's me agreeing to disagree.

May 16, 2007 - 11:04pm

It wouldn't feel so dirty if they didn't just add a war channel to Youtube, ya know? FYI One of my friend's sons was hung up on by the military when he was telling his mom about what was going on around him.

Josh
May 16, 2007 - 11:43pm

As an Iraqi vet I can totally see what the gov. is doing. They are in a last chance effort of keeping soldiers mouths shut. These people are going through a lot emotionally and need the myspace interaction with friends and family at home. The gov. is too scared that soldiers will express what is really going on over there as well as uploading into Youtude what is really going on over there. Therefore it makes it impossible for G.W. to frame this mess if everyone can speak their mind.

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