Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 15, 2007; Page A01
The Defense Department began blocking access on its computers to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other Web sites yesterday, severing some of the most popular ties linking U.S. troops in combat areas to their far-flung relatives and friends, and depriving soldiers of a favorite diversion from the boredom of overseas duty.
The banned Web sites include some of the Internet’s most popular destinations for social networking and sharing photographs, videos and audio recordings. Soldiers and their families frequent the sites to exchange notes, swap pictures and share recorded messages — a form of digital communication that, along with e-mail, has largely replaced the much-anticipated mail call of previous wars.
Senior officers said they enacted the worldwide ban out of concern that the rapidly increasing use of these sites threatened to overwhelm the military’s private Internet network and risk the disclosure of combat-sensitive material.
The Defense Department began blocking access to these Web sites yesterday: