MySpace Outrage Was a Bit off Base

| Thu May 17, 2007 7:14 PM EDT

Mother Jones blogged earlier this week about the Pentagon's decision to prohibit soldiers from using MySpace or YouTube on DOD computers. There was a lot of outrage, but I think a clarification is in order: Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have never been allowed to use these sites on DOD-issue computers. They have been—and will continue to be—permitted to access them on privately issued computers available in internet "cafés" on base. In fact, soldiers, like the rest of us, are theoretically prohibited from conducting any personal business on company-issue computers. But up until now, troops deployed outside of war theatres have not been specifically blocked from using the bandwidth-consuming social networking sites. They and their families are the ones the ban will affect (although they, too, usually have some access to non-governmental computers).

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