Print 26 comment(s) - last by Etern205.. on Mar 21 at 12:24 PM

Blockage is a temporary measure

The U.S. military has a number of bases in Japan where soldiers are housed and many live for years at a time. According to the military, it has decided to block the use of certain websites from its network in an effort to help Japan recover from the major earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit recently.

The military reports that the sites are not blocked because of anything to do with the content that they show, but solely to increase the amount of bandwidth that is available for military needs. The electrical grid has been overwhelmed in some areas of Japan and connectivity for internet access is not available in some areas.

The U.S. Pacific Command has requested the blocking of 13 high-bandwidth sites that are commonly used on military network computers. These websites include YouTube, Googlevideo, Amazon,, eBay, Doubleclick, Eyewonder, Pandora, Streamtheworld,, iFilm, MySpace, and MetaCafe. Interestingly Facebook isn’t among the listed sites though it is much more popular than MySpace and would presumably consume more bandwidth.

Facebook is a very common way for deployed military personnel to stay in contact with their loved ones so perhaps it was left alone to allow continued contact.

Strategic Military Command spokesman Rodney Ellison said, "This is a response to a time of extreme demand for networks. This blockage will be of a temporary nature and may increase or decrease in the size and scope as necessary. We are doing this to facilitate the recovery efforts under way in Japan. We are trying to make sure we are giving them as many avenues and as much support as we can."

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By quiksilvr on 3/16/2011 11:19:09 AM , Rating: 5
That's my best guess as to why those two aren't on the list. Status updates, feeds, etc. can be priceless information for families and friends.

By AmbroseAthan on 3/16/2011 11:57:08 AM , Rating: 5

These websites include YouTube, Googlevideo, Amazon,, eBay, Doubleclick, Eyewonder, Pandora, Streamtheworld,, iFilm, MySpace, and MetaCafe.

By RaulF on 3/16/2011 2:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
Screw the people that died, i want my basketball.

You represent what is wrong with most of humanity now days.

By Farfignewton on 3/16/2011 2:58:09 PM , Rating: 2
You represent what is wrong with most of humanity now days.

Humankind will be sitting pretty the day that making a joke is what is wrong with most of us. At the very least, I expect we will have eliminated people not understanding something was a joke and getting injured falling off of their high-horse.

By Omega215D on 3/17/2011 3:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
seriously you represent the retardation of the world...

Did any of you assholes think that I do indeed have family in Japan?

By Etern205 on 3/21/2011 12:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
seriously you represent the retardation of the world...

Yeah, and you reign supreme...

By AlphaVirus on 3/16/2011 12:33:56 PM , Rating: 4
While Facebook is one of the most visited sites, each person's page isn't filled with graphics that begin to fly across the screen while 10 slideshows stream and songs start playing...MySpace is a resource hog so I see why that was blocked.

By Omega215D on 3/16/2011 1:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. At least with Facebook and Twitter people can be kept up to date on someone's whereabouts in the disaster area. Myspace is pretty much useless...

By Wagnbat on 3/16/2011 6:03:58 PM , Rating: 3
I am in the Navy. The Navy has embraced FB and Twitter not only for communications, but for news dissemination as well. Most senior members of the Navy or the command they are attached to have public pages meant to inform members of goings-on. Status of "Big Navy" changes like policy and command movements, commentaries, and other useful info.

So true that they were kept open for comms, but that they were kept open for Organizational Comms more than Personal Comms is noteworthy.

By DanNeely on 3/16/2011 11:40:11 AM , Rating: 2
Enterprise grade routers have support for QoS settings. Instead of a complete block the same results could be achieved much less disruptively by setting significantly higher priorities for .mil/.gov sites, and constraining recreational bandwidth hogs to a low priority where they got whatever was left after high/normal priority sites took what they needed.

By alifbaa on 3/16/2011 11:57:19 AM , Rating: 3
You are forgetting though that QOS would be effective and easy to implement.

As a member of the military, let me assure you that when comm is involved those two factors immediately remove anything from consideration.

Their first reaction is always to restrict communications. It truly doesn't matter if better options are available or if alternative websites (such as Facebook or Twitter) are left open while others are closed.

I wouldn't be surprised if this whole exercise were unnecessary in the first place. I'd be shocked if unaffected areas like Okinawa aren't made subject to the blockage just to show "action."

By MozeeToby on 3/16/2011 12:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like at least half of the major fiber lines coming in and out of Japan were damaged in the quake. This isn't a local effect, it's significantly reducing Internet quality for the entire country. It's only a token gesture, since there's only about 20,000 service men and women in the country, but if everyone in Japan followed suit communication might be just that little bit easier.

By MrTeal on 3/16/2011 12:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be surprised if this whole exercise were unnecessary in the first place. I'd be shocked if unaffected areas like Okinawa aren't made subject to the blockage just to show "action."

Is Okinawa tied into just Japan, or into Taiwan as well? If the entire island is routed through Japan then it's just as susceptible to disruptions as the rest of the country.

By Arsynic on 3/16/2011 12:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
You can't set QOS on certain websites, only on certain types of traffic.

By Zok on 3/16/2011 3:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Sure you can - just not on your typical layer 3 router. 4-7 load balancers, WAN optimization appliances, etc. can do it though.

By AlphaVirus on 3/16/2011 12:36:01 PM , Rating: 3
On a normal day sure, but when you have a crisis of this magnitude then drastic measures should be taken to make sure certain avenues of communication can have higher quality.

I understand what you are saying and I'm not saying it's a horrible idea, but looking at the scenario I would say the military is doing the right thing.

Kinda obvious
By morphologia on 3/16/2011 3:13:36 PM , Rating: 1
The sites that were blocked are mostly shopping, streaming media, and sports/entertainment...none of which are crucial by any stretch of the imagination. Makes sense to me. Frankly, military resources should not be used for that stuff at all, ever. There's no justification for it.

RE: Kinda obvious
By Farfignewton on 3/16/2011 3:53:09 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, no justification. Not having access to the entertainment and culture of their homeland couldn't possibly have a negative effect on morale or stress. Even if it did, it not like stressed, bored, low-morale troops would ever need to be on the ball in their perfectly safe jobs that benefit no-one else whatsoever at any time.

RE: Kinda obvious
By titanmiller on 3/16/2011 5:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
These are government networks on military bases. When the people go home they will be using their commercial Japanese connections.

RE: Kinda obvious
By Alexvrb on 3/16/2011 10:13:57 PM , Rating: 3
1) What if base IS your home?
2) They aren't official-government-use-only networks. Part of why they exist is to do exactly what you say they should not do - extend wide open internet access to off-duty soldiers.
3) Since they share bandwidth with the country at large, it wouldn't matter if they were using non-base connections. In fact, the whole point of this site-blocking is to reduce load on Japan's networks. It won't help much but every bit still helps.

In conclusion, pull your head out.

but will it work?
By mindless1 on 3/18/2011 4:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
If someone has time to kill and wants to surf the web, with the "high bandwidth" sites blocked won't the users simply surf somewhere else, consuming an equivalent amount of bandwidth except for the sites that stream video like youtube?

Sure it is
By YashBudini on 3/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: Sure it is
By CowKing on 3/18/2011 3:56:22 AM , Rating: 1
Never go full retard.

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