U S Army Blocks Access to U K Guardian


Flickr_-_The_U.S._Army_-_A_family_that_servesA quote from the U. S. military hierarchy:  “The military is filtering out reports and content relating to government surveillance programs to preserve ‘network hygiene’ and prevent any classified material appearing on unclassified parts of its computer systems.”

Censorship is the first step towards a dictatorship.  Is the United States of America fearful of events such as those in the “Arab Spring,” Taksim Square, or the protests in Brazil?  Are they fearful that our military personnel might place their families and friends in a position of more importance than a government who continually wages war, and places their lives in jeopardy, while abandoning them when they come home?

The confirmation follows reports in the Monterey Herald that staff at the Presidio military base south of San Francisco had complained of not being able to access the Guardian’s UK site at all, and had only partial access to the US site, following publication of leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Of course the Army brass has prepared a response. The Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom) in Arizona responded that this was a universal effort and will affect hundreds of facilities.

“In response to your question about access to the guardian.co.uk website, the army is filtering some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks,” said Gordon Van Vleet, a Netcom public affairs officer.

“The Department of Defense routinely takes preventative ‘network hygiene’ measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information onto DoD unclassified networks.”

The Army quickly stated that this was an internal affair, and would not affect computers outside of the military bases.

“The department does not determine what sites its personnel can choose to visit while on a DoD system, but instead relies on automated filters that restrict access based on content concerns or malware threats,” said Van Vleet. “The DoD is also not going to block websites from the American public in general, and to do so would violate our highest-held principle of upholding and defending the constitution and respecting civil liberties and privacy.”

Wasn’t there a great deal of secrecy inside of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan?

The Army acted in the same exact manner when WiliLeaks broadcasted secret information revealed to them by Bradley Cooper.

“We make every effort to balance the need to preserve information access with operational security, however there are strict policies and directives in place regarding protecting and handling classified information,” added the Netcom spokesman.

“Until declassified by appropriate officials, classified information – including material released through an unauthorized disclosure – must be treated accordingly by DoD personnel. If a public website displays classified information, then filtering may be used to preserve ‘network hygiene’ for DoD unclassified networks.”

Politics is not isolated in Washington.  The military brass of the United States does not lead our soldiers into battle.  Their war is fought with computers, handshakes, and by lobbying.  They are no different than the members of our congress.

A Defense Department spokesman at the Pentagon added: “The Guardian website is NOT being blocked by DoD. The Department of Defense routinely takes preventative measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information onto DoD unclassified networks.”

And I have a bridge for sale.

Is the government fearful of the American people?  Probably not yet, but it is in their future.  When the U.S. Army blocks access to the U. K. Guardian, because it is reporting the truth, the first few raindrops of a coming storm are landing on a deceitful and failed government.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express


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