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No MySpace for Fort Riley soldiers in Iraq

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Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Riley ยข 1st Infantry Division[(San Francisco Chronicle) Popular Web sites now off-limits to troops:][1] his online link between troops serving overseas and their friends and families was interrupted Monday when the Defense Department announced that it had cut off access to MySpace, YouTube and 11 other popular file-sharing and networking Web sites on the Pentagon's 5 million computers and 15,000 networks. The new policy, which military officials say is intended to reduce the amount of traffic snagging the Defense Department's overburdened worldwide network, comes on the heels of an Army regulation last month enforcing new, strict rules on soldier bloggers. ... Maj. Bruce Mumford, communications officer for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, says the military will not spend more on expensive equipment to broaden the bandwidth and meet the demand. "The U.S. Army's not going to pay the bill for you to get on MySpace and YouTube," Mumford told the Associated Press. Madden said U.S. troops are still allowed to access the sites on their personal computers and such nonmilitary networks as Internet cafes in Iraq run by private concerns. The troops also are allowed to send messages and photos by e-mail. [(AP) Terror group warns U.S.:][2] At Fort Riley, Kan., the former U.S. military commander in Iraq said soldiers could face higher chances of ambush and capture under a new strategy to shift troops into smaller outposts - part of plans to seek more outreach with Iraqi civilians and possible tips on militant activities. "But the strategy has exposed them to greater risk of attack," said Gen. George Casey after meeting with Fort Riley and 1st Infantry Division commanders. The redeployment into the smaller bases has been strongly supported by Casey's successor, Gen. David Petraeus.[(Topeka Capital-Journal) General: Family is focus:][3] FORT RILEY - U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Monday access to mental health services for spouses and children of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan should be enhanced. Casey, a four-star general appointed chief of staff after 30 months as commander of multinational forces in Iraq, said his ongoing tour of U.S. Army posts offered deeper insight into the burden being carried by families. Their needs have grown as soldiers left for second and third tours in combat, he said. "We need to do even more than we have in the past for the families," he told reporters outside Patton Hall. "They are carrying a burden here that is, frankly, much larger than I would have thought."Fort Leavenworth[(KC Star) Fallen colonel led by inspiring:][4] Army Col. James W. Harrison Jr. had planned to retire. But Harrison pulled back the retirement paperwork recently when it was clear his expertise was needed. It was a classic example of his commitment to leadership, friends said Monday at a Fort Leavenworth memorial service for Harrison, who was killed May 6 in Afghanistan by a mentally ill Afghan soldier. He was buried in a private service at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. The news of his death traveled quickly at Fort Leavenworth, not just because he was well-known, but also because few Army colonels have been killed in action. Only six colonels have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a group that records military deaths. Two of those colonels, including Harrison, were assigned to Fort Leavenworth. [1]: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/05/15/MNG2NPQUQ41.DTL [2]: http://www.theeagle.com/stories/051507/world_20070515021.php [3]: http://cjonline.com/stories/051507/kan_169963383.shtml [4]: http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/107195.html

Comments

compmd 6 years, 11 months ago

local_support,

"Computer nerd" was something I was many years ago and I don't hear it used to describe me often anymore. But it does make me smile.

I have immense gratitude and respect for the men and women of our armed forces, there is no need for you to remind me of the risks they take. Part of how I make a living involves making things better for them. I take the work they do very seriously.

Do you know how much bandwidth KU has coming into the University? How about Internet2? Do you have any idea what that is relative to the links to military bases abroad? Or even what the costs are to make large scale upgrades to a tightly controlled, partly proprietary (consider NIPRnet) IP network of the scale of the DoD's? The networking resources of the DoD in the field are NOT designed for what many people are using it for. It is NOT a network like Sunflower where you can just call and ask for more bandwidth and then pay a little more money. How do you suppose they even get high bandwidth connections in the middle of Iraq and Afghanistan?

But I guess none of that matters if Cpl. Jones can't live without watching any one of the 3,670 clips of dog tricks on YouTube.

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local_support 6 years, 11 months ago

The computer nerd above me lays it out like it's just another corporation trying to save a buck and so they have every right to take away these sites. These people are putting their lives on the line for you buddy and they should be able to communicate with the outside world any way they wish. If Microsoft wants to ban Myspace that's fine, but last time I checked debugging Windows Vista wasn't on par with disarming IEDs.

Clearly there are those in here that have no idea how much us younger people rely on social networking sites to communicate with one another. For many young soldiers I would imagine it is one of the few semblances of normalcy they have left. But hey, we've gotta save money on BANDWIDTH! How about we save a little money by having a few less no-bid contracts instead?

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compmd 6 years, 11 months ago

Blocking Myspace, Youtube, and file sharing sites? Good for the DoD.

"find a different way?"

Email has been around for over 40 years, and functioned over computer networks (thanks to the DoD by the way) for about 35. 21st century social networking sites are simply a bonus. Perhaps you completely ignored the comment on the military refusing to purchase more bandwidth. Myspace and Youtube use enormous amounts of bandwidth, and the DoD network is not designed for that kind of traffic. How many sites are there on Myspace with "OMG PONIEZ!!!" animated backgrounds and the latest Kelly Clarkson background music? I'll tell you: a freakin crapload, and each of those pages alone requires a disproportionately large amount of bandwidth compared with actual, useful content delivered. Youtube will accept videos up to 100MB, so after viewing a bunch of videos, the bandwidth usage adds up very quickly.

Soldiers are employees of the DoD, and the network is owned by the DoD, so (surprise) the DoD gets to dictate the acceptable use of the network and the computers on it. This is the same at any corporation. The fact that only now the DoD is blocking these sites is surprising to me.

And no, there is no more content than could ever be obtained via email on Myspace or facebook or whatever. Email transfers data from one person to another, or to many others. The data can be anything. So the superior content argument is out the window. I recommend researching Usenet and NNTP to learn about the first real online social networking system, which is still alive and well.

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OZ 6 years, 11 months ago

. . . .How did little Jimmy (I fall down at the Olympics) Ryun support our Troops? . Little Jimmy Ryun voted to continue awarding contracts to Halliburton even if the Pentagon's own audit processes found that more than $100 million of their contractor's costs in Iraq were unreasonable. No surprise that Halliburton contributed to Ryun. . Little Jimmy Ryun opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40% of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage. . Little Jimmy Ryun voted AGAINST giving a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and reserve forces. . Little Jimmy Ryun voted AGAINST providing troops with the funds to repair and replace damaged equipment. He also opposed giving the troops basic quality of life enhancements such as pre-paid phone cards and the construction for more water treatment and power plants for the deployed troops. . .

These are the GOP Radical X-TIAN EXTREMISTS "family values" at work. . . . .Ps.

Little Jimmy (I fall down at the Olympics) Ryun, just like Slimy Sammy (Stauffer/WIBW) Bareback did NOT SERVE in the United States Military. . . . . .

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OZ 6 years, 11 months ago

. . . The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:

"I, _, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same

, ., , So much for the FIRST AMENDMENT of the CONSTITUTION of THE UNITED STATES. , . . These are the GOP "family values" at work , , , ,

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heysoos 6 years, 11 months ago

I think it is an insult to our young men and women fighting overseas. Char, social networking websites are inherently different from e-mail. They provide a user with much more content than could ever be obtained via e-mail. As someone who lives over 1000 miles from all of my friends and family, I would be upset if I could no longer keep in contact with the people I am close to through my preferred networking website. It gives me a sense of closeness to those people that I care about in a way that could not be duplicated through e-mail.

I can only imagine the disappointment if I was 7000 miles away in Baghdad and was told that I had to find a different way to stay in touch with my friends and family.

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char 6 years, 11 months ago

samsnewplace - if they have myspace, then they also have email. you have to have an email account to sign up for myspace, and the military gives you an email account as well. this isn't going to stop soldiers from communicating with family and friends. they can still use instant messangers and email, so the the links are not cut. they just can't go on sites like myspace and youtube.

i don't see any problem with this and wonder why it's even news.

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samsnewplace 6 years, 11 months ago

"Maj. Bruce Mumford, communications officer for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, says the military will not spend more on expensive equipment to broaden the bandwidth and meet the demand. "The U.S. Army's not going to pay the bill for you to get on MySpace and YouTube,"............go die for us but we don't want you to have any pleasures while you are fighting for us or communications with family members! It could be the last thing someone ever heard from their son/daughter/wife/mother/husband/dad........please! I DO NOT AGREE!

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