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Air Force Blocks Access to Blogs
Military.com  |  By Bryant Jordan  |  February 28, 2008

Nearly three years after the Army took notice of Soldier blogs and began insisting the writers register with their chain of command, the Air Force is going in a different direction altogether: restricting which blogs its airmen may read.

But while the Army -- which now has regs requiring security reviews of blogs before publishing -- acted to keep sensitive information from getting out, the Air Forceís move appears driven by a desire to choose which news sources are legitimate.

According to the magazine, the Air Force maintains that blogs are not legitimate media outlets and so shouldnít be available to Airmen at work.

As a result the Air Force Network Operations Center at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. - the so-called "Cyber Command" - has slapped a ban on all sites with "blog" in their URLs, the magazine Wired is reporting.

The magazine quotes a command official as saying Airmen may still access information sources outside official Air Force outlets, but only "primary, official-use sources."

"Basically," said Maj. Henry Schott of the commandís plans and requirements section, "if itís a place like The New York Times, an established, reputable media outlet, then itís fairly cut and dry that thatís a good source, an authorized source."

A spokesman for the command told Wired: "Often, we block first and then review exceptions."

But some Airmen have complained that even legitimate information sources and work-related sites are being blocked, according to Wired.

The Pentagon has been concerned for years about blogs, though early on officials worried about what troops might write in them as opposed to reading them.

After initially telling Soldiers to let their commanders know they were writing blogs and cautioning the troops about revealing information, the Army last year began requiring troops to have their material reviewed for security concerns prior to publishing.

(Read the entire Wired "Danger Room" blog report here.)

 

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