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YouTube Takes on the U.S. Military May 21, 2007

Posted by James in News, Politics, Video.
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I just saw the below blurb from Digital Music News and thought it was pretty interesting. You may or may not have heard about it but the military has been systematically censoring outlets that allow for troops in Iraq to communicate and present content to the outside word. This has included YouTube, MySpace, ANY blogs and a host of other sites. The reasoning behind it has been that server bandwidth needs to be conserved and the age-old “our enemies are reading/watching” bullshit excuse.

I think a pretty strong argument could be posed that the military command structure is simply trying to censor our troops so the rest of the world doesn’t get a “genuine” portrayal of what’s going on. That’s just me. To fight such censorship can be an understandably risky move for any company but especially one that is as in the public eye as YouTube. I’m sure any number of “reporters” have “Why Does YouTube Hate America?” editorials ready to go. Who knows how big of a deal this will become or how far YouTube will be willing to go to fight this. Regardless, I commend them trying.

YouTube Mounts Challenge Against Military Access Ban

YouTube is mounting a serious challenge to a recent ban by US military authorities, one that also nixed access to music destinations Live365, Pandora, MTV.com, and 1.fm. The ban also covers MySpace, an increasingly important outlet for musicians. YouTube cofounders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen questioned military arguments that the user-generated destination was clogging bandwidth, though Pentagon officials defended the move. “Remember, the people that we’re talking to are people who depend on this network to get the job done,” said Defense Information Systems Agency vice director rear admiral Elizabeth Hight in comments to the Associated Press. “The network is there to make sure the soldier, sailor, airman and Marine can accomplish the mission.” Meanwhile, Hurley and Chen underscored their desire to enable videos from the front lines, though they systematically filter violent and graphic content.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.

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