Snowed In: The Army Has Restricted Access to 'The Guardian' Website

When the Monterey County Herald first reported restricted access to The Guardian, the newspaper which broke the Edward Snowden NSA story, they thought it was limited to the army base at the Presidio of Monterey.  It turns out the action was taken Armywide:

Gordon Van Vleet, an Arizona-based spokesman for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, said in an email the Army is filtering "some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks."

He wrote it is routine for the Department of Defense to take preventative "network hygiene" measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

"We make every effort to balance the need to preserve information access with operational security," he wrote, "however, there are strict policies and directives in place regarding protecting and handling classified information."

In a later phone call, Van Vleet said the filter of classified information on public websites was "Armywide" and did not originate at the Presidio.

Network hygiene? 9 out of 10 censorship doctors recommend it.  Not surprisingly, a bit of the old buck pass was included in Van Vleet's remarks:

Van Vleet said the department does not determine what sites its personnel can choose to see on the DOD system, but "relies on automated filters that restrict access based on content concerns or malware threats."

He said it would not 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."

For the most part.

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