The US military is blocking troops from using YouTube, MySpace and 11 other websites used for sharing photos, video clips and messages. The decision effectively prevents thousands of soldiers from communicating with friends and family, unless they have their own computers - a rare luxury in war zones.
For many US soldiers serving overseas, YouTube and similar websites are the easiest ways to communicate. Various media reports indicate the Pentagon is blocking access to sites for "technical reasons." The Pentagon claims accessing and sending video across the Internet takes too much bandwidth, slowing down the military's computer system. Security concerns are also an issue.
Ironically the Pentagon recently began posting its own videos on YouTube showing soldiers in action in Iraq. The move is an attempt "to reach out to a younger audience and to show successes of the US military," the Pentagon said. In other words, they're trying to recruit more young people for military service.