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WEB REDEMPTION

Pentagon Web Filters Block HRC, LGBT News, But Okay Hate Sites

soldier at computerQueerty reported earlier this week on the Pentagon’s Internet filters, which are blocking sites like AmericaBlog, Good as You and Queerty under the label “LGBT.”

We’ve encountered similar blocks in the past, usually because the filter can’t distinguish between news sites and porn portals. But as AmericaBlog reports, this block “is one used not to ban sexually explicit material.” To wit: HRC’s blog is blocked as well. It’s been reported the websites of hate groups like the American Family Association and the neo-Nazi organization Stormfront haven’t been banned, though.

We’re going to be generous and say this is just the fault of some lazy guy in IT who hasn’t updated the Pentagon’s Internet service since the end of DADT.

Let’s get on that, shall we?

Photo: U.S. Army

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jan 5, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,
  • 12 Comments
    • Michael
      Michael

      Sorry, but DADT is no excuse. To the contrary, the discussion of DADT before it was passed by Congress included assurances that access to nonpornagraphic gay media would NOT be censored, nor would it be interpreted as indicating the person him/herself was gay. Censorship is censorship is censorshiip, and questioning the motivation behind any application of it has always Constitutionally been valid. Out Marine Capt. Matthew
      Phelps complained at every level in the branch about this as far back as September of
      2011. Despite the disingenuous denials from the Pentagon, given they have admitted
      LOCAL commanders have discretion about Net access, this is transparently AT LEAST a manifestation of individual homophobia in the same way the recent refusal to let the wife of a lesbian service member join a local bases spouses group. And overriding all of this is the fact that it is official DEPARTMENT policy to deny service members protections of the Military Equal Opportunity Program BECAUSE they are gay, AND gay military couples various benefits even though they are unequivocally NOT banned by DOMA. There are lots of non-bigoted individuals in the military, but OFFICIAL homophobia is alive and not well.

      Jan 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Sorry, but DADT is no excuse. To the contrary, the discussion of DADT before it was passed by Congress included assurances that access to nonpornagraphic gay media would NOT be censored, nor would it be interpreted as indicating the person him/herself was gay. Censorship is censorship is censorshiip, and questioning the motivation behind any application of it has always Constitutionally been valid. Out Marine Capt. Matthew
      Phelps complained at every level in the branch about this as far back as September of
      2011. Despite the disingenuous denials from the Pentagon, given they have admitted
      LOCAL commanders have discretion about Net access, this is transparently AT LEAST a manifestation of individual homophobia in the same way the recent refusal to let the wife of a lesbian service member join a local base’s spouses group. And overriding all of this is the fact that it is official DEPARTMENT policy to deny service members protections of the Military Equal Opportunity Program BECAUSE they are gay, AND gay military couples various benefits even though they are unequivocally NOT banned by DOMA. There are lots of non-bigoted individuals in the military, but OFFICIAL homophobia is still alive and not well.

      Jan 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      It isn’t lazy filters, there is no commercially or privately constructed filter that wouldn’t have Stormfront on its total blacklist if it was filtering sites.

      A specific exemption has been made to allow it, this is not laziness, this is literally a decision made by staff to allow the site.

      It is classed no differently from “terrorist sites” and a specific exemption must have been requested at some level to allow not only access but posting privileges too.

      Jan 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      To wit, I understand the need to monitor these violent lunatics, so intelligence and information monitoring services [we have GCHQ in the UK and the US equivalent escapes me] and they do a wonderful job protecting most people nearly all of the time.

      There is no need for regular joes to have access to those inflammatory and violent sites while serving in the military with values that are supposed to be in complete opposite with people our nations have fought world wars against.

      Jan 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • harshchovey
      harshchovey

      Ok people, we need to do a better job of checking our sources. There are a few hundred thousand service members who you could simply ask to try and access these sites from DoD computers.

      I am in the Army, I’m on a DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE computer, and I’m posting on your site. So I’m guessing I’m not blocked?

      Moments ago I tried to go on stormfront, and guess what? I got the good ol’ DoD “BLOCKED” message.

      The military is one of the most accepting organizations I’ve ever been part of. Contrary to popular belief, there is very little bigotry in the Army. The Army is a wonderful community for gay people, I can tell you that first hand. Leave us alone and focus on something that truly needs reform.

      Jan 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • harshchovey
      harshchovey

      Someone in my office told me you can get access to Stormfront or any website at all for that matter, but you have to fill out a form saying there’s an operational need to monitor the site, and your chain of command has to sign off on it.

      Jan 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Bedwell
      Michael Bedwell

      @harshchovey:

      There are FEW things more obnoxious than ONE person trying to extrapolate HIS unique experience to everyone in a GIGANTIC organization like the US military which has over 2 and half MILLION active duty and reserve troops, which includes tens of thousands of LGBs, AT LEAST. In addition to that, had you actually read the series of articles you would know that SEVERAL people in the military were asked to try to access these sites from where they’re stationed, and couldn’t. And, as I explained above, however serious or irrelevant people consider this issue, however widespread it is or is not, the fact is that it IS the OFFICIAL policy of the Department of Defense that, simply because they are LGB, service members are denied specific forms of equal opportunity and treatment automatically given heterosexual service members. So please spare us any more gaseous eruptions from your willfully blind and ignorant bubble.

      Jan 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MDfor911
      MDfor911

      I work at a Catholic Hospital here in the US of A. Hell, I can’t access LGBT sites! It’s a provision of my employment – and I assure you, we are all being monitored by our employers! No one is squelching my free speech, etc. When I’m at home I can do what I please. When I’m on my employer’s computer, I have to abide by their rules. Same with the DoD, which I was in for 14 years as an officer. There are certain restrictions overseas that maybe due to SOFA agreeements (Status of Forces’ Agreement). In certain countries, the DoD is allowed to have a base (and a presence) as long as you abide by local customs and legal restrictions. I’m assuming that a military member, stationed here in the US, has access to sites such as LGBT, and Hate Groups. It’s free access to freedom of speech. However, when you are overseas, in certain countries, your access to certain websites may be curtailed secondary to local customs and laws under a SOFA agreement.

      Jan 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joetx
      Joetx

      The DoD gave a response, which is posted on AmericaBlog, that refutes the assertion that LGBT websites are blocked, despite AMPLE evidence to the contrary.

      Jan 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ronbo
      Ronbo

      We must maintain the military so that they can be as assholic as: Syria, Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar. You know, those places where freedoms are fiercly limited. Women have few rights as important as the ability to be stoned to death for showing ankle.

      On second thought, rapes in our military are more common that in Bahrain. Maybe if we don’t allow our military to see reality, we can have the society they have created in Syria. Yeah(!) for the 12th century! Drones assassinations are just the modern equivalent to Merlin’s spells.

      Jan 7, 2013 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ronbo
      Ronbo

      Do you celebrate “freedom” by limiting freedoms in violation of the 1st Amendment?

      Jan 7, 2013 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      @MDfor911: Stop justifying homophobia, homophobe.

      Dec 1, 2013 at 1:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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