30 June 2013 - 1:32pm | posted by | 2 comments

US admits to blocking The Guardian website after reporting Snowden Prism story

The Guardian broke the Prism storyThe Guardian broke the Prism story

In ironic contrast to its proclaimed national stance on freedom of speech, the US has admitted that it has blocked servers to The Guardian newspaper, which is working with private security contractor Edward Snowden to report the Prism data spying revelations.

The US army has admitted restricting access to the site to its personnel. It says it has done so to preserve “network hygiene.”

In 2009 US resident Barack Obama criticised internet censorship in China, and told students in Shanghia that the USA regarded such liberties as universal values.

"I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable," Obama said.

"They can begin to think for themselves."

A US Government spokesperson has confirmed that the US military is currrently filtering out reports and content on government surveillance in the wake of the Prism revelations.

The Monterey Herald reported that staff at San Francisco’s Presidio military base could not access the Guardian since publication of Edward Snowden’s leaks.

"In response to your question about access to the guardian.co.uk website, the army is filtering some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks," said Gordon Van Vleet, a “public affairs officer for the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom).

"The Department of Defense routinely takes preventative 'network hygiene' measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information onto DoD unclassified networks.

"The department does not determine what sites its personnel can choose to visit while on a DoD system, but instead relies on automated filters that restrict access based on content concerns or malware threats.

"The DoD is also not going to 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.

"Until declassified by appropriate officials, classified information – including material released through an unauthorized disclosure – must be treated accordingly by DoD personnel. If a public website displays classified information, then filtering may be used to preserve 'network hygiene' for DoD unclassified networks."

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Comments

30 Jun 2013 - 20:38
jules52424's picture

Are we living in North America or China? If we think we really have free speech here - this would prove us wrong!!!! All I have to say about the most recent issues (last 12 years) surrounding our political leaders in Canada and the US (W.Bush and the towers - Harper's complete disrespect for democracy and Obama's deceit)- power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely...I'm lifting prayers for Snowden - he should be applauded for his courage to stand up and speak out despite the horrendous consequences...I also agree with the statement that the most horrendous human rights/freedom of speech abuses committed in this world are committed by those wearing uniforms - police brutality (on the rise in Canada and US) and the military...

1 Jul 2013 - 10:30
jmsbn16983's picture

don't worry - much of the US military is cannon fodder recruited from poor & deprived backgrounds and only semi-literate at best. They'd struggle to read the Beano let alone the Guardian.

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