The United States appears to have escalated its censorship of the internet with what it calls a “theatre wide block” of The Guardian website, the newspaper which broke the story of the Prism data scandal.
This evening The Guardian has revealed that the US military has blocked access to site for troops in the Middle East and south Asia.
The Drum previously reported that the US military was filtering out reports and content on government surveillance from The Guardian.
The Guardian now says that troops in Afghanistan, the Middle East and south Asia are blocked from accessing the entire site. It also published a screen grab of what it said was a page presented to troops attempting to access the site.
“This is a theater-wide block,” the page states.
“There are many reasons why this site might be blocked. It may be blocked for your protection, the protection of DoD assets or blocked based on Usfor-A information systems security policy enclosure 18, Centcom regulation 25-206, joint ethics regulation (JER) 5500.7 or DAA directives,”
US army Lt Col Steve Wollman said: “US central command is among other DOD organizations that routinely take preventative measures to safeguard the chance of spillage of classified information on to unclassified computer networks, even if the source of the information is itself unclassified.”
He added: “Additionally, classified information is not automatically declassified simply because of unauthorized disclosure.”
“Classified information is prohibited from specific unclassified networks, even if the information has already been published in unclassified media that are available to the general public, such as online news organizations.”