Air Force will deny access to any of its crew if they try to access sites with “blog" as part of the address, such as blogspot.com or blogs.nytimes.com. Air Force officials say the blogs are not legitimate media outlets and shouldn’t be read at work.
If your site has "blog" as part of the web address (also known as URL), then your site is banned by the U.S. Air Force. Google owns Blogger.com and Blogspot.com, so any sites using these domains (even if they are official media outlets) will be banned.
The Air Force gave the following statement to the Air Force Times:
Air Force has imposed bans on all sites with "blog" in their URLs, thus cutting off any sites hosted by Blogspot. The idea isn’t to keep airmen in the dark — they can still access news sources that are "primary, official-use sources.Previously, each major command of the Air Force used to control what sites the troops can visit, but now the Air Force Network Operations Center (AFNOC) takes over with a general “Cyber Command” for all troops.
AFNOC blocks the sites by using Blue Coat software, which categorizes sites based on their content and allow users to block sub-categories as they choose.
Tech Sgt. Christopher DeWitt, a Cyber Command spokesman said to the Air Force Times: Often, we block first and then review exceptions.Airmen have already started to feel the sting of this ban -- they were unable to visit educational sites.
Some of the military departments have also banned Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace websites.
While they have banned blogs, many blogs have their own domain name and use WordPress platform or Russian based LiveJournal.
The Air Force will have a hard time separating the good and the bad using this banning procedure. Not all blogs are wasteful diversions; there are many good blogs that provide more insight than the mainstream media.
Is this the right decision by the Air Force?