John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

I Dunno, Maybe the Second Life Pentagon Wasn’t Such a Good Idea After All

uncle_sam_bandwidth.jpgWhat was it former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said? You go to war with the bandwidth you have, not the bandwidth you want?

A Department of Defense policy that went into effect today bans military access worldwide to MySpace, YouTube, Photobucket and eight other popular Web sites because of the strain they place on its network. “We’re not passing any judgment on these sites, we’re just saying you shouldn’t be accessing them at work,” Julie Ziegenhorn, spokeswoman for U.S. Strategic Command, told Stars and Stripes. “This is a bandwidth- and network-management issue. We’ve got to have the networks open to do our mission. They have to be reliable, timely and secure.”

Of course. But this isn’t the first time the Defense Department has faced a bandwidth crunch. It was complaining about them back in 2003. You’d think that it might have spent the ensuing years assessing its bandwidth requirements and building out the capacity to meet it. Apparently not. It’s added just enough connectivity to support its own government-vetted YouTube channel, but not those services used by troops to keep in touch with family and friends.