As of May 14, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) began "blocking access 'worldwide' to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Web sites on its computers and networks." General B.B. Bell said the ban would limit "recreational traffic" that had impacted "our official DoD network and bandwidth ability, while posing a significant operational security challenge." While members of the military "can still access the sites on their own computers and networks," many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan only have access to DoD computers. The ban covers sites used by soldiers to keep in touch with family and friends, and comes shortly after an order requiring soldiers to pre-clear blog posts and public emails. Editor & Publisher reports that the Iraqi government "will soon routinely ban journalists from the sites of bombings and other violent incidents." Iraq's Interior Ministry Operations Director said the ban was not "a curtailment of press freedom," and is needed "to protect journalists," to safeguard evidence, to deny terrorists "information that they achieved their goals," and to respect human rights, "by not photographing dead bodies."
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