US .mil blocking in Japan

Jeff Aitken jaitken at
Wed Mar 16 13:48:11 CDT 2011

On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 09:14:13AM -0700, andrew.wallace wrote:
> This isn't the rhetoric of a super power, more like one of a university
> campus. [...] It strikes me straight away as amateurish to be blocking
> web sites in able to have enough bandwidth for operational purposes.

On the contrary, it's entirely plausible that US forces assisting with the
recovery are (1) using more communications resources than normal, and (2)
relying on infrastructure that's operating in a degraded state due to
fiber or power issues.  If so, it's entirely reasonable to put limits on
bandwidth-hungry but non-essential applications as a precautionary measure.

Here's an excerpt from

    Military units operating in Japan face bandwidth shortages and
    network limitations that inhibit communications and command and
    control, Defense sources told Nextgov. Misawa Air Base, located on the
    northeast tip of Honshu, warned its personnel on a blog post Friday
    that the Defense Switched Network, which handles voice calls, was in
    backup mode and had only limited capacity, a fact confirmed by a
    Pentagon source Monday.

    The blog post added, "We have a number of connectivity issues.
    Internet has been up and down due to our connections through other
    places in Japan. For example, Yokota [Air Base] and several other
    locations are having issues because we all have power and connectivity
    issues right now."

    The Pentagon also took the extraordinary step of blocking access to a
    range of commercial websites to ensure that its networks have enough
    bandwidth to support mission-essential communications, Nextgov
    learned. This move, a military source told Nextgov, possibly indicates
    one or more undersea cables used by military networks were damaged by
    the earthquake.


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