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U.S. military blocks sites to free space for quake relief

Amazon, YouTube, 11 other sites popular with military personnel are blocked from the .mil computer system in effort to reserve bandwidth for use in quake recovery efforts.

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Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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  • Ed was a member of the CNET crew that won a National Magazine Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors for general excellence online. He's also edited pieces that've nabbed prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists and others.
Edward Moyer
U.S. military search and rescue team
The U.S. military is pitching in with recovery efforts following the massive earthquake and tsunamis that struck Japan. Here, members of an Air Force-Marine Corps search and rescue team scan damage at Sendai Airport on March 13. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse

The U.S. military has blocked from its computer network several Web sites popular with military personnel, as it looks to reserve bandwidth for use in earthquake recovery efforts in Japan, according to a report.

CNN said U.S. Strategic Command had confirmed that a block had been put into place Monday on the Department of Defense's .mil computer system and that the measure pinpointed 13 Web sites because of how frequently they're accessed.

The sites are: Amazon.com, Doubleclick, eBay, Eyewonder.com, ESPN.com, Googlevideo.com, Ifilm.com, Metacafe, MTV.com, MySpace, Pandora, Streamtheworld.com, and YouTube.

Strategic Command spokesman Rodney Ellison told CNN that these sites accounted for significant bandwidth and that the space needed to be available for military operations.

"This is a response to a time of extreme demand for networks," Ellison told CNN, adding that the block was temporary and could increase or decrease in scope as necessary. "We are trying to make sure we are giving [recovery efforts] as many avenues and as much support as we can," Ellison said.

Japan was, of course, hit by a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake last week, along with a resulting series of tsunamis. As of this writing, the death toll was nearly 3,400 people, with more than 7,500 missing. Rescue efforts were ongoing, as were efforts to lock down a nuclear power plant damaged during the chaos.