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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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.