Army, Air Force offer contradictory stances on post-Snowden internet blockades

Request shows long list websites blocked due to Wikileaks content, including New York Times and Le Monde

Written by Tom Nash

While the government can’t directly control the public’s ability to see former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks regarding secret surveillance programs, preventing access internally is another story - though the Army and Air Force don’t exactly agree on what that story is.

Employees at an Army facility in Monterery, Calif. reported they were not able to access the Guardian, the newspaper primarily responsible for providing access to Snowden’s leaked documents.

Similar activity has been investigated on MuckRock before. MuckRock user Jason Smathers received a list of 45 WikiLeaks related websites blocked by the Air Force after an eight-month wait.

The Air Force initially rejected the request on grounds that it did not have to release documents relating to internal rules of an agency. Smathers successfully appealed that decision.

A similar request for documents related to blocking sites over the Snowden leaks, however elicited a very different response.

Even more interesting was their clarification:

So, does the DoD block websites? Depends on who you ask.

Image via Wikimedia Commons