Toshio Meronek

Bilerico & Other LGBT Sites Censored by the Pentagon

Filed By Toshio Meronek | January 10, 2013 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, Site News
Tags: AmericaBlog, Department of Defense, Don't Ask Don't Tell, John Aravosis, Mother Jones, outserve, pentagon

Bilerico Project, Pam's House Blend, Towleroad, and dozens of other LGBT blogs are currently censored by filters on Department of Defense computers, even as conservative blogs like Rush Limbaugh's and Ann Coulter's are readily viewable.

John Aravosis of AMERICAblog, which is also blocked, has been covering the story. As a result of Aravosis's reporting, the Department of Defense was moved to issue a statement saying that the clearly discriminatory practice may be the Thumbnail image for bigstock-Internet-Security-Concept-3945184.jpgfiltering software's fault. But it's not like the Pentagon hasn't had time to fix the problem. When Mother Jones magazine talked to the gays-in-the-military organization OutServe, the group's spokesperson said that since Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed in 2011, its members have told Pentagon commanders repeatedly, to no avail. The DOD only publicly responded after Aravosis started pushing it out to the media.

From Mother Jones:

According to Aravosis, one of the DOD's site-blocking programs was developed by Blue Coat Systems, an American company whose wares have also been used by the repressive regime in Syria. On Blue Coat's website, the LGBT category is defined, not as housing sexually explicit content, but as containing "websites that provide reference materials, news, legal information, anti-bullying and suicide-prevention information, and other resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ("LGBT") people."

(As an aside, what better time than now for a re-visiting of Bilerico contributors Ryan Conrad and Yasmin Nair's Against Equality and its anthology Don't Ask to Fight Their Wars?)

Strangely, the DOD also noted in its public response that military policy gives commanders the authority to optionally "restrict access to personal pages for operational security reasons."

So, Bilerico: national security threat?

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