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YouTube, other websites, blocked by U.S. military for Japan relief effort

by Jorge Hernandez on March 16, 2011

The U.S. military has blocked its personnel's access to websites such as YouTube, ESPN, Amazon, MTV and eBay, in order to make more bandwidth available for the relief effort in Japan, according a new CNN report.

The U.S. Strategic Command spokesman Rodney Ellison confirmed that these popular websites had indeed been blocked.

Ellison explained that the action is temporary and is meant to better help Japan in the country's time of need.

"We are doing this to facilitate the recovery efforts under way in Japan. We are trying to make sure we are giving them as many avenues and as much support as we can," Ellison told the news source.

Blocking the websites would "make sure bandwidth was available in Japan for military operations," explained Ellison.

The full list of websites no longer available includes Googlevideo, Doubleclick, Pandora, MySpace, Metacafe, streamtheworld, Amazon and ifilm.

These were the websites most highly used by military personnel.

The U.S. has sent 8 naval ships to aid in recovery efforts after the March 11 earthquake hit off the coast of Northern Japan, according to Agence France Presse.

Japan itself has deployed about 40 percent of its troops – or about 100,000 people – to the areas worst hit by the quake and tsunamis. The U.S. has about 49,000 troops either stationed within or near the coast of Japan.

Five more U.S. naval ships are planning to arrive in Japan, said a Pentagon spokesman.

More than 10,000 people are dead or missing, while the Japan earthquake – the largest in the country's recorded history – was upgraded from 8.9 to 9.0 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Service.

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