If you have a loved one stationed overseas in the Navy or with the Marines, you can forget about exchanging email with them if they use any of the commercial services such as Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL or Gmail. According to a report in Stars & Stripes, the Navy and Marine Corps have blocked all access to such services from overseas government computers, including those at libraries.
The reason, said Neal Miller, a manager with Naval Network Warfare Command, is that “access to such services leaves the unclassified government network too susceptible to hackers and computer viruses.”
“This concerns us,” said Ciro Giordano, supervisory librarian at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, “because so many of our patrons won’t be able to access their e-mail, and many come to the library to do just that.”
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While the affected Navy and Marine personnel will still have the use of their .mil military accounts, they do not have the same ready, easy access to those email accounts as they do to the Hotmail, AOL, Gmail and Yahoo accounts, all of which can be accessed with a web browser from any computer connected to the Internet, such as those at libraries.
And the ban doesn’t stop there. Navy and Marine Corps personnel stationed overseas are also now banned from web surfing pornographic or hate sites, and from running an online business.
All of the restrictions also apply to dependents.
This is the only way I can check my e-mail,” said Navy dependent Patricia R0vito of the computer at the Naples library. Rovito waited ten months to get telephone service and still has no Internet access at home. “This is going to be a pretty sizable hit to morale,” she added.
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