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Commercial Websites Temporarily Banned To Free Up Military Bandwidth For Disaster Relief
After the 2011 Japan Earthquake, the US military swung into action to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR). To support it's HADR operations, the US Pacific Command, which is in charge of the HADR efforts, temporarily banned access to several popular commercial websites on it's computer network. This is to free up bandwidth for the HADR operations.
The ban applied to 13 popular commercial websites including Youtube, Amazon, eBay, MTV and ESPN, but not Facebook, according to the US Cyber Command.
The US military deployed some 15 navy ships to Japanese waters in a massive HADR operation after the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, amid fears of a nuclear meltdown in the severely damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The precautionary move was taken to facilitate the needs of the US military at a time when there was peak demand on all networks in the region that was devastated by the earthquake. The ban was requested by the US Pacific Command and the Pentagon had commented that the ban was in no way a reflection on any specific site or the content of any specific site. There were no comments from Youtube, Amazon, eBay, MTV and ESPN.