US military blocks access to popular sites to aid Japan relief effort

Access to websites including YouTube and MTV have been blocked across the US military's computer system to free up bandwidth for operations in Japan.

Thirteen sites popular with users of military computers have been blocked by the United States military to free up bandwidth for operations in Japan, CNN reported.

An email obtained by the network and confirmed by spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command, Rodney Ellison, said the sites, which include MTV, YouTube, eBay and MySpace, accounted for significant bandwidth and had been blocked from Monday to ensure bandwidth was available in Japan for military operations.

Mr Ellison said the block was of a temporary nature and could increase or decrease in size and scope as necessary. U.S. Pacific Command had made the request to free up bandwidth, CNN said, and the block been put in place across the .mil computer system of the Department of Defense.

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

The sites are: YouTube, eBay, MTV, Amazon, ESPN.go, Googlevideo, Doubleclick, Eyewonder, Pandora, Streamtheworld, Ifilm, Myspace, Metacafe