The Pentagon has blocked access to The Guardian newspaper’s website for all soldiers stationed in the Middle East.
The Guardian confirmed on Monday that its website has been blacklisted by a filtering system installed by the United States Department of Defense on the computer system utilized by thousands of service members deployed to the area covered by the US Central Command, or CENTCOM. That “theater-wide” effort has reportedly blocked access to the award-winning newspaper’s Web edition for all soldiers in Afghanistan, the Middle East, South Asia and even the command’s headquarters in Florida.
The decision to keep overseas troops from accessing the newspaper comes three days after The Guardian learned that certain pages of its website were inaccessible to soldiers stationed within the US. The Defense Department initially restricted access to Guardian articles containing classified material — such as the leaked National Security Agency documents recently disclosed to the paper by former contractor Edward Snowden — but the Pentagon has since widened that ban, making the entire website off limits for soldiers not just within America’s border, but those stationed in locales like Afghanistan and Iraq.