Navy, Marines Block Commercial Email Sites
Hotmail account not working? Or Yahoo!?

It’s not a glitch with the computer connection.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps blocked all access to commercial e-mail services, such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, America Online and Google, from overseas government computers.

And not just at office workstations.

The block includes access to e-mail services from computers at base libraries and liberty centers that are connected to an official government network.

“This concerns us, 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,” said Ciro Giordano, supervisory librarian at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy.

But access to such services leaves the unclassified government network too susceptible to hackers and computer viruses, said Neal Miller, a senior plans and policy manager with Naval Network Warfare Command in Norfolk, Va.

“By going through some of the commercial Web-based e-mail accounts, it opens up vulnerabilities to government-run networks and presents too high [of a] risk to be acceptable,” Miller said.

The policy covers sailors, Marines and DOD employees and contractors using Navy Department computers, and applies to those downrange who operate on Navy computer systems.