MilTube? What ever happened to TroopTube?
ARLINGTON, Va. – The latest military-safe version of YouTube, called MilTube, rolled out last week just two years after the Pentagon launched another military-safe option called TroopTube. But while TroopTube has been prone to its own security problems, MilTube content will remain relatively secure behind an AKO password log in.
TroopTube is still available to the public, but it does not appear to be drawing much of a crowd. TroopTube (which still advertises itself as “new”) has about 2,700 videos posted to it. It carries a mix of official military announcements and community service messages with some clips posted by users showing off their military kids and other random moments.
But TroopTube use pales compared to the 2 billion video clips downloaded on YouTube everyday. It is unclear how many times the military community surfs YouTube from military-connected computers.
YouTube was blocked from military networks in 2007, but the Pentagon opened social media access earlier this year. Those sites now can be accessed, including from the military’s recreational and internet centers that use open outside lines from the war zones.
One of the most recent TroopTube videos is a clip of Caitlin Uze, identified as “Miss VA 2010”, riding a roller coaster with troops to deliver the public service message, “You don’t have to drink to have fun.” Uze’s video is one of many “promoted” clips by TroopTube. Other promoted clips give tips for “Operational Stress Control”. There’s also an update about the recent Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Turkey Bowl flag football game between signal intelligence and military intelligence.
One problem: the military blocked it’s own TroopTube, too, according to a report from Wired’s Danger Room.
MilTube, by comparison, advertises itself as a way to share things like “training, ceremonies and news clips – across installations worldwide,” according to a press release from MilTech, an Army office.
It is the latest military version of popular social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, which the Pentagon has long said uses too much bandwidth.