LOGISTICAL SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Iraq — In response to reports of unauthorized downloads and the introduction of viruses to Morale, Welfare and Recreation computers in Iraq, officials in charge of Internet cafés on U.S. bases here have changed the way some will function.

The Space and Naval Warfare Command in Europe, which supports 178 Internet cafes in Iraq, is also upgrading its service to give users better service and lower-cost, voice-over-Internet calls, according to the command.

SPAWAR is cloning Internet café computers across the country, making them identical. In the process, the technicians will also limit access to unauthorized sites, and change the way some computers download and upload data.

Users will be required to use memory sticks and other mini-drives through the USB port to upload and download data.

“This is to prevent unwanted materials [from] being inadvertently stored on a machine, which may affect its function,” Klaus Krane, project group team leader for SPAWAR Europe, wrote in an e-mail.

Some locations continue to allow downloads, such as photos, but users must erase them immediately.

Next month, SPAWAR will launch a new system across Iraq that will improve bandwidth and service to MWR computers.

“Due to the high customer usage and SPAWAR’s desire to improve system performance, we developed a new solution which will increase the bandwidth and as a result will greatly improve system performance, increase Internet access speed and improve quality of phone calls,” Krane wrote.

The new system will also reduce costs to the military.

Although all locations should still allow downloads, soldiers in at least one location have had trouble doing so, according to a letter to Stars and Stripes. SPAWAR told the soldier in question that he should still be able to download using the USB ports once the new system is in place.

Troops currently using voice-over-Internet telephones will be able to transfer or refund their unused minutes.

The new service, expected to be in place in the next several weeks, will have a 20 percent lower per-minute cost, Krane said.

SPAWAR supports Internet cafés with computers, voice-over-Internet phones and Web cams. Commands at each location determine the total number of computers and Internet center rules, Krane said.

Using the computers

If instructions for uploads and downloads using a USB port are not posted in Internet cafés, users can contact the Space and Naval Warfare Command support office in Iraq at DNVT 302-550-0746 or commercial 240-336-0236 for help.

Cafés using the old service will reach the following site after logging on: The site describes the new system and explains how to use remaining prepaid phone account minutes.

Cafés that have made the transition will be set to the following Web site, which offers more information:

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