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WASHINGTON — Network administrators have blocked soldiers’ access to commercial Web sites and e-mails hosted by Time Warner’s Roadrunner due to security concerns, officials confirmed this week.

For several weeks, soldiers on official computers have been blocked from visiting commercial sites with home pages on the Roadrunner servers and from contacting businesses which use e-mail extensions.

In a statement, officials from the Army Global Network Operations and Security Center, or GNOSC, said the move was made after network security found some Roadrunner-hosted sites had attempted to infect Army computers with potentially harmful programs.

“Unknown individuals are using this service to engage in malicious activities,” the statement said. “The Army does not believe the domain owner is responsible for the activity, nor would they condone it; but they are ultimately responsible for the security of their networks.”

Center officials said the restrictions will remain “until the risk is mitigated and verified.” They acknowledged that some soldiers and legitimate outside businesses have been inconvenienced by the block, but insisted the move was necessary.

Time Warner spokesman Mark Harrad said officials there were unaware of the problem until this week, but are working with Army officials to address their concerns.

“We’re hoping to resolve this in the near-term,” he said.

The issue came to light this week after a report in the Watertown Daily Times, the hometown newspaper for Fort Drum in New York. The newspaper uses the Roadrunner host for its Web site and e-mail, and found itself unable to contact local soldiers.

GNOSC officials said the block only applies to official Army computers and e-mails with extensions, not private laptops or e-mails.

Army Network Command spokesman Gordon Van Vleet could not say when the issue might be resolved, but said the GNOSC staff is working with Time Warner on recommended changes.


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