Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A decision to block WorldNetDaily’s news from computers on Navy and Marine bases worldwide has been reversed, apparently after a “security” issue with the operation that provides the Web’s leading independent news site with servers was resolved.
WND reported earlier that the Navy confirmed that a block had been set up denying users access to the news site, but that the block had nothing to do with the “content” or “views” of WND.
Capt. Teresa Ovalle, from the Navy operations at Quantico, Va., where the Navy Marine Corps Intranet is managed, explained that it was an issue of security on the servers providing readers access to the WND report, and WND, working with officials for the Planet in Dallas as well as Navy experts, was able to settle the questions over the security at the site.
The U.S. Navy had launched an investigation into the issue of blocking WND’s site several weeks earlier at WND’s request because of a flood of e-mails from readers who saw various messages that the site was being blocked.
“Well, today I was finally able to see WND at work on the Navy’s NMCI network,” one service member, who requested anonymity, wrote WND. “It appears they have cleared it for viewing. Thanks, WND, for all that you do for us who defend the rights of liberals to espouse their totalitarian hogwash, no matter how utterly delusional.”
It took multiple exchanges of information among WND , Planet and the Navy, but confirmation came just recently in a statement from the Planet, which provides Web hosting services to a large number of Internet sites.
“It is my understanding that the block has been removed at last,” a Planet supervisor told WND. “It seems the last letter we wrote got to a person that could initiate a resolution.”
Flying F/A-18C Hornets above USS Ronald Reagan in the Pacific Ocean March 1, 2007, Capt. Craig Williams, foreground, and Capt. Richard Butler look up for a photo during their airborne change of command ceremony. Navy officials now have taken down a block that was halting access to WND.com
“When I reported for duty … in Oct. 2003, I was not able to access WND’s site,” one reader wrote, saying he’d even asked about the problem but “never received a satisfactory answer.” His name was withheld by WND because of his positions on at least two ships and one other base.
Numerous readers had contacted WND reporting the problem was obvious 18 months ago.
“The first time I was unable to access WND from NMCI was about 18 months ago,” wrote one man, who wasn’t identified by WND because of his position. “I was attempting to access using www.WorldNetDaily.com and was denied access. I then tried www.WND.com and was able to use that URL for about four months until it, too, was banned.”
A contractor that runs much of the Internet service functions for the U.S. Marine Corp and the U.S. Navy earlier said it was a Navy computer blocking access to WorldNetDaily.
Barbara Mendoza of EDS marketing strategy and communications told WND her company runs the NMCI, servicing bases in those two military branches across the nation. But after checking, she reported her system was not responsible for the trouble that has prompted a flood of military service member contacts with WND about why they are not able to access the site.
“The WND website is not blocked on the NMCI enterprise ISA policy nor by the NMCI DNS black hole,” she said. “It appears the website is blocked by the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC) government website,” she said.
“WND.com, its content, policies, views or any other aspect of [the] site has nothing to do with this decision [to block this website],” Navy officers said in a prepared statement. “WND unfortunately is hosted by a service provider that does not police its customers who elect to send unauthorized network traffic to Government and Military networks.”
Ovalle said the Navy would recommend “that the WND.com site maintainers transition to a secure hosting facility that monitors network activity to and from its customers so that malicious activity from selected customers does not affect legitimate sites/customers.”
She declined to describe “malicious activity” or specify what traffic raised any concerns, but said “that’s the reasons it’s blocking – the host provider isn’t secure enough.”
Mendoza said she uncovered the problem in the Navy computer by reviewing a series of Web addresses that were marked for blocking, and that series encompassed the numerical Web address assigned to WND.
WND’s own server statistics show the news site has a huge following among members of the military. Statistics gathered over just a few days show that from computers with an address ending in
“.mil,” indicating a military source, there have been readers coming through almost 1,000 Internet service providers.
WND, a fiercely independent news site, was launched 10 years ago by Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, and for more than 100 weeks in a row was listed as the No. 1 most popular website in the world by Global 100.
Earlier this year, Internet audience ratings service comScore Media Metrix said WND’s traffic growth was No. 1 among all political news sources and No. 2 among all sites related to politics in any way.
WND’s traffic increased 54 percent in January, according to the report, which said WND attracted more visitors in the month than the websites of any of the presidential candidates including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
WND has also been consistently ranked by several major Internet ratings agencies as the “stickiest” news site on the Internet – meaning readers average more time on it than any other.
By WND’s own traffic counts, the site attracts about 6 million “unique visitors” (meaning different people) every month. It attracts between 50 million and 60 million pageviews per month.
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