Secure Video Added for U.S. Armed Forces

The military’s secure YouTube clone is the latest addition to the armed forces’ suite of social media tools.

by / November 23, 2010
The U.S. military is launching a secure video-sharing website that's similar to YouTube.

The military has pressed play on milTube, a site similar to YouTube that allows users to share videos — including training, ceremonies and news clips — behind a secure firewall available only to Department of Defense (DoD) organizations.

MilTube is the newest addition to a group of other social networking services available only to the armed forces under a program called milSuite. Networking services include milBook, milWiki and milBlog, which mirror the popular consumer-based social networking sites Facebook, Wikipedia and blogging sites. The service has attracted more than 88,500 military personnel.

MilSuite is firewall protected and safe for DoD branches and organizations to share official unclassified internal information and engage in dialog without the fear of unauthorized viewing or distribution.

“Video is an extremely powerful tool for storytelling and sharing information among personnel,” said Justin Filler, deputy director of the MilTech Solutions Office, an Army organization, in a press release. “MilTube provides a secure, internal environment for those connections to take place across the armed services.”

MilTube, which is overseen by a government organization called the MilTech Solutions Office, is fulfilling a consistent request from members of the work force for a central interface to upload and access video and audio files.

“People across the DoD are collaborating on various programs and efforts in ways that were not possible before milSuite,” said Todd Miller, an army contractor supporting milSuite, in a statement. “We do our part by delivering the new features users are looking for, including video capability. We look forward to seeing how our users bring knowledge to the community through a completely different medium.”

To meet bandwith challenges at different military bases, milTube diagnoses platform needs so users can watch and upload videos at any location. It will support multiple video formats as well as audio-only streaming and will be available on both desktop and mobile devices.

The new website meets the DoD’s need for a secure and dynamic way to share videos — including training, ceremonies and news clips — across installations worldwide. With channels, categories and tags that are organized similarly as YouTube, users can easily watch, upload, sort and search content.

Because all activity takes place behind the firewall, the video and audio are protected from unauthorized viewing and distribution. That makes milTube a safe military alternative to commercial video-sharing sites like YouTube, officials said.

The site is a companion to several other professional networking tools behind the firewall, including milBook, milWiki and milBlog. Known as milSuite, the integrated tools mirror what users are familiar with at home: wikis, blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

At a time when the DoD senior leaders are stressing efficiencies and cost savings, milSuite reduces duplicative efforts and facilitates knowledge sharing by creating a living encyclopedia where personnel can create, discover and verify information.


Lauren Katims Nadeau

Lauren Katims previously served as a staff writer and contributing writer for Government Technology magazine.