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U.S. Navy Threatens San Diego Web Cam After Showing USS Pinckney Refit

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In San Diego, the U.S. Navy is continuing a year-long struggle to limit public scrutiny of port operations. In early November, as the newly-refitted USS Pinckney (DDG 91), a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, left port for an initial shakedown cruise, harbor webcams tracked the vessel’s every move through the port. Online, a viral frenzy dissected the Pinckney’s ungainly, “bug-eyed” refit. Days later, the U.S. Navy Criminal Investigative Service started shutting the webcam service’s cameras down.

It was a strange incident. The USS Pinckney, testing an important electronic warfare system, sported a new topside geometry, modifying the distinctive Arleigh Burke silhouette. Commentators and internet observers employed San Diego webcam images to help news of the destroyer’s new refit go viral, detailing, discussing—and sometimes disparaging—the destroyer’s top-heavy new look.

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