Monday, July 27, 2009

good morning, the world is blocking 4chan

Apparently several sites are blocking AT&T was discovered to be blocking /b/ and /r9k/ boards earlier, but about 25 minutes ago (3:00 AM Central) moot updated the status page to say:
Cogent Communications has joined the club—they're now blocking all of 4chan. I can't even access the site at this point.
(EDIT: As of 4:05 AM Central, the entry about Cogent has been deleted from the status blog. No idea why.)

I think Cox Communications may be blocking 4chan as well, as I can't get to it at all. Unless there's a DOS attack on 4chan again, which Encyclopedia Dramatica hints at, so it's possible. (EDIT: It came back up at the same time I noticed moot had deleted the bit about Cogent. Plenty on 4chan are reporting they were unable to get on too, from a bunch of different ISPs. I wonder if this was a technical issue separate from the AT&T issue?)

Are ISPs taking it upon themselves to tell their users that they aren't allowed to go to certain websites? If so, that's not the ISP's job. This is a dangerous precedent if it's an ISP deciding it doesn't want to allow people to go to 4chan due to content.

It's possible that the constant DOS attacks against 4chan (presumed to be by Anontalk) has caused ISPs to cut off access in an effort to reduce bandwidth. Since no one is confirming anything -- this happened on a Sunday, just like every other Internet fiasco (Amazon's homophobic sales rank problem, anyone?) -- it'll be Monday before we know more.

Pic related, as kids these days say.


  1. This might be the best thing to happen to the Internet in a long time.

    Those who've been arguing the case for net neutrality have always been laden with the need to paint hypothetical scenarios -- well, *what if* Cox wanted to charge more for YouTube -- and that's no longer necessary. Why is net neutrality needed? To stop AT&T (and others, as it appears this morning) from arbitrarily deciding that part of the Internet is verboten, like they just did, and like they will again as soon as they find another aspect of the Internet they either find too expensive or, worse, somewhat south of their shivering moral compass (a notion which is just hysterical coming from the people who brought us Room 641A).

    If the EFF and similar entities play their cards right, this could be the cause celebre (too early for diacriticals) for a net neutrality push in probably the most favorable executive and legislative climate it's seen in the information age. Or they could be cowed by telecom lobbying and harsh rhetoric. Again. Fingers crossed.

  2. I absolutely agree, and I think AT&T's response of blackholing the entire /b/ and /r9k/ segments of 4chan speaks to how they feel about those pages. AT&T isn't the only ISP that has contempt for the grittier parts of the Internet, and even though this was eventually dismissed as "oops mistake there, my bad", it sets a very worrying precedent.