Pharyngula

AT&T vs. 4chan

Imagine a titanic battle. No, not T. rex vs. a killer whale, but something more alarming, like T. rex vs. a massive bacterial infection. Which side do you think will win?

Something similar is going on right now. AT&T, the T. rex of the story, is going after 4chan, the infamous nest of /b/tards and fierce crackers and hackers, an unstoppable plague of corruption. AT&T is doomed if they continue.

AT&T has been sneakily trying to silence 4chan by quietly dropping access requests to the site by users on their network. I am not a great fan of 4chan (actually, I tremble in fear at even mentioning them, so I have to respect them—I’d rather piss off the Catholic Church than 4chan), but in this case I have to be on their side without reservation. AT&T is violating net neutrality and trying to censor voices on the web…and even if they succeeded in completely silencing one site on the web, the net is fluid, and they’ll just emerge elsewhere. With a grudge and a cause.


An update direct from 4chan:

For the past three weeks, 4chan has been under a constant DDoS attack.
We were able to filter this specific type of attack in a fashion that
was more or less transparent to the end user.

Unfortunately, as an unintended consequence of the method used, some
Internet users received errant traffic from one of our network
switches. A handful happened to be AT&T customers.

In response, AT&T filtered all traffic to and from our img.4chan.org
IPs (which serve /b/ & /r9k/) for their entire network, instead of only
the affected customers. AT&T did not contact us prior to implementing
the block. Here is their statement regarding the matter.

In the end, this wasn’t a sinister act of censorship, but rather a bit
of a mistake and a poorly executed, disproportionate response on AT&T’s
part. Whoever pulled the trigger on blackholing the site probably
didn’t anticipate [nor intend] the consequences of doing so.

We’re glad to see this short-lived debacle has prompted renewed
interest and debate over net neutrality and internet censorship?two
very important issues that don’t get nearly enough attention?so
perhaps this was all just a blessing in disguise.

Aside from that, I’ll also add that there is some big news due later
this week. Keep an eye on the News page, Twitter, and global message
for updates.