AT&T a la China… But Worse.

About, oh, 1000x worse. Okay, so we’re used to China and their constant censorship of US darlings like Google Apps, Youtube, whatnot and what have you. By now, it’s actually alarming if one of our social media sites isn’t being censored by the Great Firewall (let’s call that the GFW from now on, a la the lovely Twitter hashtag #FuckGFW).

Apparently, AT&T has decided to block 4chan. 4chan. Let’s say that again – 4chan. Of all the sites they could have censored, 4chan? Really? Really? Did they not see what 4chan did with TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list? And TIME didn’t even do anything to them. AT&T’s got some real cajones if they’re willing to take on the wrath of 4chan, which of course, comes bundled with the army of anon. You just don’t mess with 4chan, unless you want your homepage to start displaying 2girls1cup or meatspin- and that’s only the start of it.

As per TechCrunch:

AT&T has just opened perhaps the most vindictive, messy can of worms it could have possibly found. Blocking any site seems like a breach of user trust, but the decision to block 4chan in particular just seems stupid. Expect the web equivalent of rioting if this doesn’t change soon. – Jason Kincaid

The troops have already begun rallying here and on Encyclopedia Dramatica. I don’t know about you, but I’m stocking up on my popcorn. Unless 4chan decides to blow up AT&T’s servers, in which I will be /wrist, because sadly, my service provider is AT&T.

From Encyclopaedia Dramatica:

This isn’t like going to war with Anontalk, or Scientology, or some website, it’s AT& fucking T. There will be no lulz in this war.
This time the internet IS serious business.

4chan God Help Us If They Ever Assemble

EDIT: Seems like AT&T already gave up – /b/ is accessible again (I double checked). Damn, I was so looking forward to the epic intarwebz battle. But! There’s still hope yet:

It appears that AT&T has STOPPED blocking access to in multiple previously affected areas!

(as soon as they get a little shitstorm, they back down — will this story end here? do we say ‘oh ok thanks for unblocking’ or do we go on?)

We go on. Anonymous does not forgive. Anonymous does not forget. – Anon,


EDIT Numero Dos: AT&T released a statement earlier today, explaining how all this went down in the first place.

Beginning Friday, an AT&T customer was impacted by a denial-of-service attack stemming from IP addresses connected to To prevent this attack from disrupting service for the impacted AT&T customer, and to prevent the attack from spreading to impact our other customers, AT&T temporarily blocked access to the IP addresses in question for our customers. This action was in no way related to the content at; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic.

Overnight Sunday, after we determined the denial-of-service threat no longer existed, AT&T removed the block on the IP addresses in question. We will continue to monitor for denial-of-service activity and any malicious traffic to protect our customers.

And a response from moot, via his status blog:

Here’s what happened:

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 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.

As always, I can be reached at

PS: If any companies would like to hook us up with some better hardware, feel free! The architecture we’ve got powering this large and influential beast is really quite embarrassing. ( ._.)

Like moot wrote, this srsly was a badly executed “solution” on AT&T’s part. They should at least warn people or have a posted alert saying that they’re going to block any site or IP for a good majority of the customers. Not to mention, one that has a high volume of traffic, like 4chan or any media site.

Ah well, I guess we’ll have to keep waiting to witness an epic internet throwdown.

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  • ace

    And once again, it NEVER fails with the incessant lying, as lying is a way of life for these hacker creeps. I salute AT&T for blocking viruses, trojans and nasty spider scripts, as that is what the REAL truth is as to WHY AT&T has flashed the middle finger [blocked] to 4 Chan. Why should AT&T waste time and energy in dealing with viruses, trojans and uncontrollable script programs emanating from the 4 Chan site?

    I don't condone censorship and I certainly don't condone lies “in the name of lulz”. The only thing 4 Chan has proven again and again, is that they are infantile and violent. A bunch of two year olds who go on tirades. And just like an out of control two year old, they need some REAL hard slaps from the school of hard knocks.

    Any consequences or denial of internet access to AT&T customers due to NAZI actions emanating from 4 Chan [or any other hacker creeps for that matter], I pray that they are caught, rounded up, prosecuted beyond the extent of the law, thrown in a windowless cell and locked up forever until the day they die.

    I commend AT&T for taking the step forward and I sincerely hope that other ISP'S follow suit ASAP. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Hackers cause destruction, chaos, waste everyones time and energy. Normal people on the net are SICK AND TIRED of these two year old tantrum antics that 4 Chan displays on a daily basis. These hacker creeps really and truly need to GROW THE F*** UP.

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  • Err, nice misinformed copypasta there.

  • Err, nice misinformed copypasta there.