Is AT&T Blocking 4chan in SoCal?

1248644639270sThis is kind of a developing story, but according to a thread on Reddit, AT&T is currently blocking parts of 4chan. As you should know 4chan has been described as the very best and the very worst of the internet all rolled into one (be careful clicking links to the site as some parts of it are NSFW) though it’s pretty much accepted that they created LOLcats as well as many other noteworthy memes. 4chan is not good, or bad, it just is. So far it can confirmed that:

  • Calls to are being blocked at the ISP level for AT&T customers.
  • Other subdomains on 4chan seem unaffected.
  • AT&T has confirmed they are blocking this to customers who have called their help desk.
  • So far this seems limited to Southern California though some in other areas are complaining of the block as well.

I’m a Time Warner customer so I can’t check this myself, and while I have AT&T for mobile service I think that is different than their home internet service. I just asked on twitter and a few LA folks with AT&T confirmed the site wouldn’t load for them. The two obvious questions now are why does AT&T think they can censor parts of the web, and how quickly will 4chan retaliate?

Update 11:37PM: Many people who were reporting that they were blocked can now access the site, possibly meaning the block has been removed as stealthfully as it was installed?

Final update: Block has been removed.

51 thoughts on “Is AT&T Blocking 4chan in SoCal?”

  1. I’m not a customer so they won’t talk to me, but from the folks I’ve talked to they are not offering any explanation, only confirming they are blocking it.

  2. I’m not surprised. AT&T *allegedly* set up “spy rooms” accessible to Bush administration officials so they could illegally spy on Americans without warrants. See here, for example.

  3. If AT&T is doing this–or even if they are not, but some ISP might do something like it–this is a great reason to do two things:

    (1) Support Net Neutrality! Write to your Congresscritters letting them know this is an important issue to you. ISP’s should not be able to play these shenanigans on paying customers who don’t want an ISP’s opinion on what sites are “best” to look at.

    (2) It may help to use OpenDNS. Often ISP malice is performed by misdirecting legitimate requests rather than outright dropping the bytes from the intended site. It amounts to ISP’s doing DNS poisoning, frankly. I have no idea what AT&T did specifically, but using a 3rd party DNS avoids one avenue of attack on ISP customers by ISPs.

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