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AT&T blocks access to 4chan, then restores it
The Net Neutrality war has begun
Today, another unfortunate sighting took place on the open subject of Net Neutrality. A now rather infamous telecommunications provider in the United States has taken its first slash in a battle that will wage on for months against consumer democracy and against and the digital natives of Generation Y until the FCC can intercede. Grab your coats Americans, and get ready for war. Today is the day that AT&T officially began censoring the internet.
In a rather vicarious attempt to fire a first shot in the Net Neutrality war, the Telco provider blocked rights to view certain sections of the highly popular imageboard 4chan.org throughout the night. In particular, the /r9k/ and the infamous /b/ sections were inaccessible and the site’s owner has confirmed that AT&T was in fact filtering access for many of its subscribed customers. Several social news blogs and websites have been circulating the information for several hours while many users nationwide are confirming that the site had indeed been blocked in a number of geographic US locations.
Recently as of 8am EST, AT&T has restored access to the site and has confirmed that the censorship issued was “following the practices of their policy department.” In particular, AT&T contacted the owners of 4chan and requested that specific undisclosed changes be made, of which 4chan’s owners have failed to comply. Meanwhile, several concerned activists have contacted AT&T support and have received very general statements regarding the status of the situation, including a few unique responses.
The global internets are already swirling in a storm of exasperated rage and fury at the company’s past statements regarding Net Neutrality and it’s current decision to blacklist 4chan for the time being. At this point, all we can say is that the newly appointed FCC Chairman Genachowski had better be diligently prepared to lead the internet generation of 2010 and beyond if the National Broadband Plan receives enough public interest.