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[liberationtech] filtered on ATT? (was Re: Website censorship in the US)

Alfredo Lopez alfredo at
Wed Dec 18 12:42:33 PST 2013

Hash: SHA1

On 12/18/2013 03:24 PM, Andy Isaacson wrote:
> CCing NANOG, since this might be of interest there.  Please keep
> the discussion focused on technical routing issues rather than
> politics or conspiracy theories.

I don't understand this, Andy. Isn't politics the purpose of this
list? Otherwise, it just becomes another tech list. Or am I missing

IP blocking is a major political issue for progressive hosting
providers and this is an opportunity to talk about that. I would say
it's our most challenging (or at least our most frequent) legal and
political problem at May First/People Link.

What we're seeing in this case (the one Maxim's raising) is the result
(perhaps inadvertent) of a very pernicious trend in Internet control.
Whether something technical went wrong is important but the fact that
something technical going wrong can spark the block of an IP address
(which can bring down literally scores of websites) is a political
issue. IP blockage is also used for censorship -- as is done when you
say or post something critical or satirical about a corporation (like
the YesMen do) and they invoke the DMCA or send a complaint letter. Or
maybe somebody is using the email account for egregious spam or abuse.
In any of those cases, the upstream provider threatens us with an IP
block. We have to contend with that. Quickly. This sort of thing
really batters a small operation like ours which has a principle that
you never ever ever block an entire server (which blocking an IP
address can often do).

Brian said in another post that he thought IP blockage sounds fair and
asked for response. Well, I've been through IP blocks and they are
pure, unmitigated hell -- all kinds of people losing their website
visibility and ability to communicate by email because one site was
taken over by some moron doing spamming. Restoring the IP is a process
because you have to do a bunch of things including detect which of the
sites on the server was violating. Try doing that with the server shut
off the Internet! I is the world is *that* fair? I can't
see any legitimate reason for an IP block in a democratic society and,
trust me, they occur all the time.

Not everyone on this list knows about this stuff and I think we should
be able to talk about it. No?


- -- 
Alfredo López

Co-Chair, Leadership Committee
May First/People Link

My Column on:

My Blog
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