AT&T over the weekend blocked access to a Web site that’s a notorious haven for odd — and often highly offensive — material.
However, the telco claims it wasn’t censorship: It said it shut off access to 4Chan because the site was generating a “denial of service” attack that threatened to swamp DSL customers with malicious traffic.
According to AT&T, beginning Friday, July 24, one of its Internet customers was affected by a denial-of-service attack from IP addresses connected to img.4chan.org.
“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,” AT&T said in a statement Monday. “This action was in no way related to the content at img.4chan.org; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic.”
AT&T removed the block on 4Chan’s IP address range overnight Sunday and said it “will continue to monitor for denial-of-service activity and any malicious traffic to protect our customers.”
The U.K.’s Guardian last year called 4Chan “a message-board whose lunatic, juvenile community is at once brilliant, ridiculous and alarming.” And the New York Times said one of the site’s most popular subgroups “reads like the inside of a high-school bathroom stall, or an obscene telephone party line, or a blog with no posts and all comments filled with slang that you are too old to understand.”