AT&T, for reasons unknown at this point, has blocked user access to portions of 4chan, the online hangout for the world's most notorious cyber-terrorists. And they thought iPhone customers were a pain in their ass! This will end badly.
For benefit of the uninitiated, 4chan is a popular Wild West-ish outpost of internet known equally for its infamous hacking jobs and pranks (Rickrolling emerged from this murky swamp) as its meme generation, perhaps most notably the LOLcats phenomenon. 4chan's /b/ messageboard, one of the sections of the site blocked by AT&T, was once described as "the asshole of the internet" by Gawker and Valleywag alum Nick Douglas, an outpost where "btards" gather to engage in tasteless games of uncensored oneupsmanship, where the objective is often to see who can elicit the most shock from other members of the community.
Reports Tech Central:
Users of AT&T's DSL internet access across many states in the US are reporting that they are being blocked from the infamous /b/ message board in what appears to be an act of internet censorship by the phone company. This started today Sunday and no one has yet been able to get any official confirmation out of AT&T as to why.
Moot, the founder of 4chan, has confirmed AT&T is filtering/blocking the site.
In addition to starting a war with the internet's most skilled collection of cyber-rogues, Central Gadget says that AT&T may also be breaking the law.
Under the FCC's Comcast/BitTorrent ruling, Internet Service Providers may only slow or cap connection speeds. They are not allowed to block any service or protocol on the internet. Here, 4chan as a web site appears to fall under an internet service, but it is also conforming to standard web page protocols. It appears AT&T does not have the legal right to block 4chan, only to cap customers who are "abusing" their access to the internet.
Predictably, the 4chan crowd is already mobilizing both inside and outside of their online community. AT&T didn't just open a can worms, they dove headfirst into a den of vipers, and this will be very interesting to watch play out.