AT&T, one of the largest Internet service providers (ISPs) in the country, put a temporary block on its Internet customers over the weekend to an underground Web site due to a denial-of-service attack. The block is gone but the fuss kicked up among bloggers remains.
Over the weekend, Christopher “moot” Poole, the owner of the site 4chan.org, noticed that AT&T users were blocked from accessing a portion of his site. Specifically, AT&T blocked the server on img.4chan.org, the dedicated server for the site’s Random board, also known as /b/. The Random board alone gets around one-third of all of 4chan’s traffic, so it has its own server.
But even though AT&T said it blocked the server because it detected a denial-of-service attack, the board’s rabid user base smelled censorship at work.
Poole, a fan of Japanese anime, started 4chan about six years ago, copying a similar Japanese anime board called 2chan. Since its founding in 2003, 4chan quickly gained popularity, with its various message boards enabling people to post and trade pictures and chat anonymously: unlike other message boards, 4chan requires no login account.