Global Voices Online
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
LiveJournal's Cyrillic users are in distress again: for the past week or so, Russian bloggers have been experiencing problems when they tried to post their entries or leave comments.
Some claimed they were being censored.
LJ user insie wrote (RUS) about "political terror in LJ" on June 4:
Just a few hours it was impossible to post messages that contained the following links: "ru_nbp", "nbp_ru" [NBP is the National Bolshevik Party], "ru_politics" и "dрni" [DPNI is the Movement Against Illegal Immigration] (the last one is written with the Russian "p" because Latin script is still not being let through). It doesn't matter what my attitude toward NBP or DPNI is. What's important is that a purposeful pressure on democracy is taking place and the citizens' constitutional right of free access to information is being limited.
Since plenty of apolitical bloggers were also unable to use their journals, it wasn't easy to accept censorship as the reason for the blackout. But Russian politics is behind the current crisis after all.
Here's an explanation (RUS) from a representative of Sup, the Russian online media company running the "Russian-speaking" segment of LiveJournal in partnership with Six Apart:
[DDoS Attack]. Official reaction from Six Apart
According to the explanations we've received from Six Apart this morning, a powerful DDoS-attack is being carried out against the LJ servers in California since Friday, June 1. The source of the attack is allegedly located in Russia. Servers are receiving 50,000 requests per second. The attack's main goals are dрni, ru_рolitics и ru_nаzbol communities. To resist the attacks, the LJ administration introduced filtration of incoming packages and limited access to the server for large blocks of Russian IP-addresses beginning last Friday. These are temporary measures that had to be taken. Technical services of Six Apart decide on the specific lists of words and addresses to be blocked, taking into account the analysis of incoming requests.
These filters make it impossible to post LJ entries and comments that contain the words "ru_рolitics," "dрni" и "ru_nbр."
Needless to say, there's an avalanche of comments to this post, dealing both with the political and technical aspects of the issue, but here's a translation of just one thread (RUS), which begins with a serious question and evolves into an absurdly comical exchange:
natias: I'm not a member of the communities and organizations mentioned above, but I'm still not able to post anything. When will this ban be over?
beri_llii: "When the oil runs out, and our president dies..." (c) [DDT, a Russian rock band]
Around that time.
v_katin: An "A"
supmaker [a Sup representative]: As soon as the programmers of Six Apart stop the attack. Otherwise, LiveJournal servers would've been dead for everyone.
welgar: Nowadays, it's not enough not to be a member of "these organizations." You have to publicly renounce NBP, DPNI and ru-politics (only once, still, thank God), and the copy of your renouncement should be sent to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Then they'll restore your LJ access, as well as NTV+ [satellite channel], and, possibly, even hot water. [Hot water is turned off for a few weeks every summer in most cities in Russia and Ukraine, allegedly to allow maintenance and repairs.]
natias: Thanks. I do have NTV and hot water =)
But why just once??? What if the copy doesn't reach the addressee)))
welgar: Renounce three times then and request a delivery confirmation for the letter.
grajo_che: And while doing that, don't forget to cross yourself three times in front of the portrait of Putin wearing a KGB lieutenant's uniform ))
heleknar: Damn! Are you sure they'll turn hot water back on? I'd renounce my membership in anything for hot water! :)
welgar: Well, that depends on how sincere you are in your renouncement...