UPDATE: Nearly a full week after our connection was severed, it has just as mysteriously been reconnected. Since being cut off immediately following our weekly radio program, we've heard that it was the result of a cable cut, a trunk outage, and finally a central office that was wired wrong. At this point, we actually hope that this was caused by some malicious force within Verizon because if all of this can be blamed on incompetence, a big part of our infrastructure is in serious danger.
We have lost a lot because of this. Email, articles, business that's essential to our existence, you can only imagine. Please be patient as we try and catch up and remember that every bit of support will make us stronger and more able to stand up to this kind of crap. Again, thanks to everyone who raised their voices and please continue to pay attention to what's going on around us, We guarantee this isn't over.
ORIGINAL STORY FROM 25 JUN 2011
It seems incredible that we continue to be victimized by either the horrendous ineptitude or the endless malice of Verizon - but the evidence leaves no other conclusion.
This latest denial of service began immediately after the last broadcast of "Off The Hook." We immediately reported that our main machine, where all email and communications at 2600 are coordinated, was off the net. In a normal situation, this would result in a crew being dispatched. In our case, we had to prove that the problem wasn't in-house first. So we did the usual round of tests involving our modem and wiring at our facility and, as always, the problem did not lie there. In fact, after they were told this, they said they were already aware that the issue was "somewhere in the field."
All day Thursday we battled with them on getting the problem fixed, all the while being assured that it was imminent. It wasn't. Friday came and a new but familiar tactic of Verizon's was employed. They claimed to have shown up at our facility, unannounced, only to find nobody there. Despite acknowledging that the problem wasn't at our facility, this was actually used as an excuse to not follow through any further. We were then told they would call us early Saturday and do this all again. They never did and now it appears the rest of the weekend (at least) will go by without any action on this major problem.
There's something especially odd and troubling about this particular incident. It's become known that various individuals involved in some recent major hacking stories are communicating from our machine (in addition to our IRC network). This is nothing new - 2600.com has always been a presence for the community to set the record straight or to simply have a secure means of communicating with our staff. Almost as soon as we extended this courtesy to a member of the hacker group LulzSec, we were cut off from the net. We were able to quickly ascertain that this was not a standard denial of service attack but, rather, something much closer to the source of our Internet access.
If the types of incidents outlined above were happening to other companies and, specifically other controversial publications, then we wouldn't necessarily come to the conclusion that something nefarious was up. We stayed silent long enough to give this a chance to be resolved as some sort of a technical issue. Now, it seems clear that there's more going on.
We want to be very clear that we don't engage in illegal activity on any of our servers and that any ongoing communication that goes on there is of a journalistic nature and authorities would have one hell of a time challenging this. Nevertheless, we do keep our server in a secure location where any funny business on the part of authorities would be detected. We've all heard of cases where machines in a colocation facility have monitoring devices secretly attached to them by the authorities - sometimes blatantly illegally - while the end user remains oblivious to the fact that their machine is no longer secure. As this remains next to impossible for 2600.com, keeping us off the net is one way of forcing certain people to communicate in less secure manners. We intend to keep fighting to get our access back so we can continue to provide a forum for the community, not to mention keep our magazine in business.
We do apologize for all of the inconvenience that so many people are experiencing as a result of what's been going on. We know we're not completely without fault here - we could certainly have a better system in place where this sort of thing isn't so crippling to us. It's no excuse, but so many things get in the way in this community, where we're always involved in a new project, issue, conference, or campaign. With community support and involvement, we can get past this, expose the truth, and continue to make the world more exciting and worthwhile.