back to article World whines as AT&T muzzles 4chan, Google

The American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation had a hell of a week. In a spectacular display of the raw power liberated when organizational incompetence is mixed with the moral elasticity that can only be bred in an oaky cask of middle management, the company not only showed the world that it can do whatever it damn well …


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  1. Pete 2 Silver badge

    "the world"? ... I think not

    Sorry to inject some reality into this. But I just stuck my head out of the window - guess what I heard? Yup, no whining!

    While a few journos in america might be having a good old whinge about this, I would suggest that the vast majority of that country's population have neither knowledge nor interest in the situation. As for the other 95% of the world - I sincerely doubt that many of them have heard of AT&T: let alone this 4chan thing (whatever a "gullet" of the internet is) - not being english speakers, 'n all.

    Maybe a better headline would be something like:

    "Small, but vocal minority bleats about obscure internet restrictions - no-one really affected"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Remember Phorm

    Ted shouldn't dismiss net activism in such an offhand manner. Maybe the US is different but I'm guessing that a certain Mr Kent Ertugrul is smarting from the continuous stream of "high power pepper spray" that has been directed at his company over the last 18 months.

    Eventually BT, Phorm's major partner in their DPI plans, was forced to drop Phorm. With BT out of the picture Virgin Media and Talk-Talk had to follow suit and Phorm was dead. Going from a hight of £35 a share at the time their plans were uncovered in August 2008 to a basket case at £2 a share and zero income (and no chance of any income) right now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Worl Whines @ AT&T"

    Written by an American presumably...interesting and honest comments no doubt but as usual he forgets that the majority of the world's population has no idea who AT&T is and far fewer could possibly know what "4chan" is. " I suspect that "The Rest of the World" ie. those outside the USA would like to be recognised as representing about 95% of humanity.

    While we are on this topic - too many journalists refer to "Europe" when they really mean "TRoTW",

    especially when referring to various standards.

  4. Jeff 3
    Thumb Down

    It's not big, and it's not clever

    I do realise the irony of posting this comment to a story about 4chan, but why is it that TheReg reporters think it's big and clever to use words like "shit" and "fuckup" in a news article?

    I also wonder if this post will make it through the mods for quoting the article.

  5. jake Silver badge

    It's all ones & zeros.

    When you boil it down to basics, "the internet" (whatever that is) moves information. Once that information is available on said "internet" (whatever that is), the cat is out of the bag, or the can full of worms is opened, or whatever simile you prefer.

    Trying to muzzle that information once it is made available, by whatever means, is not only impossible, the very concept boarders on the pathological.

    How people use that information says more about the people using it than it does about the information itself. This usage includes those who try to remove it completely, as well as folks trying to pass along so-called "illegal" information.

    I find it particularly amusing when paranoid groups assume that $DOTGOV or $BIGCO is out to get them ... when in reality, it's almost always $RANDOM_EVENT causing temporary lack of access to whatever information was once available, but is now seemingly "deleted" from "the internet" (whatever that is), which is demonstrably impossible.

    And then I remember that the kids making the racket are just that, kids. They will probably learn the reality of the big scheme of things, eventually, once they are thru' puberty. The only question remaining in my mind is, will Ted?

  6. Jeroen Braamhaar

    Made my day

    Damn Ted, you almost owed me a new keyboard. Coffee + Fail &You = BAD combo.

    That first paragraph is so damn awesome, I still can't stop laughing.

    Great article - and once again, it's shown that no amount of regulation will EVER replace common sense.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ? The article will finish when ?

    It started good then went down hill. Reminds me of the conversation of a very drunk guy down the pub, whoes misses has just left him.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Whining about the lack of marching?

    What is it you're attacking, really, when you're disappointed by the lack of people lining up to take pepper spray and fire hoses? I remember a similar conversation with my elderly uncle who attacked the "younger generation" for letting all this crap happen and not even putting up a fight. Maybe people lining up and rioting was the norm in the old days, but now twittering and blogging and real cracking and so forth work just as well if not better. (Now if all that was truly just sarcasm, then forgive me for not picking up on it over text.)

    Personally I wouldn't care if 4chan ceased to exist, but I do support open internet. In the end I don't think it will matter much what governments and corporations do to censor things. I'm optimistic for a real mesh network and everything being encrypted and Tor'd in the near future.

  9. Doug Glass


    BFD. Those who support AT$T get what they deserve, and they pay to get it. What the author fails to recognize is the non AT$T supporters (clients) just don't give a damn and those that buy the AT$T line, well, in reality 99.99% of them don't either.

    Small but vocal minorities always get the headlines these days because most of today's writers are incapable of real journalism. The best they can do is publish something that grabs your eye whether it's truthful or not. Witness the incredibly small number of internet users who grumble about the pirate bay boys getting convicted, the loss of their "right" to steal, and the desire for certain criminals to go without prosecuted. Plenty of indignant copy there even though the world at large wants these guys capped.

    But I do agree with the author on one point, where are the real protests that have the possibility of causing change? Most internet "protesters" are simply ill educated, poorly prepared near-do-wells who have a keyboard and enjoy shooting their mouth off and hiding behind internet anonymity. It's easy to be mouthy and controversial when nobody can see your face. No doubt these same people go to work and smile at the boss and say "Yes sir" or "yes ma'am" and just do as they're told. Or as I suspect get on the bus and trundle off to school only to miss the hoop and be laughed at by the jocks.

    Oh well, I do love a good clown act on the internet there is an unending supply. Like right here.

  10. Ray0x6
    Thumb Up

    @Pete2, AC

    Don't forget that, as far as the Internet is concerned, America's quite important. It is worth having this kind of news. People sticking up for their personal freedoms, even if on another continent, are still indirectly sticking up for yours.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Whining about the lack of marching? #

    Wait lol - wtf has blogging or twittering achieved to date?

  12. Shakje

    @Doug Glass

    What is wrong with you? At least M$ has some reason for sticking the dollar sign in, AT$T actually makes you look more of a twat than people typing M$. Good job.

  13. asdf Silver badge

    God is an American

    Even David Bowie says so. When you're GDP is twice anybody elses (even if it is made up funny money and fake financial products nobody understands) you can talk some shit I guess.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    I think you'll find 4chan is the butthole of the internet.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I think anons' actual plan

    was to manipulate the share price.

    Had they actually continued as planned and achieved this we would be seeing a very different article.

    I have no praise for /b/, but, I consider their "plan" of action in this case to be extremely focussed and potentialy very damaging &/or scarey.

    (Paris, also damaging and scarey in the wrong light)

  16. Dave Murray

    Article funny, comments funnier...

    I thought the article was funny, particularly the last line, but the comments are even better.

    @Jeff3 - You ain't from round these parts are ya boy? First time you've read a Ted article and first time you've commented I'm guessing.

    @AC 3rd August 2009 08:13 GMT - Don't count your chickens before they've hatched. I'll believe Phorm is dead when I read their bankruptcy filing. We've been told SCO is dead more times than I can remember yet still that zombie keeps shuffling.

    @Pete2 - I think a lot more people have heard of 4chan than you think and it is not a US phenomenon. Loved the way you reinforced your point by posting almost exactly the same comment 4 minutes later as an AC. I' sure everyone thinks it was someone agreeing with you, oh yes.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A way with words....

    Off the topic rather as I'm not a 4chan user...

    "...a spectacular display of the raw power liberated when organizational incompetence is mixed with the moral elasticity that can only be bred in an oaky cask of middle management..."

    Mr Dziuba, you're a classic. As a retired survivor of the British local government system (an industry not to be confused with democracy in any form) can I say this is the best summary of corporate management attitudes I've ever seen in my life. I spent years dealing with management that was amoral, infinitely self-justifying and totally lacking in those genes that allow the rest of us to know right from wrong and fair from unfair. And as often as not profoundly corrupt.

    I'm going to have your phrase hand-inscribed and framed, mate!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Wh3n U FI_Ick w17h 4chan...

    ... u fI_Ick w17h ANON. Better use protection.

    Damn Ted, you are bitter. So, leet haxor kids don't go out to take a public beating for fun. At least they are not brazen/"adult" enough to happily bend over for the system if they feel threatened in what they perceive to be their rights. Every little bit counts.

  19. W

    If you think there's a lack of "marching"

    you are a) missing the point, and b) have a very selective memory.

    In short, you have now become the apathetic "tsk, tsk, youth of today" muttering old codgers that you claim to have once rallied against. Probably the closest you've come to doing anything revoloutionary is buying a Citizen Smith box set.

    Here's a few reminders of some recent (internet-assisted) protests that took to the street (for all the good they did, in the face of police tactics, media negligence, and governmental self-interest)...


    The February 15, 2003 anti-war protest was a coordinated day of protests across the world against the imminent invasion of Iraq. Millions of people protested in approximately 800 cities around the world.

    It's been said that between January 3 and April 12, 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the Iraq war. Futhermore, These protests are said to be the biggest global peace protests before a war actually started. Europe saw the biggest mobilization of protesters, including a rally of 3 million people in Rome, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ever anti-war rally.

    March 2003: In Manchester, 300 (eye-witness Stop the War estimate) secondary school children, Further Education students and university students met at Albert Square at 12 noon. They marched to the BBC studios where they sat down peacefully in the road at around 1pm and blocked the traffic for over an hour. The numbers had grown to around 1000 by this time. The BBC did not come out to film them, but they were filmed by anti-war video activists and video clips are available on the web. The students then marched around the city centre and ended up back at Albert Square at about 4pm where they remained demonstrating in front of the Town Hall for some hours. The police, in at least two places, obstructed their path with the notorious "penning" tactics that are familiar to many demonstrators in Britain. This involves surrounding demonstrators on all sides with police, vehicles and horses for half an hour, an hour, or more and obstructing their movement in any direction. Meanwhile, police video cameras ostentatiously film the demonstrators. The alarming aspect of these tactics in this case was the fact that they appeared to be used in an arbitrary, routine way against entirely peaceful anti-war demonstrators. This "penning" happened in two places: Marlborough Street near the BBC studios for around an hour at approximately 2.30pm, just after the sit-down protest had ended, and later in John Dalton Street at around 3.30pm, for about an hour, as the demonstration attempted to enter Albert Square. The whole of this event (including the "penning") was filmed comprehensively by anti-war video activists and two hours of raw footage is available on the web for anyone who doubts what happened.



    On Saturday 2nd July 2005 over 225,000 people took to the streets of Edinburgh to call on world leaders to act at the G8 summit. Many of the campaigners were dressed in white to form the world's largest human white band and speakers from around the world addressed the crowd to speak of the difference the G8 could make when they met later in the week at Gleneagles."


    July 6 - Demonstrators walked overnight up to 20 miles to reach Gleneagles as the A8 had been closed. They were not convinced by the police who told them that they were not allowed to continue "for their own safety" as there had been "bomb threats" near Auchterarder. There had been an agreement with police that protesters would be allowed to walk past Gleneagles Hotel itself, within earshot of the G8, but police from all over the UK instead herded protesters onto a road bridge and violently suppressed the peaceful protest there.


    The 2009 G-20 London summit protests occurred in the days around the G-20 summit on 2 April 2009, which was the focus of protests from a number of groups over various long-standing and topical issues. These ranged from disquiet over economic policy, anger at the banking system and bankers' remuneration and bonuses, the continued war on terror and concerns over climate change.

    Although the majority of the protests and protesters were peaceful, the threat of violence and criminal damage were used by police as a reason to detain, or "kettle", protesters as part of Operation Glencoe. The police choice of "Operation Glencoe" as a codename was linked with the Glencoe Massacre.

    In the days leading up to the summit, the Metropolitan police warned protest groups that the protests on April 1 would be "very violent" and that they were "up for it, and up to it" in the event of trouble. The police used the crowd-control tactic known as containment or the “kettle”, to hold 5,000 people inside a police cordon without food, drink or lavatory facilities. This combined with riot police pushing into crowds with shields and batons.

    Ian Tomlinson died after being shoved and struck by a police officer within a police cordon of the G-20 Meltdown protest near the Bank of England. Initially the City of London Police denied that any incident with the police had occurred, and the death was attributed to natural causes. ... A second post-mortem has revealed that Tomlinson may have died from an abdominal haemorrhage. ...A police officer has been questioned under suspicion of manslaughter as a probe into the circumstances surrounding this death continues.


    If you have a problem with Wikipedia references (references!, not sources!), organise a protest march.

  20. Pablo
    Dead Vulture

    What the heck was that?

    This story didn't even try to make sense. You start out with old news about the 4chan block then head off in some wonky direction. What was the point of that?

  21. Anonymous Coward


    For a great article yet again.

    Not a real Fail, but Fail and You. ;)

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