Where the Sidewalk Ends: An Internet Story -

  • DDoS is active again.


On July 2nd, 1776 Solutions, LLC was banned from the ColoCrossing datacenter in New York. Several thousand dollars of hardware was disconnected at the power strip and I received an email plainly stating that I had "violated their AUP". They could not tell me why and deferred me to Deluxe, their parent company. I called the hotline and got a confused older woman who had no idea what I was talking about and said Deluxe was a "check printing company". I asked ColoCrossing about it and they said to try Legal & Compliance. I got a voicemail, left a voicemail, and then called again July 3rd and got a voicemail again. This time I called the cellphone of the Head of Media Relations, got his voicemail, and then in about an hour received a call back from L&C explaining ...

Very apprehensively, two sites were blamed: Kiwi Farms and Encyclopedia Dramatica. What's interesting is that, although all my client services got fucked, the Kiwi Farms and Encyclopedia Dramatica experienced almost no downtime. This is because 1776 Hosting only reverse-proxied content, much like Cloudflare does, to their actual host. This is a very common practice. They didn't bother to ask if I hosted the sites, they didn't bother to ask if I would take them down, they didn't even bother to ask if I was aware that these services routed through my hardware. I received no information until I became a big enough nuisance I was worth the phone call.

It's worth mentioning that ColoCrossing themselves have been very helpful, refunded me my entire last months's payment, and said they'd 2-day 150 LB hardware and bill me for it - a bill that turned out to exceed $600 -, but they haven't sent a bill yet. Whether this is intentional or not I don't know and I don't care, because now the hardware is in a new hidey-hole behind even more abstraction than before. Things got shipped late, but it can't be blamed squarely on them. They didn't make the decision to pull this fucking stunt right before July 4th and the July 4th weekend.

In response, I have acquired my own ASN. This 'Autonomous System Number' is the very edge of the Internet and it directs routing tables and IP assignments. By having an ASN, I am as close to the beating heart of the web as anyone can be. Why does a random insane person sit at the table now? Because motherfuckers forced me to. Everything I've done, everything I've learned, has been because motherfuckers forced me to do it. This site would be sitting on a $100/mo VPS, and I'd probably be bored of it by now, if people had just left it alone.

To top it all off, I save close to $500/mo with this new arrangement. Every month I struggle to make ends meet, and now thanks to this, the KF's monthly expenses are essentially halved and I get a better situation out of it.

I don't pretend there aren't new things that can hurt the site, but we're at a point now where it'd have to be serious -- and with consequences far exceeding this website. Cloudflare can drop us, which would make them look terrible in the process. Someone could sue us, which would probably ruin their entire life in the process. Or, interestingly, an Internet Backbone Tier-1 ISP could null route my IPs. If that happened, we'd truly be at the end of the Internet's sidewalk, where ever the basic pillars of the Internet start to collapse.

The Kiwi Farms is a stupid and irrelevant site, which is why I very strongly believe in its continued existence. If this site can't survive, I don't know what could.
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Good Boye
So you got screwed a bit, but in the end it sounds like this is a good thing overall? Cheaper arrangement that is cutting edge and harder to fuck with while having less outside people to directly rely on, if I understand what an ASN is from a cursory search.

It's always interesting seeing the sort of Streisand effect happen over and over again, people always do this and in the end it only strengthens places like this. More resolve to keep what is here, less reliance on others, better services, all of it just because people can't stand what they don't approve of and think they need to get in the way, ironically making it a bigger beast when it adapts to roll them over or move around them.

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Autonomous Agent of Tri-Tachyon
>They didn't make the decision to pull this fucking stunt right before July 4th and the July 4th weekend.
I wonder if the anonymous complainer that the woman you talked to mentioned deliberately complained close to July 4th because they knew it would mean more downtime due to the long weekend?
As someone who has no idea what a datacenter is, or an ASN, or any real knowledge of how the Internet works... neat.
Null is now as close to becoming a true ISP as he possibly can be without actually being an ISP. It's absolutely insane, and I never thought I'd ever witness an individual be pushed this far, or see someone crazy enough to take the leap.