What happens if BlackLivesMatter.com is shutdown by it’s internet service provider?

As the internet continues to change I have to ask people what is going to be the public reaction and aftermath if BlackLivesMatter.com is shutdown by it’s internet service provider? It could happen – let’s look at the how and the why.

Who provides services to them?

The BlackLivesMatter website is registered by the domain name registrar GoDaddy, receives content delivery and security services from Cloudflare, and likely has one or more backend web server providers. Typically these servers are leased from a datacenter and some bigger websites colocate their own hardware and just rent the space on a rack. Without these companies the site would be unable to operate.

Verisign manages the .COM Domain Registry; and domain name providers like GoDaddy, Namecheap, Porkbun, etc sell domain names to people and pay Verisign a fee to add that domain name to it’s registry. When a user types in a website into their web browser they first ask a Verisign Server which Nameserver a domain name uses and ask the Nameserver for the IP Address of the web server. At any time this means that Verisign can delete a domain name they don’t like, it means GoDaddy can delete a domain they don’t like as well. Because of how the domain name system works, BlackLivesMatter could take their domain from GoDaddy elsewhere IF they were given an opportunity to transfer away, what happens if Verisign doesn’t like the domain? Verisign manages all .COM Domain Names. If they don’t want to provide services to you anymore you’re out of luck and have no where to go. If this happens your domain name is gone and you have to buy a new one and tell people about it. You could try a .ORG or something and hope for better results. At that point the damage is done.

Then you have intermediary companies like Cloudflare who typically do not host websites but instead make them faster and provide security services (for example, blocking bad bots trying to hack the website or leaving spam comments). Because Cloudflare also provides Nameserver services if Cloudflare were to cancel your account it would take anywhere between 2 hours and a week for the internet to update it’s records of your Nameserver (once you setup a new one). It’s not permanent damage but it will disrupt the operation of your website for a good chunk of time.

Finally you have the datacenter companies. There are lots of them so if one of them doesn’t like you, you can usually switch pretty quickly. For most small websites and blogs an experienced web admin can move them in a few hours, for larger websites and social media platforms the process takes much longer.

What does this mean for an individual website?

At it’s core it means that you are at the mercy of a private company taking your money and allowing you to exist. Website creation and management is complicated and there are lots of points of failure. These companies act as utilities and may need to be regulated as such.

Politics do come into play…

People have differing opinions on what private companies should and should not be allowed to do. Should GoDaddy have to provide services to every website? Maybe we all support BlackLivesMatter but not KillAllTheDucks or something. It does create an issue of whether this is compelled speech by a provider.

Is such a situation likely?

It’s unclear, but under our current legal system it would be permitted and like the issue with Parler and 8Chan, at any time the companies providing services to BlackLivesMatter could change their mind if the movement becomes unpopular. I think it would harm many companies images if they shutdown BlackLivesMatter, then again Chick-Fil-A has had negative press and people still eat there. GoDaddy’s loyal customers probably won’t leave them just because they upset one group of activists.

Federal regulations may be needed…

For decades they tech industry in the United States has been unregulated. Right now there’s a system where unpopular sites that make people angry get shutdown by their hosting providers on a whim. Many of the sites are unlawful or are hate speech and I’d rather them not exist too. But I continue to wonder what happens if opinions change. Currently no one is protected from such a situation. Will we wait until the tables turn and it’s too late or act today. What happens if evil groups get protected too? The law (is supposed to) applies equally so if we protect “good groups” we also protect “bad groups”.

What do you think?

Is the status quo good for now? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Please share this post and discuss. I want to see people have this discussion rather than it be ignored.

How you should celebrate Bunny Day (Easter)

Ah Bunny Day the day where we collect plastic eggs and celebrate Jesus’s legacy. Ah don’t stay home this year, 2021 is the year where you should risk catching COVID-19 and go to Church. But not for the reason you think.

The Church is Evil that’s fact

Every year they engage in hate speech and oppression. This year you can seize the narrative. Educate others on how it’s bad.

Do you have a group of friends willing to go to Church with you?

You should each take turns to stand up, disrupt the service, and call out the Church’s hate speech. Sit apart from each-other. One by one you will get kicked out and trespassed and banned from the property. But that’s ok because you’ll disrupt the service for about 15-minutes a person. The more friends you have who are willing to participate the longer you can disrupt the services.

It’s Easter the perfect time to troll xD

If you want petty revenge don’t do it on a normal Sunday – do it on Easter. People will get way more mad :DDD

What would Jesus do?

If Jesus is real and really who knows he wouldn’t approve of bigotry.

Disrupt The Day

Don’t let the Catholics or Christians Celebrate hate. Let them see what persecution truly is :))

PassGen.io is now hosted on Netlify

Tonight I moved PassGen.io off of Cloudflare Workers and onto the Netlify Sites platform. This decision is being made to protect the security of our platform and users who rely on it for their critical security needs. As Cloudflare has continued to invest into products like Cloudflare Gateway that enable real time traffic modification and censorship one has to ask how else they may use this technology even to target an individual user. There is no evidence they have abused this tooling although it pushes me over my comfort level when developing a security focused product.

Admittedly this is but one of many steps to protect the project’s security. The WhereICode GitLab Platform has to be moved off of Cloudflare and that isn’t an overnight project. It is in the works for those wondering. In the meanwhile Netlify is pulling code from a private GitHub Repo. Ideally users can see the exact repo our build processes pull from but even with Cloudflare Workers builds have always been a manual process. In the long term this means I may move over development to a public GitHub or GitLab Project as part of improving the transparency of PassGen.io. I am looking into the best way to achieve this.

For end users this change will have no impact on your ability to access the site. The platform remains fast, stable, and secure. PassGen has never and will never log your generated passwords (with the exception of storing your last generated password and generator options in local storage, we use local storage because it is not a cookie and is never sent to the origin server) and will always operate client side.

Ironically thanks to the initially low TTLs used by Cloudflare, updating DNS records to point to Netlify CNAMEs took seconds while waiting for Netlify DNS to take over. Over the next several hours user traffic will divert away from Cloudflare Workers and Cloudflare DNS over to Netlify’s servers and Netlify DNS.

Deploying the PassGen React App to Netlify was easy and it didn’t require any special scripting I just gave them the Git repo and clicked through the default settings. Given that it’s a standard React app with minimal changes being made and no need for a backend server (everything happens in the browser!) it’s pretty portable and secure.

Finally I pushed long overdue dependency updates which should address minor bugs or browser-specific issues caused by React / Redux. Feel free to contact me if this changes any issues.

Can I at least make phone calls on AT&T?

Looks like the answer is no. Despite being an AT&T Postpaid Customer on an Unlimited plan using an iPhone 12 Pro it appears that phone calls aren’t working anymore.

Today I got a phone call from my school on my AT&T line (I am a dual SIM user so my iPhone has a Verizon line and an AT&T line) and it was as if I was on a satellite phone. Anytime I said something it was a pause for 5 seconds and as then a broken up reply.

It’s getting to the point where AT&T network is non-functional. I may port out that number to Numberbarn or something and have it forward calls and texts because this is getting insane.

As always fuck AT&T, 5G isn’t real and it’s harmful radiation from the nonexistent network will kill us all 😆

The fact I have to second guess what I’m tweeting is a problem

Ok TERFS and Republicans you’re right Twitter is a private business. They have the right to do whatever they want. The government should never ever tell them what to do. Ok phew the dumb assholes are gone, let the rant begin 😀

Ok with increasing automated moderation and the fact I’m having to digitally look over my shoulder is a problem. Twitter has gone from a place I feel safe to rant on to a place I have to constantly second guess what I am tweeting and either not tweet or delete shortly thereafter

Say what you want I can’t really stop you anyways the fact I’m looking over my shoulder seems like 1984. I have to constantly guess if what I say will end up with my own Twitter account being nuked by the algorithm and gone forever.

It’s sad given that many people’s only publishing medium is Twitter and they don’t have personal blogs. It sucks that they aren’t necessarily in a position to complain.

This whole issue is problematic for a number of reasons but overall it’s thought control controlled by the corporation known as Twitter. I just wanted to write this short rant and talk about it.

AT&T Wireless needs to get their shit together

As you can probably guess I’m not a fan of AT&T but I wanted to rant anyways on a few things I find particularly frustrating.

It’s not exactly public but resellers such as Tracfone and WingAlpha and being forced to lower data caps on Unlimited Plans to 22GB. This isn’t surprising as they are likely losing money from people reselling their service. This fucks over resellers and makes it less desirable than postpaid.

It’s impossible to sign up online. Anytime I try to open an account their security check flags me and says I have to visit a store to complete my order as they can’t “verify my identity”

Honestly it really makes me wonder if AT&T actively is trying to push customers to its competitors. They seem like they’re struggling to keep up with demand. My iPhone and iPad on the family plan struggles to load webpages and stuff over AT&T whereas Verizon and T-Mobile don’t have issues.

Overall I want to see our telecommunications companies be a bit more honest rather than hide things. I can’t prove AT&T is trying to block signups from new customers but it sure looks like it.

Facebook scans the text in every photograph you upload

Screenshot of a Facebook popup modal that says "Contains an image that mentions COVID-19"
Screenshot of a Facebook popup modal that says “Contains an image that mentions COVID-19”

It will come as no surprise to many but today I experienced it first hand when resharing a post from this morning with additional commentary. As part of Facebook’s Trust & Safety measures, they scan every single photograph you upload and read the text. In this case, I uploaded a screenshot of graphs concerning information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in North Carolina. In my post, I asked people to wear a mask so the 7-day average can drop to 1,000 or lower by the end of April. I found it interesting that even private posts shared with only a few friends get scanned by the Facebook Robots. And remember if you want this pandemic and the mask mandate to end you can help by wearing a fucking mask when you go out 🙂

Also if you need KN95 Masks read this…

Photograph of a box of KN95 Masks purchased from Newegg. In front is a pack of masks from inside the box.
Photograph of a box of KN95 Masks purchased from Newegg. In front is a pack of masks from inside the box.

I’ve been using KN95 Masks sold by Newegg for the past several months. You can buy them at this link. I am not an affiliate or anything just happy with the masks quality and cost. They are non-medical and are KN95 at a medium quality. Occasionally the straps break and I have to put on a new mask but it’s rare. These aren’t the best KN95 masks on the market but if you go out often it’s a good product at it’s pricepoint. They don’t outperform 3M’s N95 Masks and certainly should not be used in a hospital setting but they will provide more protection than a cloth mask if you treat them as disposable and wear a new one each time. Just figured I’d mention it as a few people asked me where I’m buying so many masks.

Only I could get stopped by university police for wearing too many masks most people are stopped for not wearing one I guess 5 3-ply masks on top of a KN95 was a bit sus 😆 They were nice about it and got rid of the extra masks for me

My experience so far with the COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer, Dose 1/2)

On Monday I got my first dose of the Pfizer COVID-10 Vaccine. Getting an appointment was hard after a long series of phone calls and spending multiple hours on hold I was luckily able to get an appointment. All jokes about 5G aside, everything went well and side effects weren’t too bad.

Day of the Vaccine

Everyone at the vaccine center was very nice there were volunteers taking down information and helping every 10 feet. It was very well organized and setup for mass vaccinations. There was little delay or waiting. It took less than 10 minutes from entering the building to tell them my personal information so they can confirm the appointment to me getting the shot. They had me wait about 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t have an allergic reaction before I left. I got my shot around 2:30 PM and afterwards ran some errands. Around 4 PM I did start feeling like I was coming down with something and got more and more tired. At 8 PM I went to sleep. I kept waking up during the night and didn’t sleep as well as I’d like.

Day after the Vaccine

So I woke up in the morning and the biggest issue (aside from feeling tired on and off) was that my arm was sore. I thought I would feel much worse but it is certainly manageable. I hear that dose two is not as pleasant I guess I will see for myself in a few weeks. I wasn’t hungry in the morning and ate a light dinner last night too. I am probably gonna find something small for lunch now as it’s 1:30.

Cloudflare has started the initial rollout of its censorship product

Today I woke up to the news that Cloudflare, a company I’ve associated with freedom of expression for a while, has developed a product for enterprises to control internet access (a web filter). It does not only support DNS filtering but also filters HTTPS traffic. You should go read their blog post to learn more about how advanced this web filtering technology is. They are marketing this as anti-virus product for enterprises. I doubt it will stay this way. They support blocking categories such as social media and public cloud file storage. Being a cybersecurity company Cloudflare knows their shit. I have no doubt they will

I estimate within a year Cloudflare will put this tech in a network gateway box and sell it to nation states such as China and Turkey

This product likely has good intentions, organizations will eventually be unhappy with a cloud product and ask for it to be a network gateway appliance box. To please shareholders, Cloudflare will at first push back, and eventually comply. But like OpenDNS, Zscaler, and Barracuda nation states will buy up these boxes in bulk from suppliers who turn a blind eye and ignore their promise to not sell to governments. The only difference is Cloudflare will now make a profit from the censorship business.

Time to start pulling my domains from Cloudflare

Thankfully I have other options for DNS Hosting and DDoS Protection. I am not going to keep supporting Cloudflare while they engage in targeted censorship activities. They’ve stepped away from their former values and cannot continue to be trusted.

The incoming attack data they gain from my zones is far more valuable than the $30/month they could make from my Cloudflare Workers and Cloudflare Pro subscriptions. Everything is getting pulled as quickly as time allows.