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<nettime> Metafilter > LiverJournal IP address moves

< > 

"LiveJournal represents social media without borders."

December 30, 2016 10:48 AM

As of a few days ago, the IP addresses for blogging service
LiveJournal have moved to 81.19.74.*, a block that lookup
services locate in Moscow, Russia. Now users -- especially
those who do not trust the Russian government -- are leaving
the platform and advising others to leave.

For years, the online blogging community LiveJournal --
popular in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine -- has served as
a key communications platform for Russian dissidents (the
Committee to Protect Journalists earlier this month called on
Russian authorities to release a LiveJournal user who has
been sentenced to 2 years in prison for a critical blog
post). Even after Russian company SUP bought it from
California-based Six Apart in 2007 (previously), the fact
that SUP continued to run the servers in the US meant that
users felt relatively safe; a 2009 press release specifically
said that LiveJournal, Inc.* would continue to run technical
operations and servers in the United States (and claimed that
5.7 million LiveJournal users were Russia-based).

December 22 support request, following a multi-hour service
outage: "Since yesterday's upgrade, our work firewall is
blocking you because you appear to it to be based in the
Russian Federation. Have you got a Western mirror I can use?"

Tracerouting now points to a Moscow location
and an ISP operated by Rambler Internet Holding LLC, the
company that also owns SUP. (Former LiveJournal user Gary
McGath says that a few days ago, he checked the IP location
of, and it was in San Francisco.)
LiveJournal's official news posts do not mention the change;
users have begun to ask questions there and on their own

	"The servers are in Russia, political purge of accounts

	"Why Now"

	"Dirty deeds afoot on LJ"

	"LJ server move confirmed"

	"Awake! Awake! Fear! Fire! Foes! Awake! Awake!"

	"Deleting Your Livejournal: You Don't Have To Set Yourself On
	Fire On Your Way Out Of The Building"

Rumors have it that LiveJournal has also begun to delete the
LiveJournal accounts of some Russian-language bloggers,
especially pro-Ukraine bloggers. (Twitter search, anonymous
comment.) Also, users can no longer browse and read
LiveJournal over an encrypted (HTTPS) connection; going to redirects the user to the
insecure site.

Some users are switching to the competing Dreamwidth service
(which is based in the US and which can import LiveJournal
entries and communities); new user statistics show newbyday
new user numbers spiking up from a baseline rate of hundreds
of daily signups to over 87,000 new users in the last week.
The Internet Archive's ArchiveTeam was already on the case,
given LJ's size, historical importance, and history of
controversy and apparent state of decline -- they started
archiving LJ's public posts in March of this year.

* The LiveJournal, Inc. website stopped updating in 2011 and
started redirecting to in 2014 (though the contact page, privacy policy in Russian and
English (last updated 2014), terms of service in Russian and
English (last updated 2010), and abuse policy still say that
LiveJournal operates out of California and is subject to US
and California law.

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