The New Zealand censorship nightmare appears to be over, for the time being at least. Alex Jones’ websites, Infowars.com and Prisonplanet.com, which were inaccessible to many New Zealand internet users on the evening of the 5th of February, became available once again on Monday afternoon – the blackout lasting for approximately three days.
At about 4.20pm on Monday, it was possible to once again access both of the websites using Slingshot, and reports have come in from a number of people around New Zealand who were previously unable to access the sites, including customers of Telecom, Slingshot, Woosh and Orcon, that they too can now access Infowars.com and Prisonplanet.com.
I phoned my ISP, Slingshot at about 4.30pm on Monday afternoon, to have it confirmed that the block, which evidence indicated had been due to Asia Netcom, had been removed and was advised that the problem had not been caused by Asia Netcom. I was told the problem had been due to Limelight Content Distribution Network.
Likewise, wrote Duncan Blair, Head of Brand and Communications at Orcon in the comment section at Infonews.co.nz at about 1.30pm, underneath the article about the censorship, ‘To clarify: there is currently an issue with NZ ISPs using Asia Netcom as an upstream provider getting access to content that is hosted on the Limelight content distribution network (infowars.com is just one of numerous sites hosting content on this network). This began over the weekend.’
He continues: ‘We have this morning added a temporary fix that means that Orcon customers are able to browse these sites as normal, however they may be slightly slower than normal. We are talking to our suppliers and Limelight to ensure that normal service is resumed as soon as possible.’
‘I would also like to add that we have never selectively blocked or censored any website or content. This was simply a technical issue.’ Blair concluded.
Jeff Mitchell stands by his story that he was told that the block was due to Asia Netcom by an Orcon employee on Saturday afternoon. Likewise, I was told by an employee of Slingshot, who contacted me at around midday on Monday, in response to a request for information I had made about the block on Saturday, that the problem was caused by Asia Netcom. This caller said that as Slingshot did not agree with Chinese-style internet censorship, they were calling for “Asia Netcom” to remove the block. He made no mention of Limelight Content Distribution Network and he was calling in response to information I had requested regarding what had caused the problem.
Whether it was Limelight or Asia Netcom that caused the blackout, it was a wake up call to keep copies of Infowars.com articles and get Alex Jones’ documentaries while you can. Truth is a powerful weapon in the fight against tyranny and websites like these, should never be taken for granted!