Originally published December 4 2014
U.S. govt. to black out all news sites on the web - trial run tested in California - huge upcoming event?
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Mistrust of government is high these days, so anytime there is an event of unusual circumstance, millions of us immediately think that there must be ulterior motives.
Such is the case with actions taken by certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on Wednesday, when a number of online news sites were blocked as the ISPs "tested" advanced technology that is capable of blocking access to the Internet.
As reported by Before It's News, which cited reporting from regular news sources:
The blocking included popular sites like Before It's News, Drudge Report, CNN, MSNBC, Natural News, The Epoch Times, Instapundit and others. The Chinese version of Epoch Times was unaffected, indicating it was targeted to English language news web sites. A blank white screen and "couldn't connect" message were the result after the request timed out.
The Before It's News site and others noted that the outages lasted for several hours and ended around 10 am Pacific Time Wednesday. And only news sites -- certain news sites -- were blocked.
Independent news site WorldNetDaily was also blocked for a time, according to published reports.
They "went dark" for hours
"According to technical staff at Before It's News, the blockage could have been caused by deep packet inspection used inside the routers that move information packets along the Internet," the site reported. "This technology allows ISP's to 'look inside' the packets your computer sends and receives and then make a decision to allow the packets through, modify the packets or block them. This technique can also be used to slow or speed up traffic."
The Washington Times reported that The Drudge Report and WorldNetDaily "went dark" as a "curious coincidence" in the midst of an FBI warning about a widespread malicious software (malware) attack that was launched initially against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
In addition, TheBlaze reported that the two sites were offline for hours, giving visitors this message: "This webpage is not available."
The Times reported that it was unclear whether the sites were merely offline because of technical issues -- it would be odd for two of the Web's top conservative/independent news sites to be offline at once -- or if they had been the target of cyberattacks. Nevertheless, the Times noted, the timing is "suspicious."
An angry North Korea?
Why? Because "the FBI had just sent a warning to businesses in the United States that hackers were using malicious software to infiltrate various websites," the paper reported in its online edition, "and that this follows a massive hit at Sony Pictures Entertainment last week that exposed the personal information of several Hollywood bigwigs."
Reports suggested that North Korea may have been responsible for the Sony Pictures hack, as retaliation for the action-comedy flick The Interview, in which the producer and host of a celebrity tabloid show are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after they land an interview with him.
Private-sector intelligence sources reviewed by Natural News said that North Korea was extremely angered by the movie, describing it as an "act of war" and calling on the United Nations and the U.S. government to prevent its release. The sources also said that North Korea has so far not denied the Sony attack and has been developing increasingly sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities to make up for its lack of conventional power beyond its own peninsula.
"I believe the coordinated cyberattack with destructive payloads against a corporation in the U.S. represents a watershed event," said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer with security software maker Trend Micro Inc., as reported by the New York Post. "Geopolitics now serve as harbingers for destructive cyberattacks."
Attempts to block access to news should be viewed with suspicion
The FBI issued its warning to businesses late Monday in a five-page "flash" memo, according to the Post. The warning provided instruction on how to counter the malware and asked any victims of the cyberattack to alert the federal law enforcement agency.
Days ago, Sony suffered an attack that industry experts described as unprecedented in terms of cyber assaults, crippling its corporate email for a week and damaging scores of computer files and systems at the world's largest film studio. In a statement, Sony officials said the company had managed to restore "a number of important services" but nevertheless was still "working closely with law enforcement officials to investigate the matter," the New York Post reported.
But, as Before It's News reported, news and information -- especially from alternative, non-corporate (and thus co-opted) sources -- is vital in any emergency, especially. So consumers of news should view any attempt by any entity to deny access to news sites (especially those that do their own independent reporting and are not beholden to corporate/government interests) should be viewed with suspicion.
"If this information can be blocked or modified, markets could crash or people could perish in natural disasters," reported Before It's News. "It could also be exploited as a form of cyber-warfare by a state actor, as an alternative to traditional war."
All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. NaturalNews.com is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit www.NaturalNews.com/terms.shtml