Comcast’s Blocking and Un-Blocking of Archive.org – What We Know So Far

Comcast Internet users found themselves unable to access archive.org starting late Thursday afternoon due to Comcast blocking access to our site. The earliest time Comcast users reported problems was around 4:30 PM PST and access was restored around 6:15 AM the next day (a span of about 13 hrs 45 min).

Comcast informed us that the block was put into place due to detection of an apparent Xfinity-branded phishing page posted to archive.org by an uploader. According to Comcast, we had taken that page down promptly, but Comcast’s block was nevertheless implemented without notice on late Thursday afternoon. Hours after our reporting the blocking to friends at Comcast they diagnosed the issue, removed the block and restored their customers’ access to archive.org.

In addition to a significant number of archive.org users, some of our employees use Comcast for access and were unable to do some of their work during the block.  This was also reported on in Vice’s Motherboard.

We searched our communications for any reports from Comcast preceding the block and found only one email sent to us Thursday morning reporting a phishing page, which we took down promptly. Sent by an outside security company working for Comcast, the email did not mention any possibility of a block. The email and our removal of the item preceded the first known instance of the block by about eight hours.

This is the gist of what we know at this point. We continue to gather information and take this incident very seriously.

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12 Responses to Comcast’s Blocking and Un-Blocking of Archive.org – What We Know So Far

  1. IsItSomethingISaid says:

    In Orwell’s fictionalized version of the Protocols, and warning of what their implementation will mean to the world, the defector from “Big Brother,” the Party, is one Emmanuel Goldstein.

    The head of Comcast is the the modern day Goldstein, Brain Roberts.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  2. alex brown says:

    I cannot get anything on this site.I enjoy the grateful dead concerts.

  3. Bret Comnes says:

    Does archive.org own their own IP block? I’ve heard if a bank and other large orgs finds phishing content on a host, they typically target the owner of the IP blocks with legal takedowns rather than the hosting service itself.

  4. Steve says:

    Audio is not working in Internet Explorer 11 as of today. Upper portion of screen where audio file hyperlinks appears is just black. Not sure if related to this Comcast issue but I am not using Comcast. Download of adobe flash was no help. Audio does behave normally in Google Chrome.

  5. Justin says:

    This block stinks! I cannot see any of your videos 🙁 . Please hurry up and fix this so I can watch some movies. I really enjoy your site and use it often!

  6. Robert Clarke says:

    I have been depending in my research work for the Peterborough Ontario city directories, among other things (for which I am very grateful to archives.org). I am finding that the way these come up on the page has changed dramatically this morning, and access to the directories is far more difficult, whereas it used to be amazingly simple. Is there any reason for this? Thank you.

  7. Jon Lamkin says:

    My ISP is Suddenlink Communications and I found there was no content on the site when I accessed this morning.

  8. Ben Kent says:

    I live in Peru and seem to have access blocked as of last night, June 5 2017. My internet provider is Movistar. Could this be related? Thanks for all your hard work there at Archive.org!

  9. Robert Clarke says:

    Things seem to be back to normal now. Thanks.

  10. Anthony says:

    I had problems myself for two days, and thought the trouble was on my end!

  11. Shikha says:

    Now seems things are going to be normal..

  12. There are many things to know and to be treated serious..

Comments are closed.