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Livejournal Servers Now Located in Russia

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 livejournal.com 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 livejournal.com, 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 journals.

“The servers are in Russia, political purge of accounts alleged”
“Why Now”
“Dirty deeds afoot on LJ”
“LJ server move confirmed”
“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 https://www.livejournal.com 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 LiveJournal.com in 2014 (though the LiveJournal.com 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.


Several people have brought this concern to us. At this time, there are no plans to relocate the community, however everyone should be aware of this issue.

If you don’t read anything else in this post, read these two points:

1) Servers are now in Russia, which means that Livejournal is now under Russia’s legal jurisdiction. This means that LJ may be influenced by the Russian government to delete content (such as the pro-Ukrainian posts that are rumored to have been deleted).

2) The connection is no longer secure (https has changed to http) so be aware. I recommend changing your password to something totally different than you use for anything else for this reason.

ETA: the log-in page here and the page where you enter your CC info in for paid accounts, userpics, etc are still secure. For the log-in, bookmark that link ^ and use it instead of clicking on the button at the top right, because that pop-up for logging in may or may not be secure.

More info can be found in another page’s mod post here, which also has more links.

Source: ONTD_Political

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