Several security-minded people on my reading list have been moving from Livejournal to Dreamwidth; some have even deleted their LJ accounts. Meanwhile, huge numbers of Russians have been moving their blogs to Dreamwidth. Apparently LJ has quietly moved all of their servers from the US to Russia. That LJ availability glitch a couple of days ago? Yeah, that. A large spike in the number of new Dreamwidth accounts being created by Russians.
As for me, I'm not changing much: I don't lock posts (I think I have maybe two or three, and those are merely somewhat embarrassing), I post only to DW, and I and have it set up to crosspost to LJ. I have permanent accounts in both places, so dropping LJ wouldn't be denying them any money at this point.
There are some things you can do:
- Get an account at Dreamwidth.org if you don't already have one.
- Set it up to crosspost to your LJ account. Unlike LJ, Dreamwidth is a US-based organization that, unlike LJ, is entirely supported by its users.
- Every so often, back up your LJ journal to DW.
- Subscribe to the DW journals of all your old LJ friends. Note that DW separates your access-control list from your reading list -- none of this abuse of the term "friend" that LJ does.
- Don't post any secrets! Especially not to livejournal. Go back and delete anything you wouldn't want to be read by any three-letter agency on either side of the pond.
@ The logic of Russian Internet censorship - The Washington Post " LiveJournal has only been taken down explicitly twice to my knowledge. Last July, on the morning of the Navalny verdict, the entire site was suddenly taken down with a notice of “Planned Maintenance.” And the blocking of Navalny’s blog on LiveJournal Thursday was the only time it had been specifically taken down. " ... and now the servers have been moved to Russia. Right. dw_maintenance | Nginx has been banished! fail_fandomanon | FFA DW Post # 569 - Wham! mdlbear.livejournal.com has IP address 18.104.22.168, which https://www.iplocation.net/ says is in San Francisco. So no concrete evidence of this yet. traceroute to mdlbear.livejournal.com (22.214.171.124), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets 1 gw.rainbows.end (192.168.1.1) 0.182 ms 0.217 ms 0.276 ms 2 192.168.0.1 (192.168.0.1) 1.155 ms 1.443 ms 1.758 ms 3 tukw-dsl-gw68.tukw.qwest.net (126.96.36.199) 24.487 ms 24.519 ms 24.692 ms 4 tukw-agw1.inet.qwest.net (188.8.131.52) 26.717 ms 27.300 ms 29.004 ms 5 bil-edge-03.inet.qwest.net (184.108.40.206) 49.084 ms 49.906 ms 50.859 ms 6 220.127.116.11 (18.104.22.168) 52.657 ms 53.117 ms 54.291 ms 7 * * * # after which the trail goes cold. So they could be routing to Russia. It's also rejecting pings; the last host in the chain has no reverse DNS. Hmm. @ Bloggers of “LJ” now “under the hood” of the Russian intelligence | 24-my.info @ Boris Khodorkovsky on Twitter: "Farewell free #Livejournal. Welcome to Russian reality, now at full 100%. https://t.co/J0wEXom0Uu" Oddly, the ip-tracker link they give a screenshot for still says San Francisco when I try it. Caching? Probably not. Weird. @ blog entry in Russian - requires translation. LJ for understandable reasons appears to be doing their best to hide the transition. Iiiiiiinteresting: Servers Alive magazine moved to the Lubyanka: dolboeb screenshots a traceroute to 22.214.171.124 (cygnus:~ 507) host 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer livejournal.com. (cygnus:~ 508) host 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer www.livejournal.com. (cygnus:~ 509) host livejournal.com livejournal.com has address 18.104.22.168 livejournal.com mail is handled by 10 mail.livejournal.com. DNS records with long TTL not caught up? Entirely possible. @ Within days after moving servers LJ in Russia ILV blocked almost 100 entries
Let's put it this way: regardless of whether LJ has actually transferred your journal to a server in Russia, you should consider the privacy of your livejournal to have been breached.
Sorry to be the bear of bad news.
As some people have pointed out, this doesn't change very much. Sure, it adds support for the notion that LJ's Russian owners are slime, but we already knew that. Move to DW, set up crossposting, delete all non-public posts, don't give LJ any more money, and carry on.
ETA 12-30 Looks like DNS updates have finally propagated:
: Geolocation data from IP2Location (Product: DB6, updated on 2016-12-5) Domain Name Country Region City mdlbear.livejournal.com Russian Federation Moskva Moscow ISP Organization Latitude Longitude Rambler Internet Holding LLC Not Available 55.752220153809 37.615558624268
(thanks to: The Mad Filkentist)