Daily Archives: August 5, 2009

Barbados Internet Providers Slowing Reader Access To Barbados Free Press

LIME by Cable & Wireless: Limited Internet, Many Expenses

Politically Motivated? LIME caught slowing customer access to Barbados Free Press.

For several months Barbados Free Press has been receiving complaints from Bajan visitors about extremely slow access and slow loading of the Barbados Free Press blog. The complaints are being received only from BFP readers located in the country of Barbados.

Barbados Free Press staff have been monitoring the situation closely and for the last month conducted a series of tests from dozens of locations on the island using several net-neutrality verification tools. We have also arranged for some friends over and away to run similar tests looking at access to BFP from six other countries.

Our conclusion is that both broadband and dial-up access to the Barbados Free Press website is being “throttled” on a rotating basis by Barbados-based Internet providers. This means that visitors to BFP who are located in Barbados often – but not always – experience an immediate and significant degrading of internet performance when they attempt to access Barbados Free Press. Visits to other websites and blogs are not impacted as (so far anyway) it appears that this “traffic shaping” data discrimination is aimed at slowing visitor access only to Barbados Free Press.

Over to you LIME and Sunbeach… what do you have to say to the people of Barbados?

This performance degradation is no doubt deliberate, and is obviously intended to hinder and discourage Barbados citizens from reading Barbados Free Press articles. Some thought has gone into the implementation of the strategy as the rotating nature of the slow downs makes for difficulties in documenting the events. Simply blocking access to BFP would have been immediately noticed as would a universal 24/7 slowing of access for only Barbados Free Press.

By rotating the slowdowns, Barbados internet suppliers ensure that their individual customers experience some “normal” access and some slower access to Barbados Free Press over a series of days so they will not be immediately alerted to or suspect the intentional nature of the slowdowns.

This is not the first time that this blog has been targeted, nor will it be the last. This is, however, the most sophisticated and sinister attempt we have seen to limit the ability of the people of Barbados to read about and discuss political and social issues on the internet. It is nothing less than a very sophisticated and sinister attack on political freedom and freedom of speech in Barbados.

Who is behind the slowing of access to Barbados Free Press… a few techies acting on their own initiative, or someone higher up the chain?

Over to you LIME and Sunbeach… what do you have to say to the people of Barbados?

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption