(edits to these posts are for formatting purposes unless otherwise specified because I am neurotic)
I am doing two things right now:
1. I am looking at strengthening our network for the return to clearnet.
2. I am going to replicate the backend so that we can never be knocked off Tor again. This is something I can do on my own. I should have done it sooner but I thought I had more time.
The reality of a Tier 1 provider like Zayo censoring the Internet is very dire and I hope you will pay attention.
In the world of ISPs, there are very few real players. There are 15 tier 1 networks in existence. There are many more ISPs, but they generally all connect to a Tier 1 network.
Additionally, there are even fewer ISPs which provide DDoS protection. These companies (Path, Telia, Voxility, Zayo) are more politically charged than a normal ISP. Without them, should you manage to peer, you are not on the Internet if you cannot handle DDoS attacks yourself. DDoS mitigation has never been made a core part of the Internet, and I believe that weakness is deliberately encouraged by governments, as the US government routinely utilizes DDoS attacks to censor networks like Tor.
A DDoS attack can be between 1Gbps and 100Gbps or higher. A 10Gbps line is about $700/mo. This scales pretty linearly, with some bulk discounts. Not all routers can handle 10Gbps, and few routers can handle 100Gbps. Those are also thousands of dollars each. Then you actually have to find a way to scrub the attack bandwidth.
Meanwhile, we are not allowed to conduct ordinary business. Without reason and without appeal, I cannot process credit cards. We would easily make five times what do now if I could simply charge people for services like any other website. That is not possible because of the financial censorship, and as a result I am very limited in what I can realistically afford to do.
So, ultimately, we are reliant on a few companies to continue tolerating us and one of the best ways to be tolerated is to have an established business relationship. If you've been at one datacenter talking to the same people for 20 years, as is often the case in the industry, they are likely to handle things diplomatically. If you are dropped in their lap last weekend like a pot of boiling water, they are unlikely to.
Even the companies that do want to help are often underneath companies that do not want to help. The datacenter Worldstream in the Netherlands has blocked us, and thus any company that operates out of Worldstream cannot support us.
I do like my website, and after spending time on other communities I know that nothing will ever replace it if the circus of sex pests and psychologically disturbed slacktivists have their way.
I also am very sad to see these state of affairs. Without breaking the law, without piracy, and without incident (like Tarrant and Jan 6 with 8chan), we have been censored at some of the highest reaches of the Internet. A handful of very mentally ill people sending nasty emails, threatening the families of datacenter employees, and calling in favors with friends in high places have very effectively snapped the neck of the interconnected world.
Every year the diversity of websites online shrinks, and the centralization of services grow. Those who should want to fight a tech oligarchy instead cheer it on and help consolidate its power. I am helplessly watching the Internet, and the freedom it has brought our entire species, die a slow death. It hurts. The Internet is being murdered by shortsighted parasites, and they will never realize how big a mistake it is until there's no going back.