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How is this website blocked?
May 4, 2012 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Trying to read the Grant Morrison interview on Playboy.com from the FPP and both Firefox and Chrome tell me it's blocked. I've checked downforeveryonebutme and it says it's up. Checked my two routers and it's not blocked there. What else can I check? Totally baffled. Qwest in Seattle is my ISP.

Also, I'm not at work so it's not some company-filter.
posted by artof.mulata to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Try Anonymouse.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:18 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


what do you mean 'blocked'?
posted by empath at 11:19 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hi empath, I get a message on both browsers stating that the site is blocked. Tells me to check proxy settings, etcetera. I don't use any proxies. I'll try this Anonymouse now.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:20 AM on May 4, 2012


Well the Anonymouse site works (thanks Chocolate Pickle!), but I'd still like to know what the heck is going on.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:23 AM on May 4, 2012


Your ISP may have some kind of child filter which you can probably disable, or else your computer has malware that changes the system's DNS lookups (either substituting its own DNS servers or writing to the hosts file).
posted by kindall at 11:27 AM on May 4, 2012


Kindall, I tested the 'child filter' aspect by googling some porn sites (safe search off) and the browser had no problem pulling them up so I don't think so, but it has to be them, right? None of my hardware has it. I'm also running Linux so I'm pretty sure my DNS isn't hijacked or poisoned.

If it was I'm not even sure how I'd figure that out. I install ClamAV every few months and run it and it never shows any positives.

Time to google host file and take a look. Thanks for the suggestions.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:33 AM on May 4, 2012


Hi empath, I get a message on both browsers stating that the site is blocked. Tells me to check proxy settings, etcetera. I don't use any proxies. I'll try this

Did you check the proxy settings?
posted by empath at 11:34 AM on May 4, 2012


I have checked the proxy and they're set to 'none'. Even re-applied them. Still nothing.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:42 AM on May 4, 2012


Checked my hosts file and it's clean, too. Qwest/Century Link's child-filters aren't activated either.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:46 AM on May 4, 2012


It's probably just a Qwest DNS screw up. Try changing your DNS servers to Google and test again. The IP addresses are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.
posted by COD at 11:53 AM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


COD, that did it. Sending an email to Qwest to alert them.
Thanks for the help everyone!
posted by artof.mulata at 12:02 PM on May 4, 2012


Can you paste the exact error message you're seeing? Technical issues usually don't result in something with the word "blocked" in the error. Maybe something like "Page not found" or "could not be reached". Blocked indicates active filtering of some kind, and the fact that the site you're visiting would be on someone's morality-based filtering list makes that much more likely.
posted by odinsdream at 12:02 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


From Chrome:
This webpage is not available

Chromium's connection attempt to www.playboy.com was rejected. The website may be down, or your network may not be properly configured.

Here are some suggestions:
Reload this webpage later.

Check your Internet connection. Restart any router, modem, or other network devices you may be using.

Add Chromium as a permitted program in your firewall's or antivirus software's settings. If it is already a permitted program, try deleting it from the list of permitted programs and adding it again.

If you use a proxy server, check your proxy settings or contact your network administrator to make sure the proxy server is working. If you don't believe you should be using a proxy server, adjust your proxy settings: Go to the wrench menu > Settings > Under the Hood > Change Proxy Settings... and make sure your configuration is set to "no proxy" or "direct."
posted by artof.mulata at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2012


Sorry, here's the last line: Error 102 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED): The server refused the connection.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:09 PM on May 4, 2012


It could be that your IP is being blocked by them. Sometimes residential IPs can be temporarily, permanently, or accidentally blocked to stop spam and/or denial of service attacks, either at a server itself or by network security hardware. You could always stick your head out of your door and loudly ask if your neighbors are having trouble getting to playboy.com.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 12:17 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


No neighbors to ask... funny suggestion, though.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:25 PM on May 4, 2012


Off-topic: I heard about that interview last week and at first figured I'd just hit a newsstand and buy it on the way home from work. Then I realized that Playboy just puts its articles on its website. Funny, because I would have bought the issue for the article, but I guess Playboy figures people really don't buy it for the articles, so it just puts them online for free.
posted by davextreme at 12:47 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can you set your DNS servers back to Qwest/CenturyLink and run this DNS query on a command line, and post what you get:

nslookup playboy.com

You should get:

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: playboy.com
Address: 208.99.94.78
Name: playboy.com
Address: 216.18.172.158

If you're getting different numbers your ISP is fucking with your DNS queries. If you get some kind of error code there could be a technical problem. I just find it odd that it would happen to affect that particular domain.
posted by odinsdream at 1:38 PM on May 4, 2012


Here's the output:

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: playboy.com
Address: 216.18.172.158
Name: playboy.com
Address: 208.99.94.78

Neither of those addresses go anywhere. What could they be up to?
It only affects playboy.com, too.
posted by artof.mulata at 1:51 PM on May 4, 2012


The site was broken for me because the HTTPS Everywhere browser add-on was incorrectly redirecting me to an https address which was not responding. (That probably wasn't your problem though, because it wouldn't be fixed by changing DNS servers.)

The nslookup output you posted looks perfectly fine. Was that generated while using Google DNS, or Qwest DNS?
posted by mbrubeck at 6:28 PM on May 4, 2012


I just came back to report the exact same thing as mbrubeck.
HTTPS Everywhere does great things most of the time; who could have guessed that it was the culprit?

In Chrome, the wrench icon developed a small "!" badge that I didn't notice. Clicking the wrench revealed a message at the bottom of the scroll informing me of an extension conflict. Selecting the message took me to Chrome's extension page where I was notified of exactly which extension was the problem and I turned it off. Pow. Off to Playboy.

I have the same extension on my Firefox install and turning it off there resulted in the same sudden return to access. Apparently it's the interaction between HTTPS Everywhere and AdBlock that causes the problem.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I learned some cool new things about my system today (hosts file are cool). Ask Me to the rescue as always!
posted by artof.mulata at 8:36 PM on May 4, 2012


Just to clarify, as I've had similar problems, the problem you had is that the extension 'HTTPSEverywhere' is trying to redirect the page to an https version that doesn't exist. Therefor Chrome gives you the 'Webpage not available' error.

You also have a separate issue with 'HTTPSEverywhere' conflicting with AdBlock, giving you the 'This extension is misbehaving' error along with an exclamation icon next to the wrench menu button. This is because both 'HTTPSEverywhere' and AdBlock are trying to redirect ads to different places (either a https version, or a blank space) with neither one having priority.

The Chrome dev team are aware of the bug (and the solution of giving one extension priority over the other) but haven't released a fix yet. I'm not sure whether the creator of 'HTTPSEverywhere' is aware though.

Disabling 'HTTPSEverywhere', while not a great solution, fixes both these problems.
posted by Petrot at 3:01 AM on May 5, 2012


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