The Linux Magazine, TOR and bigotry

TOR logoUpdate: Just hours later i can access the website via TOR. Nice that they reacted that fast. Or maybe not all TOR exit-nodes suffer from this message?

Update 2 (Wednesday): Something doesn’t seem to be so right, more people are complaining about the same problem on various websites so that i started an analysis if there’s something wrong with the Tor-system itself.

Update 3 (Friday): I finished my analysis and I’m not so sure anymore what’s really going on: A formal excuse to the people of the Linux Magazine, ideas about how to proceed.

This morning a friend of mine sent me a link to an article at the Linux Magazine; i pasted the link into my Firefox’s URL-field, pressed on go… and i got redirected to a very strange URL, “http://www.linux-magazine.com/frame.aspx?\
u=http%3a%2f%2flanding.domainsponsor.com\
%3fa_id%3d1637%26domainname%3dlinux-magazine.com\
%26adultfilter%3doff%26popunder%3doff&r=\
SUSPECTED+UNDESIRABLE+BOT
“. (backspaces mine)
Linux Magazine with TOR enabled

(click to see full picture, stupid theme clips pictures at 480px)

That made me suspicious, maybe there’s a typo in the URL? Checked, asked my friend, she said “no, the URL is correct” – other people also said that they don’t have any problems. Then I remembered that i was using the TOR-network. I told Firefox not to use TOR, called up the same site, and…

Linux Magazine with TOR disabled

(clicky-click)

I’d like to point out their article named “TOR and Privoxy: Protect your Privacy by covering your IP-address”. Obviously there seems to be a disagreement between the editor of the Linux Magazine and the webmaster of Linux New Media about what’s appropriate content and who’s considered to be a good client and who’s not. Good clients do not need to hide themselves! People who try to protect their privacy can only be evildoers! Obey!
The URL gives a hint: “SUSPECTED+UNDESIRABLE+BOT“. “Suspected” comes from “suspicious”. “Undesirable”. “Bot”? Not me.

Disappointing. Maybe someone just tried out a new blacklist-feature and didn’t really bother about the implications. Considering that TOR is one of the very few alternatives for certain people living in oppressive countries to access the interweb freely, the Linux Magazines gives a very bad example for the rest of the web.

Filed under rants. I’m disappointed.

Tech Tags:

4 Responses to The Linux Magazine, TOR and bigotry

  1. Probably someone running a modified exit node performed a request redirect and served you up an ad page. Unless you use an https:// address, it can be difficult or impossible to tell the difference.

  2. Time, yes, this is actually discussed on the or-talk mailinglist: http://archives.seul.org/or/talk/Oct-2006/msg00023.html
    I’m not so sure anymore if the Linux Magazine is to blame; I’ll investigate more and write more about it later, when I know more.
    Cheers, Alex.

  3. […] A few days ago I had a strange encounter with Linux New Media’s “Linux Magazine” website; depending on whether I used TOR to access their website i got different results. Accessing their site with TOR resulted in getting redirected to some kind of link-farm which made me totally suspicious. I assumed that they’re looking on the source IP-address and deciding for the correct webpage – however, that phenomenon vanished a couple of hours after blogging about it so i assumed that they fixed it. […]

  4. quix0r says:

    The same here! :-( And I guess for the EFF it is nearly impossible to detect him. So the “domainsponsor-abuser (or spammer?)” is using our good system against us. :-(

    Damn thing. It happens with several famous domains I’m very frenquently visiting… :-(

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: