Banned IP Address

Discussion in 'Website news & discussions' started by gplcoder, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. gplcoder

    gplcoder Active Member

    I have been a vocal CleanMPG advocate for many years despite the quirky, non-standard website.

    For some time now, I have been using the Tor network to encrypt my Internet traffic. This website is one of many that penalizes Tor network users. I wrote a note to the webmaster about this issue and was ignored. This time, I am writing this complaint in the open in the hopes that something is done.

    Quite a few times when I attempt to go to this site, I get the message:
    This just happened on my Mac which had the IP address assigned by the Tor network of

    When is this website going to stop penalizing Tor network users and support the rights of users who choose not to be tracked by encrypting their Internet traffic.

  2. FSUspectra

    FSUspectra Practicing true conservatism!

    I will stretch out and say that it is likely that the IP network you are assigned has been used by a spammer, and was thus blocked. It is not intentional, but to keep the boards clean, this is the lengths to which we have to go. I understand your use of Tor, and use it myself at times. It's just one of those things. Hopefully either Wayne or Sean will chime in.
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    IP lookup shows that address being located in Mongolia. How many legitimate users do you think we have in Mongolia? The fact that it's banned means we have had actual spammers using that IP in the past. We don't block anything until it becomes a repeated problem.

    Can you request a different Tor IP?
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    I suspect the IP would have been blocked either because it was blacklisted by a subscription list or was used by a spammer.

    It's one of the inconveniences of using a permissive network.

    I would hope you understand that in order specifically to support Tor or other similar permissive networks administrators would have to expend additional effort, and that moderators and administrators of this site are not paid for their efforts. (At least I'm not. :p)
  5. gplcoder

    gplcoder Active Member

    So your are going to discriminate against Mongolian users just because they are in Mongolia? That's the Internet equivalent of racial profiling that is also discriminatory.

    Yes, I can request a different IP address but what happens if that one is also not acceptable to this discriminatory web site. I could trying to get an 'acceptable' IP address indefinitely.
    I also have to deal with many other Internet services that discriminate against Tor users by making access difficult or impossible. There has to be an acceptable method of identifying legitimate users other than IP address filtering. I can think of using the join date. In my case, I have been a registered member for many years, obviously, I am not a spammer.

    This policy is silly and clearly discriminatory.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  6. gplcoder

    gplcoder Active Member

    If you put up a site, you become responsible to provide an open policy. There are all kinds of ways of identifying malicious users. A blanket rule is ugly and has side effects.

    As far as not getting paid. This is what we do. I have my own web site and provide tons of programming, support, technical assistance out of the kindness of my heart. It's to our mutual advantage. I don't expect to get paid.

  7. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    The problem is we have to deal with these spammers and most don't realize the time and bandwidth they take up of the site as well as being annoying to the administrator and mods.

    It has gotten so bad that the board had to restrict the hours that members can join because of the late night, early morning over seas spam problem.

    You may not agree with the policy but I'm on boards that you can not even post for two weeks after joining due to the spam problems they have had.

  8. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    We have that IP range blocked because somebody actually did use it, repeatedly, for spamming. Blocking isn't our first line of defense. It's an action we take when we moderators have repeatedly had to clean up spam from that same source. We don't have unlimited time to do such cleaning so after a certain point we have to do something else.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rick:

    I am speaking with the choir here. We have had spammers "attack" from that IP in the past and it is simply not worth it to allow them to run rampant. With the day/night registration system and banning IP's "AFTER" they have become a problem is the best way to keep the board clean for everybody else.

    It may not be the thing you want to hear but spammers think heir is gold in their posts and to me, they are as annoying as a mosquito. In other words, no tolerance.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    No you don't. You can run it any way you like as long as it's legal.

    It's not a blanket rule. There was a spammer and their IP address was banned to prevent additional spam. This site doesn't have a policy, as far as I know, of expiring IP bans.

    If you are frequently being blocked from this site it means that spammers are frequently using Tor.

    If you want an address removed you can request it, but it would take time to determine whether it would lead to more spam.

    Exactly. This is a service provided by volunteers. Volunteers do not appreciate dictatorial requests demanding that they give more of their free time.

    The most telling sentence in your original post is the one that was missing, just as it is missing from so many FOSS user posts: how can I help?
  11. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    If you are accessing the internet in an non-standard way, you should expect certain non-standard issues to pop up. Do you block cookies? You can't log in to some sites. You have to whitelist certain sites. Presenting an unusual IP is the same - sometimes it won't work. I doubt you can use certain banking or investing sites with a Mongolian IP.
  12. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Rick, when we are forced to ban an IP it is because of repeated spam attacks with repeated signups as different usernames. We use it as a last resort, and when we have to ban a block of IP addresses it is always the smallest block we can manage while still being effective.

    I'm sorry you've been caught in the crossfire but unfortunately it is because we really don't have the ability to block spam at a finer level -- it has to be on something uniquely identifiable and our choices are username and IP address. We have a few other measures in place where they make sense and I've explored several other options but nearly all severely encroach on the freedom of the average member (new or not) to post reasonably. We've made the best compromise we can in a bad situation.

    If you have the ability to choose an IP address block, you are much less likely to have issues with one regional to North America or Western Europe. We have users from Australia, South America, and China as well.
  13. gplcoder

    gplcoder Active Member

    Thanks for all your responses,

    You have a great site here and I would just like it to be better.

    You are correct when you say that I have problems with some sites using Tor. However, there are many board-type sites that work perfectly every time. The best example I can come up with is which is, arguably, the largest board on the Internet and I have never had any issues with this board accessing it using Tor.

    I suggested a way of filtering based on the user or actually, their join date. In all the responses, there was no mention of using that as a possibility

    I guess I will have to do with this issue what I have done with all the quirky CleanMPG issues... live with it.

    Thanks for listening away,
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  14. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Join date isn't workable unfortunately because we've had lurkers turn into spammers after indeterminate time periods.

    Filtering on user as an exception to an IP ban could work but would require some heavy modification of the underlying forum software.

    What other "quirky issues" are you having?
  15. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I have not been as active, including the spam killing, but sadly they are more sophisticated the past couple of years.

    No, we do not ban/block simply because the IP is from a part of the world rampant with spammers.

    When I find at over three things suspicious, I bat around 1.000 - less than that I get into trouble.

    Spambots generated by that $600 spamware called XRummer causes a lot of headaches ... a profile of a n00b with "123456" with senseless info is often dead on arrival, esp if the IP is from Eastern Europe. The real problem is the low-life human spammers - spambots are easy to nab.

    Not only can you lookup the part of the world an IP is from, but there are databases of known spam IPs - a more certain way to identify them. Still, I tend to find other stuff and their email and clueless profile generally confirms spammers. It amuses me their Bio is "Man", and Manila is in the US Central Time Zone.

    It makes no sense - spammers/hackers are now the new organized crime, esp the Russian variety. They mindlessly post on forums - CleanMPG is just one in their spamlist of thousands, done by someone in the Fourth World that will probably not make a penny - certainly not from this site.

    It's easier to describe how I identify the 99% of you that are NOT spammers - an intelligent profile about them and their car consistent with their stated location - having a clue as to what CleanMPG is about.

    Spammers are so OCD on sigs ... they will join, then sneak spam into the sig a couple of weeks later. Sigs are an area we can get trigger-happy until we get to know you.

    Not only do they waste our time - they are wasting theirs.

    Sorry about the trouble spammers bring - we just want an environment pleasant for hypermilers.

    On that last point, be careful about making personal info public as we can't block it from lurking spammers...they don't have to join to harvest your personal info!
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  16. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    This article got my attention: Half of spammers on Asia-based computers

    Speaking from experience, over half the spammers have IPs from/near Manila or Hydrabad, with many others from China or Russia.


    What has happened frequently in the past is once a spammer is banned, they try several times over the next day or two, encouraging us to do IP blocks. Maybe it's the spamware XRummer mindlessly doing this.

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