Guess I'll just have to vote Democratic!
October 27, 2004 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Georgebush.com site blocked to viewers outside the United States. Surfers outside the US have been unable to visit the official re-election site of President George W Bush. The blocking of browsers sited outside the US began in the early hours of Monday morning.
posted by zaelic (57 comments total)
 
Oops. georgewbush.com. Wouldn't want to forget that 'w.' But speaking as a Yank abroad, this is really bizarre. Repubs afraid that French surfers will ruin their party?
posted by zaelic at 7:36 AM on October 27, 2004


Makes sense to me, those furriners think they can get their slimy hands on our electioneering process and derailificate the democracy.

Its a neat trick though.

And are the overseas surfers really missing anything by not being able to visit the home base of the spinner of lies and obfuscation? I've access but I don't see any reason to go by.
posted by fenriq at 7:38 AM on October 27, 2004


I'll give credit to the webmasters over there for applying such a perfect metaphor for how they handled the Iraq war in their site coding.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:40 AM on October 27, 2004


FPP?
posted by a3matrix at 7:44 AM on October 27, 2004


FPP?

Only by strict definition.
posted by dhoyt at 7:46 AM on October 27, 2004


I can see it from Toronto, not that I have much interest in it. I assume the blocking is a cost saving measure that also serves as a metaphor for the current administrations attitude toward the rest of the world.
posted by tranquileye at 7:49 AM on October 27, 2004


Why would they do this?

Seems bizarre, are they trying to stockpile bandwidth for Americans?
posted by fullerine at 7:50 AM on October 27, 2004


I can get in fine.
posted by Dagobert at 7:52 AM on October 27, 2004


"Mike Prettejohn, president of Netcraft, speculated that the blocking decision was taken to cut costs, and traffic, in the run-up to the election on 2 November." (>>)
posted by aaronshaf at 7:56 AM on October 27, 2004


We Irish can't get in.

[sarcasm]
And to think we've been allowing Dubya to send his soldiers and munitions through Shannon on their way to the Mid-East, and this is how we get repaid?!
[/sarcasm]
posted by tomcosgrave at 7:57 AM on October 27, 2004


Presumably the next step is redirecting Americans to a loyalty oath page first.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:59 AM on October 27, 2004


It supplies the most obvious reasin in the freaking article: cutting costs. Bandwidth isn't all that cheap, and even with Rove the fundsmaster, the coffers might be getting dry by this point in the campaign.

But, whatevs, let the bizarre speculation begin.
posted by kavasa at 8:01 AM on October 27, 2004


But really, how much could they save?

I think they really just don't have very good web geeks. This reminds me of the WhiteHouse.gov robots file -- full of lots of search-exclusions, presumably for security-by-obscurity, as opposed to simply deleting or protecting the directories.
posted by lodurr at 8:05 AM on October 27, 2004


perhaps they've observed a few packet storms arriving from overseas.
posted by quonsar at 8:05 AM on October 27, 2004


Do any other sites do this to save money?
posted by Cicerius at 8:06 AM on October 27, 2004


Yeah, I'm sure they're down to eating ramen in their skivvies down at the poor ol' GOP.

"Internets" indeed.
posted by digaman at 8:07 AM on October 27, 2004


One could read the article.
Or one could pointlessly speculate.

Choose wisely!

And I think this should be considered a service to the rest of the world. They should take it one step further and block access within the US as well.
posted by Outlawyr at 8:12 AM on October 27, 2004


One could read the article.
Or one could pointlessly speculate.


Or one could do both. In fact, reading the article leaves you with the choice of speculating, or passing over in silence, since it exposes nothing but strange, hypothetical motives...
posted by lodurr at 8:14 AM on October 27, 2004


This reminds me of when the Canadian political party Bloc Québeçois took down the English part of their site to save costs. I sent them an email asking how they could claim to be a national party when they had a Web site roughly three-quarters of Canadians wouldn't be able to read. I got back a party line email about how it was a cost-cutting move and if I had questions I could always ask someone at the site.

You can say that it's just a cost-cutting, rather than a politcally motivated, move, and I know that the BQ anecdote isn't really analgous because at least the GWB site is accessible to most of its voters (except the ex-pats, of course).. but there is an argument to be made about cost-cutting moves being indicative of larger priorities.
posted by orange swan at 8:24 AM on October 27, 2004


Does anyone honestly think this is being done to save a few bucks? I think that's about the crappiest excuse I've ever heard.

I read the article and I don't buy it. How much could they really save?
posted by fenriq at 8:26 AM on October 27, 2004


If they are restricting access because of attacks, im sure they are being attacked within the US too.

BLOCK EVERYTHING, WE WILL BE SAFER!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
posted by LinemanBear at 8:28 AM on October 27, 2004


Jesus fucking Christ. When I ask for transparency in government, I don't want them to be TRANSPARENTLY EVIL FUCKS.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:31 AM on October 27, 2004


"The pattern of traffic to the website suggests that the blocking was not due to an attack by vandals or politically motivated hackers."

RTFA
posted by Outlawyr at 8:49 AM on October 27, 2004


The whole world is blocking.
posted by Peter H at 8:53 AM on October 27, 2004


I read the article and I don't buy it. How much could they really save?

For that matter, why can't they just run up a huge deficit instead?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:57 AM on October 27, 2004


Gosh, if a considerable number of mefi'rs were to download all of the video clips from the site, it could cost 'ol George a heap 'o money in bandwidth. And if some of those knowledgeable mefi'rs were to set up wget to download everything every hour or so, well, you get the idea.
posted by 2sheets at 9:03 AM on October 27, 2004


Normally, I would just think this was a mistake, but with these guys you never know what kind of kookiness is going on.
posted by xammerboy at 9:06 AM on October 27, 2004


drop the www's or head for the IP number and you'll reach the site just fine - from anywhere.
Incompetent, as usual.
posted by dabitch at 9:29 AM on October 27, 2004


Do any other sites do this to save money?

Other sites that try and save money by various means, don't seek an audience limited to US voters. It actually makes sense from that point of view, if only it didn't come from these particular operatives.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:36 AM on October 27, 2004


dabitch, that's really funny. Akamai must be doing the denial at their load balancer on the basis of the request rather than on the basis of resolved destination which would make sense if it were a virtualhost on a shared IP, but rather stupid when you have dedicated IPs.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:42 AM on October 27, 2004


drop the www's or head for the IP number and you'll reach the site just fine - from anywhere.
Incompetent, as usual.
posted by dabitch at 9:29 AM PST on October 27


Any apt comparisons come to mind? :-)
posted by nofundy at 9:59 AM on October 27, 2004


The blocking does not appear to be due to an attack by vandals or malicious hackers, but as a result of a policy decision by the Bush camp.

The policy might be to prevent an attack in the future, but not because of an attack in the past. Vague journalism.
posted by destro at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2004


They could save anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month, depending on what all they've got available for download. They've got a ton of video available, and it's no secret that he's not exactly internationally popular; I can see people digging through his site for examples of things they disagreed with. And hell, even if it doesn't save them that much, who gives a shit? What are they losing?

Wait no you're right, that is obviously wrong and it's obviously the case that denying access to a campaign site serves, somehow, an evil purpose. How this could possibly be evil, well, we'll figure that out later. For now it's most important to sieze on every ridiculous thing and have aneurysms about how he KNEW and and there are rumors he can only achieve erection by immersing Iraqi infants in fresh, steaming hot Iraqi petrolium and THAT'S why he invaded.

Yes.

p.s.: I like how relatively knowledgeable people go "ha ha, they FAILED because I can get to it by using the IP." Less incompetent (it's akamai) and more lazy, is my suspicion.
posted by kavasa at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2004


Does anyone honestly think....

See dabitch; I'm telling you, they just don't have good web geeks. It's not republican incompetence -- it's that good techies apparently aren't interested in working for these guys for some reason, so they get a bunch of half-assed hacks.

I'd suggest they go hire some of the pajama bloggers, but most of those guys didn't seem to have such hot websites, so it might not be an improvement...

Wait no you're right, that is obviously wrong and it's obviously the case that denying access to a campaign site serves, somehow, an evil purpose.

And you're obviously reacting to a very small number of posters in the thread. Most people are reaching conclusions like mine or saying "WTF?!", because even though you could save "hundreds to thousands of dollars a month", it took more time in terms of opportunity cost to make the decision to do this than they would save.

The point of this to me is that it's fascinating for its inscrutability. There really just is no good reason to do this -- ergo, the people doing it must be stupid, incompetent, lazy, or all three.
posted by lodurr at 10:46 AM on October 27, 2004


set up wget to download everything

i had a hard time finding the direct URLs of the videos, and those i did find seem to come from stream4you.com or some such (which may or may not cost more than gwb.com bandwidth). but this mp3 is nice fat 32 megs and sucks bandwidth nicely in a for loop.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2004


Armitage Shanks, hmm, so you're saying the GOP re-election money is the same thing as the national deficit? I think we'd have alot more serious issues than a blocked site if that were the case.

In thinking about this, good. I'm glad Bush is finally cutting down on the number of people that can be infected by his poisoned message. Now if we could only get him to block all US surfers and we'd be set.
posted by fenriq at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2004


Pollomacho -- not all US voters will be coming in from US IP's. What about the troops? WHY WON'T THEY SUPPORT THE TROOPS?!?
posted by aaronetc at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2004


What about the wild speculation that the Bush campaign just want to make it more difficult for international news organizations to fact check their lies? Every little bit of bluster and obfuscation helps... Akamai! they should be ashamed of themselves.
posted by dorcas at 10:55 AM on October 27, 2004


I forgot Poland again.
posted by petebest at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2004


I was never able to get on that site from Japan over the last year or so, I wonder if it was just blocked there.
posted by lkc at 11:08 AM on October 27, 2004


"Hey; you forgot Poland!"
posted by lodurr at 11:10 AM on October 27, 2004


gotta love the liegirls.
posted by dabitch at 12:11 PM on October 27, 2004


I hate bad journalism. Why didn't the beeb just ask a spokesman or something? I know they have people on the campaign trail.

Whoever edited that article should have said, 'Hang on, before we put out pointless speculation, let's ask someone who might know.'

/thinks of the children
posted by haqspan at 12:18 PM on October 27, 2004


If it were just one, they could afford the bandwidth, but with so many of the internets it gets expensive...
posted by limitedpie at 12:31 PM on October 27, 2004


Access for all (if you're really that bothered.....) :-

http://65.172.163.222/
posted by SpaceCadet at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2004


Well who says we want to look at that website anyway? Nyeh!
posted by feelinglistless at 12:56 PM on October 27, 2004


It also works from British Columbia, so I guess Canadians are allowed to view the site.

[ This must be tied into the flu vaccine fiasco, but I can't figure it out. /tongue-in-cheek paranoia ]
posted by deborah at 1:32 PM on October 27, 2004


Metafilter: Plumbing the depths of pathetic net conspiracy theories with great gusto.
posted by Seth at 1:32 PM on October 27, 2004


Finally somebody has brought this up - I was beginning to think it was just me. As an international mefi current residing in a "friendly nation state", I've never been able to access the site via www.georgewbush.com, georgewbush.com or the IP address for the past couple of years.
posted by X-00 at 1:33 PM on October 27, 2004


Why didn't the beeb just ask a spokesman or something?

The Register says they did: "We called the Republican National Committee for comment but they couldn't get back to us because campaign volunteers are not allowed to phone outside the US."

Plumbing the depths of pathetic net conspiracy theories with great gusto.

More like, relishing the mysterious dim-wittedness of GOP webmasters....
posted by lodurr at 1:59 PM on October 27, 2004


I haven't been able to get to it from Japan for over a year, at least not without a proxy. The IP address above still doesn't work. It just hangs forever.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:36 PM on October 27, 2004


I believe thay are blocking based on IP address which explains why some people in other countries can still see it. Location via IP is not 100% reliable.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:37 PM on October 27, 2004


Is this what they mean by "cock-blocking"?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:19 PM on October 27, 2004


cockbush-blocking [/beavis]

Blocked from Korea as well, FWIW.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 PM on October 27, 2004


I spend too much time jawing with my buddies at the pub (NOTA BENE: pub. A forum for public consumption of alcohol and critical conversation - not really a "bar - something you don't really find in the USA) about the election,and I always like to say "You should see what the Repubs' official website has to say about W's latest blah blah blah. It helps me sound "balanced." And now I can't even sound balanced!

My country tis of thee, sweet land of blocked websites!
posted by zaelic at 5:19 PM on October 27, 2004


ITS FOR SECURITY FROM THE IRAQIES
posted by Keyser Soze at 6:27 PM on October 27, 2004


Apparently it's for security from everybody, as the Bush campaign eventually get back to the BBC.
posted by biffa at 4:27 AM on October 28, 2004


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