Locked-out Overlawyered readers, in Australia and elsewhere

For quite a while I’ve been getting complaints that readers in other countries — Australia, in particular — are locked out of Overlawyered with a “403 — you don’t have permission to access the server” error message. (Similarly, see these bulletin board discussions from New Zealand and Germany). Reader Stephen Mepham from Australia wrote to alert me when he encountered this problem on switching to a new cable provider, and helpfully included his IP number (the 777.77.7.777 thing). That allowed me to track down what had happened: in response to a series of spam and denial-of-service attacks, our hosting providers over the years have taken aggressive measures to exclude various large blocks of IP numbers (as well as country domains associated with spam and DOS attacks). I’ve now taken a few gingerly steps to relax these controls, which I hope should let more Australian readers access the site in particular. Should the attacks resume, of course, we’ll need to go back to tougher blocking.

If you’re a reader who’s encountered this problem or knows someone who has, give it a try again, and feel free to email me with a message along the lines of “Yes, now it works again” or “No, I still get blocked” — and try to include your IP address if convenient, which you can identify here.


  • Thanks, I can now read your column, hassle free.

  • Ditto — coming here from Hong Kong. I just used a US-based proxy in the past; never thought to e-mail you about it.

  • How nice! It’s working again. I’m on 124.171.xx.xx right now.

  • some friendly advice usually you dont wanna post your ip address =]

  • Good point. I obscured the final segments of the one that was posted, and would note that just including the first two segments is normally enough to help me in diagnosing the block issues. In email, of course, feel free to send the entire number.