back to article IETF mulls adding geoblock info to 'Bradbury's code'

After a long campaign, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has decided that users deserve to know why pages were blocked and created HTML error 451. Now the body will consider a proposal to extend it to give users more information. “Error 451” entered the canon in December 2015, with the name honouring Ray Bradbury's “ …

  1. Fazal Majid

    Well, at least it’s not useless garbage like the “I’m a teapot” HTTP status code 418.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      IOT Teapots everywhere disagree.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Short and stout being excluded!

        And believe me, when I get all steamed up, then I shout!

        1. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: Short and stout being excluded!

          Tip me over .... with a feather.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Well, at least it’s not useless garbage like the “I’m a teapot” HTTP status code 418.

      I have an actual use for 418. Looking at my web server logs I used to see a lot of dodgy crawlers accessing the site by address with no SNI or the dotted quad as SNI. Rather than reply with a default site, I used to specifically 404 such requests, but the crawlers kept coming back. For a laugh I tried returning 418 instead (complete with error page with image of a teapot) and found that stopped most of them coming back. It may not be strictly correct, as there's no teapot present, but it works.

  2. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Going to be a lot of pages from NK ...

    451 - Resource Blocked

    The glorious Democratic People's Republic of Korea has deemed this resource to be western propaganda and has the potential to corrupt the purity of the North Korean people.

    Please enjoy this picture of of loved leader eating his Swiss cheese and lobbing missiles at the Japan.

    1. Murphy's Lawyer

      Going to be a lot of pages from the UK too

      Except they won't show Error 451 as we won't be allowed to know why something's being blocked, because children terrorism Rupert something...

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Going to be a lot of pages from the UK too

        451 error is a good idea, but there's many layers of censorship that get applied before the regime even has to dirty it's hands pulling the specific page. So two cheers for the IETF but it's just part of the battle against repression.

    2. Bob Dole (tm)
      Coffee/keyboard

      Going to be a lot of pages from NK ...

      Doubtful. If a Citizen knows that banned information exists then they might try to seek it using other means. Better to calm them by denying the very existence of it using a 404.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Better to calm them by denying the very existence of it using a 404."

        But far better to destroy all the computing devices in the country that aren't in heavily secured government facilities. Don't even give them a chance to know there's an Internet out there.

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Fahrenheit 451 = Equilibrium (movie)

    Book was better anyway.

    1. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge
      Big Brother

      There was also a Fahrenheit 451 movie. Not completely faithful to the book, different atmosphere, but not bad at all.

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Yes, a good movie: it introduced me to Dali's paintings. My only disappointment with it was not showing the Mechanical Hound, but with hindsight any attempt to do so would probably have failed.

        The master stroke was that there was no text at all in the film apart from numbers. Even the credits were spoken.

        If you haven't seen the film or read the book recently, do so: its still relevant and becoming more so.

  4. ilmari

    So is this serious, or will it be as widely used as the evil bit on IP level?

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Cant

      As most connections SHOULD be https you can't unless you have forged certificates.

      Of course most cert authorities WILL provide fake certs, but that is another problem.

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Geoblocking?

    "That report, published in July 2017, noted that geoblocking was primarily associated with gambling sites."

    And the BBC iPlayer of course

    It's a real pain when I can't buy a lottery ticket because I'm using a VPN.

  6. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
    Pint

    Raising a glass to Mr Bradbury

    Thank you, sir, wherever you are though I do confess that I enjoyed The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes far more than Fahrenheit 451.

  7. Charles 9 Silver badge

    I think I can see where this is going. The main idea behind code 451 is to report that a resource is blocked for varying legal but legitimate reasons (example, a government resources website intended for its citizens would likely block international queries except for perhaps designated portals; at least here, they can cite a reason). There are legitimate reasons for blocking, and a 451 at least makes the resources explain why.

    It won't do much good against oppressive regimes since they'll take the Nineteen Eighty-Four route and deny the resource even exists and enforce this unexistence, but if you're in that kind of environment, you have bigger problems already.

  8. Spender

    HTML error 451?

    No. It's HTTP status code 451.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: HTML error 451?

      HTTP/1.1 302 Found Location: mailto://corrections@sitpub.com

  9. Mage Silver badge

    Geoblock is evil and dishonest

    IPs do not always indicate your location / country accurately.

    In the EU, if the service is in the EU it's probably illegal.

    Geoblock also DVD regions and BD regions are just greed. Either it's free and it should work anywhere, or you pay and it should work anywhere. Obviously Broadcast on satellite beams, cable networks and Terrestrial transmitters should be exempt.

    HDCP on HDMI is a nasty tax and pirates pirate elsewhere.

    TVs and setboxes that encrypt external HDD COMPLETELY even for FTA TV is evil. Hello Sony & Humax?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Geoblock is evil and dishonest

      Geoblocking drove me to piracy. I was happy buying dvds until my player broke. I had to find a multi-region player or lose most of my collection. Easy solution just download the films and cut out the crap. Files play everywhere. Best thing that ever happened. Keep shitting on paying customers.

      1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        Re: Geoblock is evil and dishonest

        Should be easy enough to rip your DVDs. DVD drives allow up to 5 region changes before locking in. I tried to buy an obscure movie on DVD once that was only available in region 2, so I bought the DVD just for ripping and designated one of my older drives to be a region 2-only drive.

        ...Not saying it's not stupid. Just the opposite, in fact. There's no reason Short Time should be limited to UK distribution. Just suggesting an alternative to downloading. Or a supplement.

        I also have Short Time on laserdisc. Now THERE is an obsolete format. I can't just buy a drive and rip it!

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: Geoblock is evil and dishonest

          I also have Short Time on laserdisc. Now THERE is an obsolete format. I can't just buy a drive and rip it!

          I still prefer LaserDisc to DVD. You can try to pry my CLD-D925 from my dead cold hands but odds are not good.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Geoblock is evil and dishonest

            You know LaserDisc-encoded movies are just digitally-encoded analog composite video? In other words, not the best of quality in any event? If you want to rip a LaserDisc, you can do worse than hooking it up with good cables to a high-quality video capture rig. That's what the MAME team does right now to preserve LD-based games like Dragon's Lair.

        2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: DVD drives allow up to 5 region changes before locking in

          Excuse me if I do not agree to being locked out of content that I have legally paid for, on equipment that is legally mine.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DVD drives allow up to 5 region changes before locking in

            "Excuse me if I do not agree to being locked out of content that I have legally paid for, on equipment that is legally mine."

            You paid for the license to play that video. Any license has terms and conditions since, legally, the producers and/or publishers still hold final call (the copyright) over your material. Like it or not, that's the legal standing and if you want any different, you're going to have to talk to your legislature, understanding that the movie studios tend to have deep pockets and the threat to simply walk away. Which do you prefer: 10% of something or 100% of nothing?

            1. Adam 1 Silver badge

              Re: DVD drives allow up to 5 region changes before locking in

              > You paid for the license to play that video. Any license has terms and conditions since, legally, the producers and/or publishers still hold final call (the copyright) over your material.

              Ok cool. So what you're saying is that if my kids break a DVD by leaving it lying about, I can get a replacement media for my license at a nominal rate to cover the physical media and postage? Same for moving formats between VHS/DVD/Blu Ray (not remastering, just transfer at same quality)? Where do I sign?

              /Rant over: apologies, but I can't stand arguing both sides of the street here. They claim it is a product when it suits them (repurchase when you break it or want it on Blu Ray) but a license when it suits them (transcode restrictions/geoblock).

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: DVD drives allow up to 5 region changes before locking in

                "Ok cool. So what you're saying is that if my kids break a DVD by leaving it lying about, I can get a replacement media for my license at a nominal rate to cover the physical media and postage? Same for moving formats between VHS/DVD/Blu Ray (not remastering, just transfer at same quality)? Where do I sign?"

                Contact the publisher, and you probably need to send in the cracked disc.

                I know this was possible with Nintendo cartridges in the past. Specified it in the manuals, usually on the back page with an order form (cost $10 back then IIRC, about $2 for a new sleeve, and so on).

    2. Anne-Lise Pasch

      Re: Geoblock is evil and dishonest

      When HDCP is also really easily removed (e.g. iSolem 2 Way HDMI) for next-to-nothing, the inconvenience isn't worth the implementation.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Geoblock is evil and dishonest

      "Geoblock also DVD regions and BD regions are just greed."

      No, licensing and sublicensing can be geographically-restricted, too. Region coding is there to help honor those agreements.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What shall be the code for

    ...451 has been censored? 451^451?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: What shall be the code for

      Probably 404 Not Found because at this point they're into Nineteen Eighty-Four territory and denying it even exists (which is why it wouldn't be 410 Gone).

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