05 January, 2007

Wikipedia blocks the entire nation of Qatar

Gerard said routing an entire country's traffic _ even that of a tiny nation like Qatar _ through a single IP address is unusual. He said Wikipedia is looking for a way to refine its capabilities to block problem individual users in the Gulf state without hamstringing the entire country.
. . .
Administrators reversed the block once they discovered the scope.

"Our apologies to the people of Qatar," Gerard said on Wednesday. "It was a mistake. We won't do it again _ unless somebody slips up, in which case it will be remedied quickly."
. . .
Wikipedia administrators had responded to an unusually high level of spam and fraudulent posts by blocking contributions from the numeric Internet address tied to those posts.

But that resulted in the accidental blocking of the entire nation because Qatar's sole telecom, Q-Tel, funnels all Internet traffic through that single address, a practice that allows the country to monitor and censor its users, said David Gerard, Wikipedia's London-based spokesman.
None of that could occur here of course.


nzm said...

Of course not!

But it did - about a couple of years ago.

No one could go to Google without getting the dreaded "Because of the unusually high number of hits on our website by your IP address, it has been designated as a SPAM address and you cannot access our site", or words to that effect.

secretdubai said...

It's done that frequently with the UAE - I couldn't edit once even being logged in - so I don't know why Qatar gets all these special apologies. The UAE never has.

Grumpy Goat said...

I've not been able to edit anything on Wikipedia for months 'due to vandalism...blah blah...entire ISP is blocked'. Neither will Wikipedia allow me to open an account

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