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Re: Status code for censorship?

From: James M Snell <jasnell@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 08:27:04 -0700
Message-ID: <CABP7RbfOAc3bgew8Lnkz7Raw4JEmanD423m7h4_KHrstbS3XTA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Cc: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, ietf-http-wg@w3.org
On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 4:09 AM, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net> wrote:
>> Censorship happens sometimes in other states through decision of laws and/or regulations. For example, a network in a corporate environment blocking certain sites through proxy (such as social networks). A library blocking some sites through proxy to other users. In these cases, the organization in charge of it might want to advertise it for reasons which seem perfectly legible to them.
> Yes. However, as discussed, current status codes can be used for this, and the HTML will explain what's going on. The one remaining motivation that I can see would be a similar situation that got us 511; non-browser devices that get confused by what's going on. However, since this isn't a redirect, but just a refusal, it's less of an issue, practically.

True, however, with 511, there is a distinct practical action that the
user-agent can take in response to the specific code... namely,
authenticating with the network prior to retrying the request. There
is no such clear response action with this.

Further, one additional consideration is the case where a particular
request is blocked through similar policy-driven action. A 4xx
response would be perfectly reasonable in such cases. My initial
inclination was to use a new 5xx code but the more I go through the
cases, the more I think 403 is just fine.

- James

> Cheers,
> --
> Mark Nottingham   http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Monday, 11 June 2012 15:27:53 UTC

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