Re: Reviving discussion on error code 451

On 2 Jan 2015 07:45, "Tim Bray" <> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 6:07 AM, <> wrote:
>> Proposal (another one properly generalized)
>> -------------------------------------------------
>>  451 Forbidden by a third party human authority
> ​Clever, but it doesn’t meet the service providers’ needs.  They are OK
with mentioning that they got a legal demand, but they don’t want to admit
formally that they have been “forbidden” because that would weaken their
legal position if they decide to contest the demand.​

I'm not sure it is necessary to call out policy or law in the description
of this response.

451 Forbidden by intermediary
The origin server MAY permit the request but an intermediary server refused
the request.
... preferably with a populated via header that ends in the intermediary
that forbids the request, or some other identifying information for the

The implication to be made implicitly or explicitly is that another
communication path may not refuse the request. In an office environment
this might mean that an employee may seek to access the content at home.

The key point intended in the response I think is to differentiate between
a request being refused by the owner of the resource or being refused by an
owner of the communication path. Stronger language than that could be seen
to be offering some kind of legal or policy advice. If the intermediary
does want to provide such advice it surely could do so in the response body.

Received on Thursday, 8 January 2015 07:19:51 UTC