Re: [451] #80: Distinguishing intermediaries from origins

> On 27 Aug 2015, at 1:07 am, Tim Bray <> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 8:57 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp <> wrote:
> ​​>BUT, it would be useful to know where the legal blockage is happening.
> ​​
> ​​No argument there, but adding 452 doesn't aid that goal IMO.
> ​I agree. I don't think 452 really adds any useful information, because I think “origin host” vs “other” distinction is not very interesting.

Well, we do have responses from people who intend to consume these status codes that such a distinction would be interesting to them. 

I do see your point though — if I'm being censored because I'm in Fooistan, and the content is available elsewhere, the place of application of the censorship (network vs. origin) doesn't seem like a primary concern (because in both cases, changing my network path may result in the content becoming available).

> I think it's useful to know who is censoring.​

If we got ambitious, we could define a Censorship Reporting Format to describe who's doing the censorship, what it applies to, etc. and then Link: to that from the response. I don't think we're that ambitious here (and it's starting to sound out of scope for this WG).

So, I think what remains is "is there any dead-simple metadata we can put into the 451 response that will help people collecting information about censorship? If not, we should probably just ship it.

CC:ing in Wendy, Niels, Joe and DKG to see if they have any thoughts.

> >As for #2, this feels like a job for an HTTP header, say
> >'Blocker-for-legal-reasons'.  It should take a list value in the case that
> >there are multiple entities blocking a request, [...]
> How would that ever happen ?  You get 451 back from the first censor
> who doesn't explore the full chain to see if anybody else are
> censoring ?
> ​Hm... possibly right. Other opinions?​
> ​​
> ​​Again:  Have you asked any actual *censors* if they would be willing
> ​​to fill out such a header ?
> ​I'm pretty sure they would.  Lots of ISPs hate it when they are prevented from serving their customers properly.  Also, see the transparency reports published by all the big internet companies.​

FWIW, I've been in contact with a few (quite sizeable) sites that say they'd use such a status code if it were standard.

I haven't yet had contact with ISPs that say that, but it's mostly because I haven't asked. Based on the current political climate in .au and .uk, I think at least ISPs in those places would use a status code if it were defined. Happy to try to get some feedback gathered if people think it'd help.


Mark Nottingham

Received on Thursday, 27 August 2015 01:41:55 UTC