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Accessibility Proxy closed

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 16:28:31 +0100 (BST)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0209151607120.8593-100000@jarl.webthing.com>

The accessibility proxy <URL:http://valet.webthing.com:8000/proxy.html>
has today been closed down.  It can still be made available on demand,
but only by arrangement.

As users will be aware, it refused to serve images or any other non-text
content.  This was designed to make it useless for the usual types of
proxy abuse: users of porn, warez or godknowswhat seeking anonymity,
or providers of unsavoury content circumventing blocks on them.

Unfortunately, in spite of being useless to the porn merchants, it has
evidently been picked up by scanners looking for open proxies and added
to some kind of database of abusable resources, generating a significant
volume of unwanted traffic.

I have today studied the error log for a little over an hour after
disabling the proxy.  Amongst several thousand requests for sites
whose domain names indicate porn were two or three for resources
concerned with web accessibility, a slightly larger number for
miscellaneous resources that were probably legitimate users, and
of course a crop of scans for security vulnerabilities.

My apologies to legit. users, but at around 99% pure (attempted) abuse,
this is not an acceptable ratio.

Anyone wanting to test-drive or use the proxy in future, please email me.

Nick Kew
Received on Sunday, 15 September 2002 11:58:40 UTC

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