Home > GOP & The Election > Republican Web Sites Blocked Outside America?

Republican Web Sites Blocked Outside America?

June 12th, 2004

I have never been able to visit the official Republican web sites, specifically www.rnc.org, www.gop.com, and Bush’s campaign site, www.georgewbush.com. Every time I try, after about a minute of waiting, I get an error message, “Operation timed out when attempting to contact….” I have tried from work, at home, and using a variety of browsers, but each time, the attempt times out. I have been trying this over a period of many months–always the same result. In contrast, the DNC web site and the Kerry campaign site are both readily accessible.

I would like to ask the assistance of all of you visiting here to test this hypothesis–try to access those three Republican sites, and let me know if you can get through–and which country you reside in. Especially those living outside the U.S.–are the Republicans making a concerted effort to hide their web sites from those outside the United States?

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  1. Chris Mawer
    June 12th, 2004 at 16:34 | #1

    Hi Luis:

    Can’t access any of the three Republican sites from Australia, and I’ve been trying for over a month. Like you, my requests have always timed out ? odd, indeed. Especially as the two Democrat sites come up instantly.

  2. Luis
    June 12th, 2004 at 16:37 | #2

    Thanks, Chris. This should be interesting. I wonder if the sites are viewable from Europe, or, more interesting, from Canada?

  3. Enumclaw
    June 12th, 2004 at 17:59 | #3

    Makes you wonder what they have to hide. :)

    Although, come to think of it, it could be that they’re simply trying to cut down on the odds of getting hacked/attacked. By filtering the IP requests out by domain, and ignoring any that come from a domain that is in a foreign land, they effectively limit the number of people who could launch attacks to just those in the USA.

    I can get through to the web sites, but of course I’m in Washington state.

    Perhaps I’ll drop a line to them and ask what the deal is…

  4. Luis
    June 12th, 2004 at 18:18 | #4

    Paul:

    I thought of that too, but it doesn’t make sense to me. After all, U.S. governemnt sites for the use of US citizens don’t do that, neither do any US-only business sites that I know or have ever heard of. And if anyone were really determined, it would be relatively simple for someone to get around that–I’m sure it could be easily hacked, and if not, someone just needs to get, hire, or take over a computer in the US and channel their attack through there..

    A side-effect, of course, is that it makes it impossible for Americans abroad to access the sites; for example, I’ve contributed to Kerry, and if his site were inaccessible from here, I’d’ve had a much harder time doing it. Not to say that I disapprove of Bush and the GOP cutting themselves off from an entire area of support, but it does make you wonder.

    Other possibilities may include a simple nationalistic and exclusionary mindset–clearly what the Bush administration has had these past four years.

  5. June 12th, 2004 at 18:20 | #5

    Am in the UK and can access the sites fine and quite quickly. But then again we’re Bush’s “best friends” so that’s not a surprise.

  6. Ron
    June 12th, 2004 at 23:31 | #6

    Luis,

    I can access all three Republican sites without any problem, as well as the DNC & Kerry sites. I’m between Osaka and Nara, but have no trouble from the office in Osaka either. I’m also using YahooBB, in case the ISP matters.

    Let me adjust my tin foil hat here… On a cynical side, have you signed any petitions or voted in any online polls lately that would show you as being against Bush and/or the Repubs? Could eager beavers in the WH and/or Republican party staffers be busily identifying websites/blogs that are liberal/leftist in nature and then physically blocking them from accessing their websites? Is there some kind of blacklisting going on, IOW? Checking with other liberal blog owners who live in Japan or elsewhere overseas, as well as in the States for that matter, might be a thought. One tidbit so far… Kinuk’s blog above is not noticeably anti-Bush, so access is allowed. And yes, the UK is a dear friend of the US, but so is Japan, right? Testing the theory one blog/website at a time… 😉

    I know it’s awfully far-fetched, and though Paul’s idea about domain filtering to ward off attacks is probably more valid, but from what I’ve seen of the BushCo administration, Rove’s gyratory manipulations (where the end ALWAYS justifies the means), and all of their amazing insensitivities to law and good decency, I’d say that just about anything could be possible from them. And that unfortunately it wouldn’t surprise me all that much if such blacklisting were occurring. Hopefully, I’m wrong, of course.

    On a another note, is it possible you have some cookies and/or blocks inadvertently set up somewhere, either in your browser, or (if you use them) your popup blocker or firewall? Just brainstorming now…

  7. June 13th, 2004 at 01:47 | #7

    Hi Luis,
    Republicans are not my best friends, but I have no probems to access the 3 official Republican web sites you mentioned at 1h44am Japan Time (from Yokohama, Japan).

  8. Luis
    June 13th, 2004 at 10:32 | #8

    Hmm–two locations in Japan and they’re not blocked, though there is blockage elsewhere internationally. It seems like it may not be completely a regional matter after all–curiouser and curiouser… Though still I wonder if anyone inside the U.S. is blocked.

    Of course, it could just be really sloppy site maintenance–i.e., they got spammed or hacked or something and blocked an entire range of IP addresses, not caring that they block legit addresses while cutting the swath. Or, as Ron said, they may be denying IPs identified as unfriendly–though that doesn’t explain my school’s IP, different from home, and I don’t recall having done anything political from there.

    Whatever the case, it is interesting that all three sites seem to be blocking the same IPs–so far, everyone here either sees all three or sees none.

  9. Luis
    June 13th, 2004 at 10:59 | #9

    Ah.

    I think I figured at least part of it out. All three sites I listed, plus some others (www.gopteamleader.com and rnchq.org, for example) all seem to be run by the same outfit. A WHOIS check revealed that all share the exact same DNS information:

    NS1.CHA.SMARTECHCORP.NET 65.172.162.66
    A.NS.TRESPASSERS-W.NET 209.61.172.168

    Which means that they probably share IP blocking information as well. But that still doesn’t explain why they’re blocking the addresses they’re blocking….

  10. Enumclaw
    June 13th, 2004 at 12:07 | #10

    Well, I’d suggest running a traceroute to the sites; to their nameservers; ping each as well.

    I also took the liberty of emailing the sites’ webmaster to ask what’s up with it. No answer yet, I’ll post when I find something.

    PL

  11. Saeed
    June 13th, 2004 at 14:51 | #11

    All of them worked fine with me. I’m from UAE

  12. John
    June 13th, 2004 at 17:53 | #12

    The only site which is accessible from China is the Kerry Campaign site. All the rest give me a timed out message.

  13. June 13th, 2004 at 19:34 | #13

    All three block me: Yokosuka and Zushi Japan YahooBB. I was wondering if it might be an over aggressive anti-spam blocking technique gone awry (some mail servers don’t accept mail from servers in dynamic ip blocks), but others one YahooBB are getting through. I’m kind of stumped.

  14. Luis
    June 13th, 2004 at 20:35 | #14

    Yes, well I’m KDDi Dion, but I don’t know what we use at school.

    Like you, UltraBob, I’m leaning towards believing a rather foolishly aggressive spam-blocking strategy. Foolish because you tend to throw out more baby than you do bathwater.

  15. June 14th, 2004 at 07:59 | #15

    I too had this problem for a while a few months ago and didn’t really think about it until Sako brought it up in March. But later that evening I was able to open http://www.georgewbush.com/ no problem from my home (Sagamihara, Japan) and office (Tokyo, Japan) .

    How about sending an email to the webmaster or someone at the campaign asking what the issue might be? BushCheney04@GeorgeWBush.com

  16. Enumclaw
    June 14th, 2004 at 08:49 | #16

    I am still waiting for a reply from my email to the webmaster about this situation. Dunno if they’ll bother.

  17. Pat
    June 15th, 2004 at 20:54 | #17

    I can access the rnc & gop sites but not the bush one. Tokyo; GOL, ISDN

  18. Cecil
    September 7th, 2004 at 23:49 | #18

    Louis,

    I had no trouble accessing all Republican Sites. Is this a Democrat Ruse?

  19. Luis
    September 7th, 2004 at 23:52 | #19

    No, just selective IP denial on the part of the GOP’s web host admin, apparently.

  20. Anonymous
    September 20th, 2004 at 19:52 | #20

    Hello,

    From Singapore and Japan, can access rnc and gop sites, but not GeorgeWBush.

    Usually those who have managed to get through to Bush out here have gone through a US proxy server first.

    Thanks–
    CAPitALLism.org

  21. yang
    September 21st, 2004 at 06:14 | #21

    I can access the bush site from Chile. Go figure.

  22. yang
    September 21st, 2004 at 06:14 | #22

    I can access the bush site from Chile. Go figure.

  23. David
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:27 | #23

    I am hoping I can find some help here or at least some advice on where I might get help with the following. I am a ardent Republican but seem to be surounded by Democrats. I am constantly bombarted with e-mails from friends, relatives and associates about how the republican party and mainly the Bush adminstration policy’s are wrong, evil etc.. I would like to know where I could post some of these e-mails so that I could get help in responding to them. I apologize if this is the wrong forum to post this request. At minimum maybe someone could suggest a web site that may be more appropiate. I got here from google.Please e-mail me at dhgfla@bellsouth.net

    thanks in advance..

    dg

  24. Robert
    October 27th, 2004 at 13:41 | #24

    I cant access the sites from New Zealand.
    I would like to see what rubbish the bush site has to scare voters into voting for him, which i cant understand. This US election could effect the world much more than any other election so please vote wisely

  25. October 27th, 2004 at 16:50 | #25

    Hi Everyone,

    at least I found out not to be the only one… can’t access georgewbush.com for over 24 hours now. First thought about a DoS-attack and searched around the net for it. Now I see what’s going on: pure censorship in my eyes or just the idea to block users outside the US of A to save bandwith for bushies in bible belt counties… I don’t know. Still, I would love to read that site, could anyone here explain how to use an american proxy or any other way to visit it (no geek speak please as a translator for that is missing here). Any help appreciated. Thanks, Chris

  26. Rotaman
    October 27th, 2004 at 19:08 | #26

    We can’t access http://www.georgewbush.com/ from France.. I guess George W’s holding a grudge. What have they got to hide?

    ciao!

  27. Rotaman
    October 27th, 2004 at 19:18 | #27

    People who can’t access the site, try this:

    http://www.anonymization.net/http://www.georgewbush.com
    for the other sites, just replace http://www.georgewbush.com by the wanted url.

    voila!

    enjoy

  28. October 28th, 2004 at 04:57 | #28

    Thank you, Rotaman,

    that was exactly what I needed. Now, anyone who ends up here to find out more about the banning of foreign requests to the http://www.georgewbush.com website may read this article on Netcraft from the UK to find out more.

  29. Hachi
    October 28th, 2004 at 06:12 | #29

    Hi! I cant access the http://www.georgewbush.com from Sweden either.
    but I have an adress that lets you get in.
    Its a litle bit slow but it works.

    http://proxy.guardster.com/cgi-bin/nph-proxy.cgi/010100A/687474702f7777772e67656f72676577627573682e636f6d2f

  30. Luis
    October 28th, 2004 at 08:08 | #30

    A more detailed story can be found here.

  31. Tom
    October 28th, 2004 at 09:23 | #31

    No problems accessing these sites from London. My ISP is HomeChoice (http://www.homechoice.co.uk)

  32. Nick
    October 28th, 2004 at 12:19 | #32

    hello, i cant access these either, i’m in england but been using proxy link like above fine. So the New World Order is banning websites now? see http://www.infowars.com for more NWO info

  33. Norbert
    October 28th, 2004 at 23:18 | #33

    The reason why you cannot see the george bush website is that it is behind a secure layer protocol.

    try

    https://georgewbush.com

    it worked from here..using a proxy takes care of the secure layer but I think the george bush website would still not work in america without the https link

  34. Luis
    October 28th, 2004 at 23:31 | #34

    Norbert: Doesn’t work for me…

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