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Block users by geographical location?
Is this possible, and is it ethical?
nicebloke




msg:670589
 8:29 am on Apr 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

A client, for genuine reasons, wants to block US users from reaching his site.

I read it was possible to block users by IP using the ht access file..

So next question is, can you block a range of users, and do IP addresses give you any geographical indication?

And, lastly, would this be ethical?

Thanks.

 

DaveAtIFG




msg:670590
 10:00 pm on Apr 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

Blocking by DNS name would likely be substantially easier since most non-US domain names end in a country code. If you were to block .com, .edu, .org, and .us you'd likely have most of the US visitors. Another approach might be to only allow visitors from selected country codes. There is some overlap, overseas people surfing via US hosts and vice versa. Blocking by IPs is probably impractical simply due to the large number of IPs you would need to identify and filter for. Any of these appraoches can be implemented in the .htaccess file.

I don't see an ethical question at all. A site that advertizes for a mail order business that only services Europe, for example, may wisely choose not to allow visitors from the US to avoid international orders/shipping costs. The person that builds a site and pays the server fees has the right to exclude any visitors he chooses.

sugarkane




msg:670591
 10:07 pm on Apr 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

> for genuine reasons, wants to block US users

If you don't mind me asking, what are the reasons? Would it not be better to sell the US traffic on to someone else through an affiliate scheme or whatever (if possible)?

nicebloke




msg:670592
 10:10 pm on Apr 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

A fine idea!! Some further discussion required...

Cheers fella.

mivox




msg:670593
 10:12 pm on Apr 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

I don't see an ethical problem, but I see big logistic problems... There's no way to determine who's coming from where all the time. If you block .com/.org/.net visitors, you'll block a lot of non-us folks too. Not to mention, I know our site gets a significant handful of visitors from unresolved IPs, which means you'd also be allowing some US visitors at the same time.

I don't see any reason why you *shouldn't* do it... but I don't see any really effective way that you *could* do it either.

rcjordan




msg:670594
 10:22 pm on Apr 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

I see no problem on the ethics side, but I agree with mivox to a large degree. I believe there would be a significant overkill by restricting access.

sugarkane




msg:670595
 10:27 pm on Apr 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

How do Lycos, Google etc redirect by geography/IP? There's obviously some way of doing it - I'm having dark ideas about transferring non-UK visitors direct to my merchants without worrying about them having to click on a banner... hmm...

theperlyking




msg:670596
 11:44 am on Apr 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Don't forget people aren't always who they appear to be, I might not be from the US but there for a day on business, or more likely I might be using a proxy in the US (or may be using a corporate WAN that breaks out to the internet from the US even though I am in the UK).
These situations wont be common but its worth thinking about.

nicebloke




msg:670597
 1:29 pm on Apr 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

I think we're going to go with sugarkanes affilliate idea - much more sensible!

Yes, for sure, there would be somebody blocked that shouldn't be etc etc not worth the bother I don't think...

Thankyou everybody

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