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French ISP blocks Adsense

 7:39 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

The French ISP, Free (which it certainly is not) now blocks AdSense by default as soon as the router is updated. Why Google and not affiliate ads? What do they have against Google? Who knows. It may be time to block users from this ISP. Here is the article (in French) [huffingtonpost.fr ]



 8:02 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

The French are miffed over something [real or imaginary]?


 8:10 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's not really "the French". This is only one ISP and it's a highly competitive market. The problem is that innovations from Free have a habit of getting picked up by others. Worrisome.


 9:04 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm with Orange in France, and no problems here as of yet.


 9:18 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is that, free.fr? Freebox?


 9:28 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, Freebox.


 9:35 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

censorship and obvious violation against net neutrality. how is this legal?


 9:57 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

My FAI ( ISP ) here is Free..( Freebox v6 )<= The "Stark" monstrosity..

If this does not get slapped down hard by the French courts or the authorities, or Free do not reverse it within 30 days ..

I'll be leaving them..and taking all our mobile phone services ( 4 ) and web service ( total around 80.00 /$100.00 per month ) to Orange ( with whom I still have a fixed line in ) or Bouygues ( with whom I have 2 mobile phone deals )..email to that effect will be going to Xavier Niel ( head of Iliad, and thus owner of Free )..For now my Freebox and phones are showing ads..

The censoring / blocking by an ISP of legal content is totally out of order..and very likely illegal here..

Free are not only blocking Google, they are blocking most ad networks..longer article in French..

Bouygues also own TF1 ( the most popular TV channel here..which runs very heavy adsense and other ad networks ) ..they will be all over this..

I may just take one of my "very bad word in French" dotcoms ( I own most of the really "bad" ones* ) out of "park" and take it "live" over this outrageous behavior from an ISP..

*G would never have let me run adsense on any the domain names in question..I bought them years ago just for the hell of it;))

And I'm the last person to be taking Google's side..but this and similar S********* should not go unchallenged..net neutrality should be observed..I'm not paying Free ( and Alice before them ..and Tiscali before them ) to decide whether or not I see ads..je les *******


 10:29 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is there a list of IPs that a web publisher who is so inclined can use within an htaccess file to redirect users to a web page explaining why they can't access a site?


 10:48 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Free are not blocking sites ..they are blocking the adservers via DNS..

You could redirect incoming Free subscribers to a specific page..all free subscribers IPs contain "proxad" ..most if not all of Free's domestic French services are routed "out country" via their centre in Normandy..which IDs itself..

example ..my IP ( obscured slightly ) is

HTH :)


Free also run server farms, again "proxad" is in the "string"..been mentioned few times in spiders forum here ..


 5:05 am on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

free.fr / proxad / Illiad

Uses ASN 12322
To find what ASN an ISP uses: pick one IP address (not difficult: lookup their own website).

and query it at cymru:

$ dig +short free.fr a
$ whois -h whois.cymru.com
AS | IP | AS Name
12322 | | PROXAD Free SAS

to look up the address ranges they announce in BGP, I'd use robtex: [as.robtex.com...]

if you scroll down far enough you'll get this list: SAS network / Free SA Paris, France SAS network / Free SAS Paris, France network / Free SA Paris, France network / Free SA Paris, France network / Free SAS Paris, France SAS SAS network / Free SAS Paris, France SAS SAS SAS network / Free SA Paris, France SAS SAS SAS SAS network / Free SA Paris, France


 5:13 am on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Easier link: http://as.robtex.com/as12322.html#bgp but I can't actually link to that out here


 9:53 am on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Never mind. Free has withdrawn the plan, that is, ads from Google and others have been removed from their adblocking blacklist. ([huffingtonpost.fr ])

Apparently Free is greatly annoyed by the bandwidth chewed up by YouTube and wants Google to share a piece of the pecuniary pie. Negotiations on this subject are continuing.


 12:51 am on Jan 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Free is greatly annoyed by the bandwidth chewed up by YouTube

Too bad for them.

What services customers use isn't their concern. They should charge the customer appropriately for bandwidth usage and it wouldn't be an issue.

FWIW, my service providers probably aren't too happy with Netflix as we use it alot and I'm sure my YouTube bandwidth usage pales by comparison.


 4:43 am on Jan 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

I read somewhere today that the French government has put a stop to what Free was doing.


 9:14 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Essentially what free.fr was doing is extortion: Dear GOOG, we cut of your (advertising) income if you do not send us money.

It's all about net.neutrality in one way or the other as well: As consumers we pay our ISPs to connect us to the Internet, Publishers pay their ISP/webhosting. Simple, easy, done.
But some of the smart marketeers see money from the (large at first- but we'll all get hit by it is it ever goes in effect) publishers coming to the consumer ISPs in order to sustain their drive to grab more market share by promising less cost/unlimited use (-which is not sustainable in itself-).

I'm no fan of net neutrality as such, but I'm a big fan of getting what you pay for. Which means that I'm not a fan of having others pay for things I use either. E.g. I like my phone to be bought full price by myself (not sponsored), and have a cheap usage rate in exchange - replacing my phone when it pleases me, not when a contract ends. Same goes for my ISP: I like to pay for the stuff I buy from them - not have Google/Yahoo/netflix/whoever else they can extort in sponsoring my connection and usage.


 10:33 am on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

What these ISP's need to remember is.. The customer pays for the bandwidth, not a content provider that their customer chooses to visit.



 4:10 pm on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

What most out here probably are unaware of is that there's a number of different relations between ISPs as well.
It's not an easy matter to fully grasp. I'll give it a try:

Essentially traffic nowadays is mostly asymmetric in bandwidth use (consumers pull more in than they send out and publishers send out more than they pull in).

Whenever ISPs are discussing peering (i.e. build connections between 2 ISPs) they look at traffic level between themselves (and their respective downstreams) and if it's not a "I send about as much to you as you send to me" then it'll not be a peering (peering is between equals), but the dominant one will try to charge the other.

So who's dominant ? Well that's a question of who's gotten the bigger tool you might say, but what always plays in it is who's sending more traffic to the other is the dominant one (i.e. the one having more publishers is more dominant).
Now location, network, status, reputation etc. all count into it as well - but traffic levels in each direction are by far not unimportant.

So for an ISP it is financially interesting to not be a downstream of others - it makes them more profitable by not having themselves to pay other ISPs for their own internet connection.

Players like Google are really big and in this game. So connecting them to other ISPs means they always would end up as the top dog - essentially generating them income for there's no internet if you cannot reach Google.

Little local players offering things to consumers always end up as the downstream of other bigger players.

If you ever wonder why a datacenter offers more bandwidth for cheaper than what you can manage at home while they'd have to flood the bill for power, cooling, physical security etc. as well ... yep: the datacenter if big enough will not pay as much for their big pipes to the rest of the Internet than the ISP that would connect you and all your neighbors at home would.

If you're interested in more: read up on "transit-free": that's the top status - ISP that doesn't pay any other ISP for traffic (it's in reality a small gentlemen's club and becoming a member is very hard).


 4:52 pm on Jan 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Free already had "a run in" with Comcast over peering..don't know if there is anything in English about it though..

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