Regarding Proxy Blacklist Bans (of general interest)

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Regarding Proxy Blacklist Bans (of general interest)

Postby Beige » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:33 pm

As of late, there have been a few posts (and a similar amount of e-mails at irc@ e-mail addresses) regarding proxy blacklist bans.

It has been my observation that of all the blacklist bans set, 10-15% of the hits appear to be false positives (i.e. computers that evidently have no proxies or backdoors operational get denied access to a server). It's worth noting that sometimes IPs don't end up blacklisted just because of proxies - sometimes viruses and/or backdoors also contribute to the blacklisting (if abused by e.g. spammers).

False positives are a pain, and I know I'm speaking on behalf of everyone when stressing that we try to provide the best service possible to EFnet's userbase. However, as is also painfully clear, this dedication to improve service doesn't always come without drawbacks.

As of late, there has been an increase in proxy abuse, which in turn has created significant problems for certain channels/communities, which in turn has prompted many servers to enable more aggressive anti-proxy countermeasures.

The positive side of having more aggressive countermeasures in place is, that proxy abuse is reduced (and/or is marginalized to a few servers), while users who favour ISPs with more effective anti-abuse policies should generally never run into problems.

The aggressive countermeasures haven't been taken lightly, and if there's evidence of a reduction in proxy abuse attempts it's entirely foreseeable that servers will respond by reducing their blacklist dependency.

For now, if you can't easily get a new non-blacklisted IP (with many ISPs it's just a matter of signing out and signing back in for a new IP lease), I suggest looking for a server with less stringent proxy monitoring (*cough*) for access.

I'd also like to offer apologies in advance to anyone else who might end up in a similar situation - I can only hope that people appreciate the unseen benefits of the more aggressive anti-proxy measures as significant enough to have understanding for them (it's currently our opinion that without them in place, the problems the userbase at large would face would be grimmer by a magnitude).

Thank you for your understanding.


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