Friday, 30 May 2008

Telefonica Censorship?

I've explained before how Telefonica's net babysitter system, has (unwantedly) activated itself and prevented me from visiting some sites, but recently, something even more strange has been happening.

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to make an online purchase and it was something that a) I couldn't get from another supplier, b) was essential and c) could only be purchased online. I was able to visit the site (based in the UK), but once I'd made my selection, if I clicked any links to attempt to proceed with my purchase, I could not do so. There were no error messages, I just got no response to clicks. Nothing happened. The page stayed where it was.

Because I absolutely could not fail to make the payment, just on a whim, I disconnected my connection (via Telefonica's ADSL) and reconnected to the internet via a free dialup connection I use for emergencies, via Gonuts.

And, using that, I was able to complete the purchase without problem.

Today, I wanted to make a simple post to my Blogger blog. I attempted (via Telefonica's ADSL) to reach the Blogger Dashboard, but all I kept getting was a timeout message, while I could reach other Google services OK. Thought I'd try Gonuts again and I was able to get to Blogger on the first try.

Now I will admit that my technical knowledge is not enough to understand why this might be happening, but it feels like censorship, or that, for some reason (admittedly, I can't see what that reason might be, other than potentially financial ones), Telefonica doesn't want its users to visit certain sites.

Probably unsurprising: they've been accused of unfair practices before. Unlike the Canguro problem, nothing comes up to tell me why this is happening; no errors, nothing that I could "switch off". Anyone else suffered this?

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