Ebay, the self described "World online marketplace" is censoring Americans among
others on its portals, preventing access to certain items which it deems to be
The following message greets users who are attempting to view
Unfortunately, access to this particular category or item has been blocked
due to legal restrictions in your home country. Based on our discussions
with concerned government agencies and eBay community members, we have taken
these steps to reduce the change of inappropriate items being displayed.
Regrettably, in some cases this policy may prevent users from accessing
items that do not violate the law. At this time, we are working on less
restrictive alternatives. Please accept out apologies for any inconvenience
this may cause you, and we hope you may find other items of interest on
One such item is titled "1944
Service Mens Telephone Handbook Bell Sys" with the description:
||This neat old book measures just
3" x 4". It is filled with all kinds of things from places to visit
in Chicago, How to call long distance and a rank insignia guide for
Army, Navy and the Marines. Also has a place for notes and numbers.
Unused, great condition. Shipping will be $1.00.
Was blocking this auction a "regrettable" mistake, or are
old tourist guides for service men illegal under some new American law Rootsecure.net is unaware
Testing was carried out to determine how eBay was implementing the
the blocking, however the results were inconclusive:
- AT & T WorldNet customer on an IP address (12.249.***.*)
registered to Parsippany, NJ unable to access auction, using a Mac and
unrevealing "user-agent" string.
- AT & T WorldNet customer unable to access auction through a proxy
hosted by Pipex Internet UK.
- AT & T WorldNet customer unable to access auction through a UU Net
UK proxy (188.8.131.52) bounced through a proxy hosted by Pipex
- AT & T WorldNet customer able to access auction through a Perl
anonymous web based proxy.
- UK Pipex internet customer able to access auction through Pipex UK
IP address, and UU Net UK proxy.
Google for eBay's message
Thanks to W1nt3rmut3 for informing Rootsecure.net about this issue, and providing the screenshot.