Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Speaking of unreachable sites... George Bush's official site used to time out when you tried to access it from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a few other places I think. I blogged this back in August. Now it tells you formally:
Access Denied

You don't have permission to access "" on this server.

Much more formal than just timing out on us. But it's more clear now that it is intentional. Why would the Bush campaign want to block access from Japan?

via Jim


For more obvious reasons, I can't access it from France either.

This happens for me in Denmark too.

Two guesses here:

1) Bush isn't exactly the most-liked person in the world. I presume his site would be a prime target for DDoS attacks, especially from foreign nations. A preemptive block might be in place to mitigate the effects of a DDoS.

2) They're really stingy on bandwidth costs.

Some here from the UK and my family in the Netherlands found the same problem. Mind you, I dont think Bush gives a rats behind if we can see his site of not.

The right way:
(I get a polite message informing me that the page is meant to be viewed in the US.)

The wrong way:

I can't access it from Taiwan, either.

Happens in Iceland too. And we're a member of the coalition of the grudg—uh... obed—erhm... willing. So it's not simply a “we don't want no dagnabbed chicken frawgs here” policy.

And here I thought they were just having an outage when I saw this yesterday. Oh, the innocent!

But DDoS or no DDoS, a "preemptive" block on other countries would be pretty apt, wouldn't it? ;)

not here in South Africa either

Same old from Switzerland. Our neutrality has lived, I suppose...

Not visible from Italy!

Same for Germany.

Denied access from Norway as well. (Makes me wonder if that makes a difference for registered voters living outside the USA.)

Guess one side effect is that people believe they typed the wrong domain name and ends up at

Form Italy too

I can't access it from Arcor DSL Germany, either. I guess their web is getting local again. We might see much more of this in the future.

Hi Joi! As I wrote you, I confirm acess denied from Italian IP range. I've posted a couple of screenshots here

plus a link to live Netcraft graphics about this.



Not accessible from London either.

Blocked in Ireland as well - how do the USA citizens, currently outside the USA, are be able to see what Bush's campagin is about?

FYI, I'm not a USA citizen.

Blocked here in Greece also. I'm a registered US voter, I already voted in fact. If i walked into a net-cafe and tried to get there it would be blocked all the same i imagine. No way to make such fine distinctions. My sceptic mind says, hey maybe it's just a server problem and not an attempt to block the rest of the world from seeing his site. Then again, going it alone seems to be a habit of this administration. Well at least you can still get to to read some of their mail. .org is the Official Re-Selection site. it seems some of the Bush campaign workers pulled a Cheney.

I've just written to the Bush(Cheney organization's Internet campaign director to have a response.


I tend to think this is just some sort of setting problem of the site's maintainer, since accesing via public web proxy that is located in the US gives the same result.

The Bush block is not caused by an hack attack but it is voluntary.
The reason? It's technical and very simple.
The error display is "403". You know what does it means?
10.4.4 403 Forbidden
"The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it. Authorization will not help and the request SHOULD NOT be repeated. If the request method was not HEAD and the server wishes to make public why the request has not been fulfilled, it SHOULD describe the reason for the refusal in the entity. If the server does not wish to make this information available to the client, the status code 404 (Not Found) can be used instead." W3C

You can still get all of the policy information at (it works from Japan).

I wonder if they got too many contributions from fraudulent credit cards or non-citizens (remember Clinton/Gore's controversy from reciving money from non-citizens overseas

The BBCs now picked up this story, unattributed of course

"Access Denied
You don't have permission to access "" on this server"

Same thing in Sweden.

I wonder why?

I don't know why this is happening, but I do smell Karl Rove's stench in the air. He's a pasty-faced traitor and is a virtual enemy of the state. You thought Richelieu was bad?

Bush and his administration are under fire from the outside world. They're hated broadly and they know it. Foreigners don't vote and they hate Bush. So, why not head off problems at the pass by shutting 'em down? That's probably their reasoning.

This administration would hobble thier countrymen with worldwide hatred and an outlaw reputation just so they can have four more years of power. Kerry for President.

No go in Germany. But ...

How they made the blocking:

It is probably done by this tool: Akamai EdgeScape

And this link shows you the way how visit it anyway ;)

seem like cant access thru out the world. im frm kuala lumpur couldnt access too. seem like the so called World Police doesnt allow the citizen of the world to get to know him better.

Doesn't work in Australia either.

It's sad, really. The amount of people here that want Bush to lose probably rivals the amount that wanted John Howard out of office, and here Bush is cutting off the info supply to those people who might want him to win and aren't in Australia.

Pretty Bush-like, in my opinion. But my guess is, like any other Bush issue, it'll be blown over and no one will care about it in a week. That's what happens when your government controls the main stream media.

No access in Spain, but I'm sure that wouldn't be the case if the Socialists hadn't won.

Works in Canada... Funny because we didn't go to Irak and Bush didn't like it, I guess it has nothing to do with that... So North America can access the site, I wonder if Central and South America have acces too.

Arrikitano Marrano , this is a satiric typosquatted web site ! works in spain

Belgium down as well and NATO is headquartered overhere in Brussels. :)

Well, we are isolationists, you know, so we want to be isolated.  That is to say, I have no idea, but it might help them not be DOSsed by people outside the U.S. who have strong opinions about the current administration.  Just a wild guess.

They are using Akamai to deliver the content. The system allows you to block access by geographical location. Netcraft has some more information.

From the BBC link:

"Mike Prettejohn, president of Netcraft, speculated that the blocking decision might have been taken to cut costs, and traffic, in the run-up to the election on 2 November."

Is the Bush campaign so desperate that it's trying to save money from net traffic?

The link posted by Arrikitano works here from Australia, although I still believe this to be voluntary.

Elvis has left the building in Spain too.

Mabe it's a new policy, if Dubya wins the election he's also gonna close US borders? Oh wait, he allready started that by keeping out Cat Stevens over that "Wild World" song ;-)

They had a six hour outage the other day due, more than likely, to a denial of service attack. The ban came into effect shortly thereafter.

p.s. no service in Hong Kong, but I've already fedex'd my ballot anyway (as have most overseas voters).

This error message is a metaphor for pretty much half the US. Bush is inaccessible to anyone who isn't a billionaire.

*It's so amazing to see this globial posting on your blog. How exciting for you Joi.*

Not accessible from Bulgaria, Europe.

Access denied from Slovakia, Europe.
Do not have to tell you we are part of coalition and have soldiers in Iraq...

Not accessible in Poland either.

Not accesible from Chile.

anyone wishing to access the Bush website can do so via Guardster, a system which hides your IP address.

:-) :-) :-)

- Jim Basman @ October 28, 2004 02:35 AM
No go in Germany. But ...
How they made the blocking:
It is probably done by this tool: Akamai EdgeScape
And this link shows you the way how visit it anyway ;)

Works well, thanks Jim, but guess what? That site is extremely dull. Bye bye George, you moron!

Well its not surprising that a unilateralist like Bush doesnt want pesky furriners checking out his official website.

It's just one more red flag on a very long list that American voters should be paying attention to.

Hell, I'm half suspicious that this latest Al-Qaeda video was staged by Karl Rove & friends.

can't read it in China BEIJING

I found out about Bush not letting people in foreign countries access his site in a local newspaper this morning.

I tried to access it from Monaco - no joy. Thank you Joi Ho, I got through - BOOOOORING site!

I contacted Kerry through 'phone and e-mail and got an answer within the hour. Sorry I can't contribute - I'm an "alien" (at least THEY refused the money I offered. (makes you want to cry) We foreigners are concerned as well.

no access to from Thailand...

Which ever man is elected to the office you will see quickly the outcome of it... Bush will be more of the same; Kerry will be more multi-lateralist. He will begin the process to usher in the unity of 10. Mark these words this day world!!!

Usually it is governments in totalitarian states that try to block access to a site...Now, I am a dyed-in-the-wool friend of the USA...and this kind of behavior just makes you weep...if it is intentional - and it sure looks that way

doesnot work in Turkey

Doesn't work in finland 'f* u bush, kerry shall own j00'

Yet another sign that a vote for Bush is a vote for rule by fear and paranoia.

Yet another sign that a vote for Bush is a vote for rule by fear and paranoia.

Silly foreigners! You just don't get it, and we just don't care. Try to remember that in the years ahead.

Well count Austia out... Too bad I am such a great fan. 4 more years anyawy!!!

This is damm coward
I can't Access from Malaysia
"BUSH" If you read this
I wish Kerry will win

if you want to view just connect to a usa proxy server,

here is a ip for one port 80


hi there, well the same in switzerland, this mal rate thinks he can play us, the rest of the world will provail not the us. the are talking about democracy and freedom, but do not let the rest of the world take a look at his page, he did you know that about 60 % of the senators do not have a passport!!! do you know what that means, well the have never ever left there homeland. now explain to me how can someone like that do foreing policy. no fucking way. sorry for this hard words but some has to rage... i am a shame for that nation, they still do not get it. probably the will have to learn the hard way again.......

I cant't get to the site, and I live in the USA! So I tried This is a mirror site that looks exactly like but all the articles bash Bush. Why would Bush want everyone to see only the site that trashes him? He would not, it makes no sense. Someone probably attacked his web site. If you still think he did this, I have some links to a UFO site you might believe in.

What a coward, why is he hiding?
I will never understand how he made it the first time to the White house, he clearly didn't win.
How does he look himself in the mirror?

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