I'm having a strange problem I'd like to run by you guys. I'm managing a simple website owned by a few friends. The domain is actually the name of a political rival for my friends. He let the domain expire and they nabbed it. We've now put a page there that contains some disparaging (but very true) information about this guy.

Well, here's the neat thing: this page works for everyone we know, all over the country, EXCEPT for people that live in this guy's district! They all get a 403 error, something like "directory listing denied", or "HTTP 403 (Forbidden...) Not authorized to view this page".

We're trying not to be conspiracy theorists, but this is a rural area, with only 1 available ISP. The candidate in question is a powerful and influential guy here. Are we being censored? Is that legal?

The only thing that makes me wonder if this is a legitimate glitch: this domain was purchased under a different dns. The dns was changed to the hosting company we're using. To avoid paying for a separate site for like one month, I set it up as a sub-domain of another site we've had for a while. But the basic domain name - ie. www.senatorNameName.com - now points to the index page in that folder. Could something about this set up be tripping up just ONE ISP, while it works EVERYWHERE else we've tried it? Or are we right to be suspicious? Hell, it even works on my PHONE!

Thanks for any ideas...

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could we have a link so we can take a look? Did you set up a subdomain or a parked domain? Also, did you load your files onto the subdomain? Is the ISP only local? Or is it a state/nationwide ISP?

They're revamping the content, so right now it's just a joke video as a placeholder.

It's set up as a subdomain of www.lucasrye.com. The actual location of the index page for senatortimsheldon.com is www.lucasrye.com/senatortimsheldon/index.html

The ISP we're having problems with is only local. It covers a county or two at most, in a rural area comprising this guy's district. Customers of that ISP can view the page in its actual location: www.lucasrye.com/senatortimsheldon

but they cannot view it using the subdomain: www.senatortimsheldon.com. Yet that works in all other areas we've had the opportunity to test it.

We've gotten the suggestion that it's a permissions issue... but would that affect just ONE ISP, or would that affect everyone trying to view it, regardless of location/ISP?

Thanks for any ideas...

As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong) but the permissions issue should affect everyone, not just one ISP. Is it a free host? Just curious, because as far as I know subdomains usually are something like www.subdomain.domain.com not www.domain.com/subdomain. Wouldn't that be pretty much a file in your public html section of the server for your domain? Thats neither here nor there. I am curious, is that domain set up to redirect to www.lucasrye.com/senatortimsheldon? If not that COULD cause a problem, the way you have it set up is kind of confusing, but also not the point of the matter.

I checked both out, in IE and FF, and they work fine, both come up the same thing, you may want to contact the ISP and raise these questions to them...maybe threaten to call the media?

I thought it got set up strangely too. I've never done this before, always just used a separate hosting account for each different domain, but we thought we'd just try to shoehorn this into an existing account since it's so short-term. I DID choose the option to add as a sub-domain (Bluehost is my hosting company for this, they're not free but not expensive... seem to work well). It just got added as a folder to the existing lucasrye domain though. I know the DNS of senatortimsheldon.com points to Bluehost now, so I guess it could be performing a redirect, though the bluehost control panel says no redirects are in effect for that subdomain.

So, I don't know. Important thing is, however it's set up... if it works for me, and it works for you, and it works for all our friends around the country... it should work on that one ISP too right?

They're gonna casually ask about this in the next couple days. If that doesn't get it unblocked... I'm just gonna set up a custom 403 page as our homepage!

Thanks for the suggestions...

lol well if it is your friends rival (I assume opposite political parties? either that or same party but want someone else there) then a good threat to go to the media would be a good thing, I looked the guy up, hes a democrat so I'm all for it :)

I understand how you have it set up now, it is weird but it works lol.

I do recommend going to the ISP and first asking about it, give them a couple days, if it doesn't get cleared up before then, maybe drop the threat, and if it doesn't work after another couple days let the media know about it, I'm sure they would love a story about a politician censoring people's internet and right to free speech lol. Maybe get the aclu involved as well lol.

This looks like a copyright infringement issue. I see logos and other things that are obviously faked versions of real copyrighted material.

Someone probably reported the copyright infringement, and asked that your site be blocked, or reported your site to one of the copyright enforcement organizations.

Note that ISPs can be held liable for "aiding and abetting" copyright infringement if they display infringing materials.

Obama scares me, not because of what he promises, but that he believes that he can use Keynesian Economics to achieve it. It hasn't worked right even once.

hmm, I didn't even think about that. That is something you may want to think about. If you have something that is close to a copyright infringement, or could be construed as a copyright infringement, take it down. Then the ISP will have no other reason to keep it blocked. Although, I've never heard of an ISP blocking a site like that. If that was the case, than places like Warez would be blocked as well. But better to take it off as you all could face legal action if someone decides to file a suit against you.

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