[hackerspaces] Hulu Tor Blacklisting

Sam Mainman telegramsam at deliveryman.com
Sun May 29 01:01:14 CEST 2011

I recently visited Hulu.com on finding they had available "Passport to
 Pimlico," mentioned in this blog post: http://aots.co.uk/blog/?p=2638

 On attempting to view the movie, I was greeted by a message that read:

 "Based on your IP address, we noticed that you are trying to access Hulu
 through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside
 the U.S. If you're in the U.S., you'll need to disable your anonymizer
 to access videos on Hulu. If you think you're receiving this message in
 error, please submit this form."

 I'll leave aside that Hulu blocks the entrance to a British comedy because
 someone from England might be trying to sneak into the theater.

 Also the minor obstruction it was to circumnavigate and watch the movie anyway.

 More the point, the anonymous proxy tool Hulu noticed wasn't in use when Hulu
 "noticed" it. It hadn't been online since a reformat of the hard drive and
 fresh install of the operating system a few weeks before. 

 Hulu's notice was provoked by the IP address having been entered into one
 or another blacklist for previously running a Tor relay. The only pretext
 was that the address appeared within Tor network status reports, without
 regard the relay had been configured as non-exit. 

 Extra credit absurdity, Hulu continues to regard suspicious an IP address
 from which they would not have directly received anonymous requests when
 the relay _had been_ active.

 I haven't submitted the form to report receiving the message in error, nor
 bothered attempting to have the IP address removed from the blacklist. I
 haven't been otherwise inconvenienced by it.

 Instead, I recommend running non-exit Tor relays on U.S. IP addresses with
 a view to the minimum period to get onto the blacklist(s) Hulu references.
 Achieving this, move to another IP address, rinse, repeat. Blacklisted
 addresses then cycle to other users, who may never notice until an attempt
 to watch shows on Hulu. Some will complain, most will surrender that it
 just doesn't work, move along and deny Hulu the avertising revenue.

 Promote online privacy and jam transmission of broadcast television content
 on the internet as a side effect. Win-Win.
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