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Why a 403 Error on Only ONE ISP?


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#1
stearmandriver

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Hi,

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? [bleep], it even works on my PHONE!

Thanks for any ideas...



HTTP 403 (Forbidden...) Not authorized to view this page
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#2
**Brian**

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Hello There:

A 403 Error that you are describing usually happens when there is a permission problem on the main directory. From my experience with this, it is important that you set you site directory (public_html or www, or whatever directory) to be open and accessible to the public. This means that for example, you have a public_html directory that is rwx user, rx Group rx World. Once you do that, it should be able to be read by the masses.

From My linux directory:

drwxr-xr-x 37 bsbaker users	   4096 2008-02-07 14:50 public_html
This setup allows EVERYONE to access the top directory, which in my case is public_html. If the directory is closed down and does not have the right permissions, you will get the 403 error. My directory is set properly and can be read by the masses. You may have to check any subdirectories UNDER the main directory. To correct this from a shell you would use the 'chmod' command followed by the u, g, or o, then add or delete permissions r, w, or x (Read, Write or Execute) using plus and minus.

to fix the public_html directory from your shell account, you would type the following, pressing enter after each line (be sure to be in your home directory first)

	  chmod u+rwx public_html
	  chmod g+rx public_html
	  chmod o+rx public_html

Next, you would then cd to your public_html directory, and then do the chmod command 3 times, replacing public_html with the name of the file you wanna change the permissions on, remembering that you have to set the User, Group and World Permissions.


If you cannot execute this change, I would suggest calling your ISP that hosts this page and see if the permissions have been changed. If all else fails, you could also check the DNS records to see if there is a problem with them.

Good Luck!!

Brian

Edited by **Brian**, 27 October 2008 - 09:24 AM.

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#3
stearmandriver

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Thanks Brian. I will check those settings. Quick question: could these settings account for only certain people being blocked, ie. people in one small area on one ISP? I was wondering if it was a permissions problem, but I figured if it were, NO ONE would be able to see it. It just flat out wouldn't work.

As it is, it seems to work for everyone except one county.

Thanks,
Joe
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#4
**Brian**

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Thanks Brian. I will check those settings. Quick question: could these settings account for only certain people being blocked, ie. people in one small area on one ISP? I was wondering if it was a permissions problem, but I figured if it were, NO ONE would be able to see it. It just flat out wouldn't work.

As it is, it seems to work for everyone except one county.

Thanks,
Joe


Joe:

Permissions can be funny things: I set my home directory so that it is 755 and then set my public_html directory so that people can see and execute things in it. I then can lock down the remaining directories that I don't want someone to access. I have to set the Group and World Permissions for my server, or no one can see the page - It is possible that the page could be blocked, but as I said, you would have to check the permissions, then the DNS with the ISP - I have not heard of an ISP totally blocking a page before, but anything is possible.

What ISP is this, if I may ask??

Brian
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