Chances are, anyone who is having the problem described below is unable to read this post.
I’ll explain what happened: Late Monday night I started to get reports on skype and by email that people were getting a “403” error when they tried to access Gates of Vienna. The actual text of the message varied, depending on the browser and operating system, but it would look something like this:
You don’t have permission to access this resource.
Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Since I am a technical dunce when it comes to website mechanics, I consulted with Vlad Tepes and Henrik Clausen about what was happening. They looked into it, and it seemed that a crucial setting on the site was disabled for some reason, and needed to be enabled. Henrik enabled it, and over the next 36 hours people reported back to me that they were once again able to access Gates of Vienna. So everything was fixed.
But only for about 36 hours. I started getting messages today from the same people, and also additional ones, that the same error message was popping up when they tried to visit this site. It’s only happening in Europe and Israel, as far as I know. I’m getting no emails from the USA, Canada, or Australia about the “403 Forbidden” message. Countries affected include the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Romania, and Israel. And probably others that I’m forgetting. But not on this side of the Atlantic.
I consulted at length with the hosting service, and the setting that Henrik enabled was still enabled. They can’t recreate the problem, since they’re in the USA. So there’s nothing more they can do unless I can give them specific instructions about what needs to be changed.
Something is fishy here. One time could be just a random glitch, but twice? And all within less than 48 hours.
My paranoid intuition says that when whatever it was the major ISPs in Europe tried to do two days ago failed — that is, when Henrik enabled the setting. So they decided to try something else to accomplish the same purpose. I don’t believe this is a coincidental, accidental malfunction — I think it is deliberate.
But then, I’m paranoid.
So… If you have friends, relatives, or acquaintances that report this problem, please explain what I have posted here. And most of the significant content I post is also posted at Vlad’s place, so they can go over there to stay somewhat up-to-date.
I don’t think this is an issue in the USA because not many people are very interested in what’s going on in Europe. I don’t report on Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Barr, or any other facet of the impeachment circus. I leave that to the specialists, and that’s where all the American traffic tends to go.
But this blog has a wide readership in Europe. Or rather, had — I think my European traffic is probably significantly reduced by now.