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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    How is the NY Times Blocking Me?

    Why is the New York Times blocking me every time I go to this URL...
    Code:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/nyregion/as-lutherans-exit-pews-in-brooklyn-church-arab-christians-move-in.html
    Attachment 63655

    At first, I figured it was because I was logged in to the NY Times, and they had some counter that showed I had read 10 Articles.

    So then I deleted all NY Times cookies, but the same issue.

    Then I thought this might be because Google was keeping track of me. (I noticed this Article via Google News.)

    So next I deleted all of my Google cookies, but the same issue.


    I even tried logging in to a different Free Wi-Fi connection, thinking that could be blowing my cover, but no dice.

    Now I'm getting a little weirded out?!


    How in the heck is the NY Times keeping tabs on me????

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  2. #2
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Ah, you've discovered why using cookies might be OK for user preferences and the like, but not much else.
    They fail to provide any security benefit as unscrupulous users will try to circumvent measures by deleting the cookies.

    As long as you don't read more than 10 a month or pay for a subscription you'll be fine.

    As for
    How in the heck is the NY Times keeping tabs on me????
    could be any number of ways, you'll have to ask them.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Ah, you've discovered why using cookies might be OK for user preferences and the like, but not much else.
    They fail to provide any security benefit as unscrupulous users will try to circumvent measures by deleting the cookies.

    As long as you don't read more than 10 a month or pay for a subscription you'll be fine.

    As for
    Quote Originally Posted by doubledee
    How in the heck is the NY Times keeping tabs on me????
    could be any number of ways, you'll have to ask them.

    But I'm asking here because I'm trying to learn about the Technology and Approaches being used!!

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  4. #4
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
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    Could be the FBI tracking your reading habits via the NY Times reading list. Have you been reading any other mainstream papers that are affiliated to the NYT?
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  5. #5
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Nowadays I don't think it's so much the FBI as it is the NSA that needs to be worried about

    Looking at the "Recommended Stories" - i.e. Korea, China, G.O.P, and Gospel - does make me wonder if some sort of "international/political/religious" flag might have been triggered, but I think that's a different concern here unless the NSA is indeed hoping to gather more info. Hopefully Debbie has not been searching for "how to make a bomb"

  6. #6
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
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    oh yes, I had heard about the NSA and 'snooping' on internet behaviour. I didn't know to what level or extent it went to being over this side of the pond!
    All we have to worry about is inquisitive local councils slapping fines for bins being out too early!
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ View Post
    Could be the FBI tracking your reading habits via the NY Times reading list. Have you been reading any other mainstream papers that are affiliated to the NYT?
    Nah, just secretly looking at Frederick's of Hollywood ads....


    Debbie

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Nowadays I don't think it's so much the FBI as it is the NSA that needs to be worried about

    Looking at the "Recommended Stories" - i.e. Korea, China, G.O.P, and Gospel - does make me wonder if some sort of "international/political/religious" flag might have been triggered, but I think that's a different concern here unless the NSA is indeed hoping to gather more info. Hopefully Debbie has not been searching for "how to make a bomb"
    Ha ha!!

    Nah, but I *do* wanna know what Technology/Approach the NYTimes is using to keep me reading articles, because if I understand how they are successfully blocking me out, I might be able to implement it on my website!!


    Is what they are doing to me called a "Pay Wall"??


    (I've never been that interested in Pay Walls because in the past they were so easy to get around. However, it looks like the NY Times has their ducks in a row this time!)


    Anyways, if the Mods could move this thread to one of the more technical Forums, I'd love to dissect how all of this stuff works!!

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  9. #9
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    OK, moved to Web Security. Merry Christmas.

    My first guess would be that because you're opening the links from an emal, that it's sending something to the site they're using.
    I'm sure you have heard "never click a link in an email" before, there's good reason not to.

    Seems using IP would be pretty useless and raise havoc with way too many "innocents".

    They could be using HTTP headers somehow, but even that seems unlikely considering the number of visitors they must get.

    Maybe they track not from the page load, but the video play?

    Other than that the only thing I can think of is that they managed to get something downloaded to your machine other than a cookie. If so, hopefully AV/adware scans would detect it.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist silver trophybronze trophy
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    If I was a newspaper getting income from (among others) subscribed Internet readers, I should simply link my server logs to a counting/popup mechanism and the account administration data. The IP and/or other "non-personal data" of a visitor are known, the visited pages too. Or possibly I can have a kind of cookie-registration on my side (the site cannot be visited if cookies are disabled). Maybe there are some complications, but I should do it always serverside to be sure of my income source.
    From the NYT privacy page:
    "Device Information. We may collect non-personal information about the computer, mobile device or other device you use to access the NYT Services, such as IP address, geolocation information, unique device identifiers, browser type, browser language and other transactional information."
    That is what they call "non-personal information".

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    My first guess would be that because you're opening the links from an emal, that it's sending something to the site they're using.
    I'm sure you have heard "never click a link in an email" before, there's good reason not to.

    Seems using IP would be pretty useless and raise havoc with way too many "innocents".

    They could be using HTTP headers somehow, but even that seems unlikely considering the number of visitors they must get.

    Maybe they track not from the page load, but the video play?
    As I mentioned in my OP, initially I went from Google news and clicked a link to a NY Times article. I read that first artcle, and then went back to Google news, read some other newspaper articles, and then came back to read As Lutherans Exit Pews in Brooklyn Church Arab Christians Move In, and BOOM, I was stopped cold!!


    I did NOT do anything with E-mail.

    And each of the separate actions below has not worked in getting around this "10 Article per Month Quota"...

    - Logged out of my (unpaid) NY Times account

    - Deleted all NY Times cookies

    - Logged out of Google

    - Deleted all Google cookies

    - Pasted a NON-REDIRECT URL to the article in my Browser...
    Code:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/nyregion/as-lutherans-exit-pews-in-brooklyn-church-arab-christians-move-in.html
    - Cleared out All Cookies and Rebooted.


    I just can't fathom how they are keeping me out.

    Without any cookies or an Account - especially one in which I am logged into - the only other way they could track me is by IP Address. (And I run WiTopia, so that wouldn't work...)


    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Other than that the only thing I can think of is that they managed to get something downloaded to your machine other than a cookie. If so, hopefully AV/adware scans would detect it.
    Yeah, I'm starting to wonder about that...


    Somewhere in the past week I read that the NY Times spend tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars on a new "Pay Wall".

    Must be what I am running into now.

    Whatever it is, it seems to be VERY EFFECTIVE so far!!!

    (Just wish I knew how they are able to keep me locked out...)

    Anyone else have any ideas??

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  12. #12
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
    wwb_99's Avatar
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    More like millions from what I heard. They are using a combination of things typically described as browser fingerprinting -- you do give off lots of data beyond cookies.

    Best bet to bypass it is to use other browsers or even VMs.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    More like millions from what I heard.
    I think you're right.


    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    They are using a combination of things typically described as browser fingerprinting -- you do give off lots of data beyond cookies.
    True.


    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    Best bet to bypass it is to use other browsers or even VMs.
    Unfortunately I have been in "FireFox Hell" lately, and today I reinstalled FireFox, so I sorta forget all of the settings I had when I started this thread.

    It seems to me that in FF, I went under Preferences and made it so it erased "Sire Preferences" on close and that seemed to take care of the issue, but I'm not certain now after my re-install.

    To your point, I know when I went into Opera and Chrome, there was no blocking.

    Guess I'll have to keep an eye on things over time, since I often read the NY Times.

    Thanks,


    Debbie


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