Recurring Plea: Please Let VPN Users Read the Wiki!

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Recurring Plea: Please Let VPN Users Read the Wiki!

Postby popchau » 2019-01-12 19:04

This comes up semi-regularly[0], but I feel I should add to the light murmur.

If you use common commercial VPNs such as PIA, you are not allowed to read the wiki. You are 403’d with the helpful message “Forbidden!”. This is the only site on the web I’ve encountered that does this.

Whenever I get a machine I always want to put Debian on it, but I always fall at the very first hurdle! I futz around for a while and fall back to Ubuntu because it will let me read its documentation without requiring PII, and messing about with my network.

Bizarrely, an easy way around the pseudonymity ban seems to be... to use Tor..? (Whether this is a bug or a feature, it is a pain.)

I’ve seen rumors of vandals on bug reports, but I’m not sure why the wiki allows people to change it without sufficient authentication (or has insufficient brute-force protection) regardless of whether they choose to protect their PII. Given the importance of the content on the Debian wiki, this seems like a higher-priority security problem, cf pseudonymous use. I’m also not sure why Tor is fine, but VPNs aren’t.

Given that VPN users are likely to be good prospective users for a privacy and freedom respecting OS like Debian, it seems a shame to actively forbid them.
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Re: Recurring Plea: Please Let VPN Users Read the Wiki!

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-01-12 19:07

Try the mailing lists, nobody here is involved in the management of the Debian wiki, AFAIK.
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Re: Recurring Plea: Please Let VPN Users Read the Wiki!

Postby bw123 » 2019-01-12 19:10

Yeah I agree, wiki should be open, even for edits IMO. Last I checked you can't even get into irc either without registering.

Private clubs and ivory towers lead to intellectual isolation. Bad idea. What some people call vandalism or anarchy is another person trying to contribute in an unconventional way. Openness is hard to deal with, but it's a real asset in a lot of situations. I hope the forum doesn't get more restrictive like this, though I gripe about trolls and low-quality posts, I'm a big believer in, "Let the idiots in too."

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