Thursday, December 2, 2010

zf redzone can disrupt secondlife service for residents of the UAE

Seems redzone can and will discriminate against countries with filtered internet service like the UAE

Just the other night I got contacted by a Secondlife user from the United Arab Emirates, this user told me that they had been banned and given the boot from several different regions indiscriminately by the zf redzone security orb oftentimes as a result they would speak to the land owner of the land and most the time the land owner would ask them to appeal but one actually went looking into it for them and found that this person according to redzones so called 120% accurate alt detections that this person had a terrifyingly huge slew of alts, none of these accounts it had linked to this individual belonged to them, as a result of the inaccuracy the land owner removed their redzone security orb so this person may enter the land but however, as another result they started researching redzone and found my blog and personally IMed me in secondlife to ask me about it and find out why it had associated so many accounts as alternate accounts belonging to them, really I hadn't a clue how it could do that, but some inquiry back and forth between me and this individual and a little research on their country lead to the answer.

One of my inquiries with this person, was about Proxy servers, as I have encountered a number of secondlife users who have said I'm safe, I'm using Tor, as Tor may seem to have many Proxy servers in service, really compared to the number of SL users using it it is conceivable that some Tor users may be routed through the same IP and thus show false positives of being alternate accounts of each other, while this user wasn't a Tor user, the inquiry about Proxies had led me to discover that their internet service was proxied after further inquiry, and a little bit of brief Googling I learned a lot more about internet service in the UAE.

Turns out most internet service in the UAE comes down to a single provider known EIM(Emirates Internet and Multimedia), however the service through EIM is censored through a set of Proxy servers, and if you don't configure it which most people don't you are routed through a common proxy by default, the typical use of a proxy server is to filter outbound personally identifying information and mask IP addresses by resending your traffic each way, however countries such as the UAE use it as a point to centrally administer internet traffic requests to websites outside the country so that your search can be filtered, EIM's purpose for Proxying all traffic within the UAE according to my research is to filter out and to block users from viewing porn on the internet.

The side effect of proxying service for the purpose of moderating and censoring a users internet activity in such a way though somewhat effective does have a a side effect, it results in a very small pool of IP addresses for a countries residents and also results in many subscribers to the internet service over there to share IP's within that common pool(multiple secondlife accounts using the same proxy thus appearing to have the same IP), the result being one of these many many many users going through that proxy may have used a viewer that was either a copybot viewer, or falsely detected as such, the end result is that zf Redzone has listed this user as having many alternate accounts which don't actually belong to them and belong to many other users of EIM, which are banned by Redzone as well, while I can't say it's banned the whole country its conceivable with the way IPs are pooled and proxied under EIM that many groups of users from the UAE are probably clumped into groups where hundreds of people are considered alts of each other, and when one of those people in one of these groupings gets detected as a copybot whether it be false or not its safe to say the rest of the group gets banned as such.


  1. This zf redzone is garbage in my opinion. Being in a complex who share a wireless internet connection, zf redzone automatically assumes that everyone using secondlife is an alt. There are too many computers and too many second life accounts in just this complex for this thing to be accurate. It has already become a problem not only for me and my friends but as I read, other countries as well. In asking the company that provides our internet service, I found that we all are being shown using the same IP address. zf redzone is not the answer.

  2. I'm really Glad you posted this I personally thank you so so much :-)))))


  3. So for UAE to be protected from their privacy being revealed the entire country must pay for the redzone system and enable hiding their alts in the options on the redzone website. I recommend UAE residents contact their police/government and ask them to discuss this matter with the US FBI because it is an international protection racket and the amount of money collected thus far is apparently in excess of $300,00 USD. A significant international protection racket that probably falls under the RICO Act.

  4. Interesting... I'll have to research this RICO act you wouldn't happen to have a link to the act itself would you? would be helpful and a good place to start.... but pretty much what is happening is described in the third paragraph that describes EIM, the Poor client detection probably labeled a user as copybot whether they were or not, and redzones IP detection labeled several users as this users alt, thus then it tends to eject users from that country thus then discriminating against these users, users of internet service through EIM tend to have common IP addresses because the proxies over there, which EIM uses to moderate and filter internet access of their users, pretty much redzone discriminates against them because it dont account for their censorship system, also redzone can avoid this discrimination but doesn't the xstreet/Marketplace ad isn't up anymore, but it used to have a picture of it displaying the geolocation feature, that could of been used to prevent this, but as we know zFire Xue is just content to have it kicking users out based on this inaccuracy, and get content creators going OMG it works when its kicking out many of their regular customers as well and doesn't work right.