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I cannot access Stack Overflow from my office. I am usually able to get all the details I need to solve my problems through Stack Overflow posts. It's the best Q&A site I have ever seen.

For the past two weeks, I have not been able to access Stack Overflow. I get the error

Network Error (tcp_error) A communication error occurred: "Operation timed out" The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time. For assistance, contact your network support team.

I contacted my network support team, and they told me that Stack Overflow has blocked access from its side. My public IP address is 203.91.201.57. Please enable the access to this IP address as soon as possible.

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    What is the exact wording of any error messages you are getting?
    – user102937
    Jun 21, 2011 at 16:52
  • IP doesn't appear to be on any blacklists or DROP list.
    – user7116
    Jun 21, 2011 at 16:59
  • Are you sure it's StackOverflow (a question and answer site not a forum BTW) that block you from accessing it? Maybe your IT manager has denied acces in your company?
    – M'vy
    Jun 21, 2011 at 17:01
  • I asked my network team regarding this but they told that it has been blocked from stackoverflow side.
    – Angus
    Jun 21, 2011 at 18:01
  • 2
    Then contact [email protected] and ask them about it. If you really are being blocked at the IP level, there isn't anyone here who can do anything about it.
    – user102937
    Jun 21, 2011 at 18:17
  • Thanks robert ... will mail them about my problem..
    – Angus
    Jun 21, 2011 at 18:22
  • Did you post this question from home, or does Meta still work for you? Jun 21, 2011 at 18:49
  • I posted it from home. I have sent a mail request to [email protected] as told by robert...
    – Angus
    Jun 21, 2011 at 18:52
  • Possibly related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/95894/…
    – user102937
    Jun 21, 2011 at 19:01
  • @Robert Harvey: I also got the same reply from my network team.I could not able to access it for more than two weeks..
    – Angus
    Jun 21, 2011 at 19:11
  • 9 years later and I have had the exact same thing happen to me. All devices on the local broadband connection blocked to all Stack Exchange sites. Using mobile hotspot or company VPN and no problem. It sorted itself out in a few days. From the comments around zombie machines on the network, it's got me slightly worried...
    – RDavey
    Oct 16, 2020 at 8:27

1 Answer 1

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I've heard of bans from asking and answering questions, but this is the first I've heard of someone getting banned from even viewing SO. My guess is that it's one of three things:

  • The aftermath of a DDoS attack, causing your IP to be suspect (perhaps because of a zombie machine on your company's LAN),
  • Your IT department blocking SO for some reason, but the person you spoke to didn't know about it/didn't want to tell you,
  • Some kind of random, transitory problem with the Internet FairiesTM. Perhaps the new Intel NICs are randomly messing with innocent users to show solidarity with Broadcom.

As others have suggested, your best bet is probably contacting [email protected] about it. I'd suggest doing that from outside your company's LAN as well, in case email is also blocked.

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    @Robert & Justin: I sent mail to [email protected] told me that its due to a particular abusive user from our IP that stackoverflow has blocked its access.
    – Angus
    Jun 21, 2011 at 19:32
  • @Beata so what do we do now? Do we talk to someone from SO and see if we can get our IP unblocked? Can they not just block the user than blocking the IP itself?
    – hangar18
    Jun 22, 2011 at 6:02
  • @hangar18:I mailed to [email protected] and got reply that we have to ask that particular abusive user to stop from asking questions.
    – Angus
    Jun 23, 2011 at 15:25
  • @Beata - Why don't they just block that user from asking questions, instead of viewing the site at all? Did they say why they did that? Jun 23, 2011 at 15:36
  • @Justin:They told its impossible to stop the user unless they block access to our ip's.
    – Angus
    Jun 23, 2011 at 18:14
  • @Beata did you get any details on who the user is? I'm still not clear why we can't block that user. Guess we'll have to wait and watch
    – hangar18
    Jun 24, 2011 at 10:50
  • @hangar18:No we could not identify!But I have told them the reason for blocking stackoverflow and not to repeat again if stackoverflow gives us the access.Lets see.
    – Angus
    Jun 26, 2011 at 3:12

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