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 Please enable the access to this IP address as soon as possible.

  • 3
    What is the exact wording of any error messages you are getting? – Robert Harvey Jun 21 '11 at 16:52
  • IP doesn't appear to be on any blacklists or DROP list. – user7116 Jun 21 '11 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 '11 at 17:01
  • I asked my network team regarding this but they told that it has been blocked from stackoverflow side. – Angus Jun 21 '11 at 18:01
  • 2
    Then contact team@stackoverflow.com 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. – Robert Harvey Jun 21 '11 at 18:17
  • Thanks robert ... will mail them about my problem.. – Angus Jun 21 '11 at 18:22
  • Did you post this question from home, or does Meta still work for you? – Justin Morgan Jun 21 '11 at 18:49
  • I posted it from home. I have sent a mail request to team@stackoverflow.com as told by robert... – Angus Jun 21 '11 at 18:52
  • Possibly related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/95894/… – Robert Harvey Jun 21 '11 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 '11 at 19:11

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 team@stackoverflow.com about it. I'd suggest doing that from outside your company's LAN as well, in case email is also blocked.

  • 3
    @Robert & Justin: I sent mail to team@stackoverflow.com.They told me that its due to a particular abusive user from our IP that stackoverflow has blocked its access. – Angus Jun 21 '11 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 '11 at 6:02
  • @hangar18:I mailed to team@stackoverflow.com and got reply that we have to ask that particular abusive user to stop from asking questions. – Angus Jun 23 '11 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? – Justin Morgan Jun 23 '11 at 15:36
  • @Justin:They told its impossible to stop the user unless they block access to our ip's. – Angus Jun 23 '11 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 '11 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 '11 at 3:12

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