Blocked in Russia

We’ve heard reports from some Russian users that PythonAnywhere, and sites that we host, are blocked by their ISPs. The specific error message that they get when visiting the sites in Chrome is ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT – Firefox has a similar one.

This appears to be the fallout from the Russian government’s ongoing attempts to block the use of the Telegram instant messaging app. Because Telegram use various cloud hosting providers, including AWS and Google, the government has responded by blocking very large ranges of IPs owned by those providers. We’re included in those ranges.

Right now, the situation is developing quite rapidly; the government appears to be rethinking its large-scale bans and some people who previously couldn’t see our site can see it again now. The system we use to monitor our IPs’ block status (which ironically enough is a Telegram bot) is still saying that we’re blocked, though.

We’re monitoring the situation. We can reasonably easily move everything over to new IPs, but we’re wary of doing that in a situation where the new ones might get blocked the next day. When things have settled down a bit, if we’re still blocked, we’ll fix that.

[update 2018-05-16] Things seem to be settling down now, with no new large IP ranges being blocked, but it looks like some ISPs in Russia still aren’t allowing access to our site and hosted sites. We’ve put up a test server on an IP address that we don’t think is blocked. If you’re in Russia and still seeing problems, please let us know what you see if you click here.

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