Geoip lookup

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Fri May 24 13:15:08 UTC 2013


On May 24, 2013, at 2:34 AM, Andreas Larsen <andreas.larsen at ip-only.se> wrote:

> If we continue to support and build tools around this geolocation based
> ip-dravel, we give people a false notion that this is something we should
> do. 
> ...
> 
> Or just get rid of the whole idea and realize that the internet is global
> and reaches everywhere no matter what your IP currently is.

While the Internet is global and reaches everywhere, the same is not 
true about most businesses and governments...  As a result, there are 
many use cases that we may not like, but are seen as basic requirements 
by those organizations.  Examples include laws and business contracts 
that require different behavior depending on the location of the user, 
and from the view of these organizations, the Internet almost gives the
impression of shoddy workmanship to omit such an obvious capability.  
Luckily, many organizations did come up with workarounds, and the lack 
of a 100% reliable solution did not prevent them from distributing 
content (software, music, movies, articles, etc.) that they only had 
rights to do so in a particular region. 

If the approximate geolocation approaches had not been used, we'd
would not have had the region-restricted experimentation in content
distribution that underlies quite a bit of the industry even today.

One can argue that regionally-based business models should be changed, 
but the fact is that the not-quite-reliable geolocation services are
actually has been pretty important in enabling traditional content in
making it onto the Internet. (It is left as a exercise for the reader 
as to whether more highly reliable geolocation would meaningfully help
the situation, or simply enable its use in non-commercial contexts to 
the detriment of the global user community.)

/John

Disclaimer: My views alone (& for folks who wish to filter this email
based on my geolocation, it is presently Northern Virginia USA ;-)


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