GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

Owen DeLong owen at
Mon Apr 11 21:59:01 UTC 2016

> On Apr 11, 2016, at 11:15 , John Levine <johnl at> wrote:
>> The problem with MaxMind (and other geoip databases I've seen that do Lat/Long as well as Country / State / Town) is that the
>> data doesn't include uncertainty, so it returns "38.0/-97.0" rather than "somewhere in a 3000 mile radius circle centered on
>> 38.0/-97.0".
>> Someone should show them RFC 1876 as an example of better practice.
> Oh, heck, you know better than that.  You can put in all the flags and
> warnings you want, but if it returns an address, nitwits will show up
> at the address with guns.

I hear this argument about various things over and over and over again.

However, my home address has been published in multiple whois databases since I moved here in 1993.

Not once has a nitwit with a gun shown up on my doorstep as a result. (I have had visits from nitwits with guns,
but they were the results of various local oddities unrelated to the internet).


	1.	A neighbor managed to get the SJPD (most common example of nitwits with guns in this area) to darken
		my doorstep because he spotted (and complained about) a dog in my yard being out of control and not
		on a leash or supervised. (Not sure why they thought it was my dog, as I have never owned a dog at this

	2.	I opened my front door to be greeted by a nitwit with a gun (again, SJPD) telling me to go back inside
		while they completed an arrest nearby.

So, apparently there still aren’t enough nitwits with guns operating enough typewriters to fulfill this bit of conventional
wisdom as yet.


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