GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

Stephen Frost sfrost at
Tue Apr 12 01:23:21 UTC 2016


* Owen DeLong (owen at wrote:
> 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).

I'm glad to hear you've not had the joy of such an experience.

I nearly had one, but I managed to convince the nitwit to not to show
up, but it took a few hours on the phone.

He had seen my email address fly across while Linux was booting (thanks
to a Netfilter module I had written which had been included) on some
device he had he wasn't technical, so it wasn't easy for me to work out
what he was talking about, except that it was very clearly something he
was trying to "fix" to get his internet working again.

From that, he looked up my domain via whois and got my phone number and
address and called me and accused me of being with various three-letter
government organizations, said he had found proof that he was being
spied on and a litany of similar concerns.

Ultimately, I got him to believe (or at least, it seemed so) that I was
just some technical guy that wrote some code for a company that built
the device and got off the phone with him hours later.

On the plus side of this particular story, a few Airbus planes were
built with a version of Linux which displayed the boot messages during
startup on the in-seat displays and my name and email have shown up for
the reason on those devices, leading to emails from a few strangers
around the world with pictures of the boot process showing my email.

I'm not quite sure that the up-side out-weighs the down in this
particular story, but there it is.


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