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Re: [tor-talk] Are webmail providers biased against Tor?



On 2015-03-16 11:33, Sukhbir Singh wrote:

Mike Hearn from Google addressed this issue on the tor-talk mailing list
in October 2012, where he said this:

"Access to Google accounts via Tor (or any anonymizing proxy service) is
not allowed unless you have established a track record of using those
services beforehand."

(https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2012-October/025923.html)


The impression seems to be that Tor is ipso facto suspicious to Gmail irrespective of the exit node's location, whereas "abnormal" IPs (e.g. those from Nepal) are only suspicious if they originate from outside the usual geographical location of the user.

I can verify Hearn's (Google's) statement from my own experience at least. I am a long time user of the privateinternetaccess VPN. If I log into gmail from Germany, London, US East or US West or from home in New Zealand, I no longer get asked for validation when using an anonymous proxy. However, when I logged in via the new riseup.net VPN (Seattle) recently, or whenever I use an unfamiliar PIA proxy, I have been asked for validation.

So google is keeping track of which regions (IP ranges?) I'm coming from, and adjusting my profile. It took google several months to stop asking me if I wanted to change my default search engine country, but their algorithm did eventually back off.

I think 'track record' is the relevant point. Everywhere is suspicious until you have a track record of accessing google from there. Tor by design is meant to prevent any track record from developing.
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