Server-side country IP restriction for the addons site breaks core functionality
09F9FE01 last edited by
OS: Win10 21H2 64bit fresh install;
Opera version: 87 or 86, fresh install, no experiemental flags set, no add-on installed except the built-in crypto wallet and adblocker which is causing trouble, more about that later;
Websites affected: any website;
Observation of the defect(s):
- access to the addons site receives an HTTP 403 if user is in certain region;
- no web page can be loaded if the built-in adblocker is switched on, if user is in the aforementioned region
- User receives friendly clarification on country IP restrictions for certain Opera services, if such policy is in effect;
- IP ban on the addons site shall never break core browsing functionality.
Below is the details===========
I created an account particularly to report on the said issue. This has been frustrating quite a number of Chinese users lately since April, evidenced by a number of threads complaining about the matter in Chinese local BBS.
A country IP restriction policy has been purportedly deployed to the Opera addons site targeting Chinese mainland users starting around mid April. Here's what
curlsays when trying to access over a household FTTH in that region:
curl --verbose https://addons.opera.com/ * Trying 126.96.36.199:443... * Connected to addons.opera.com (188.8.131.52) port 443 (#0) ....... * SSL connection using TLSv1.3 / TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 > GET / HTTP/1.1 > Host: addons.opera.com > User-Agent: curl/7.76.1 ...... < HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden < Server: nginx < Date: Tue, 24 May 2022 15:12:20 GMT ...... < Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains
Apparently the state firewall has NOT been doing evil per se. The HTTP/403 message was sent from the Opera server which , unfortunately using a pair of global anycast IP, cannot be reached via methods like alternate CDN IP addresses.
A concomitant issue arising from such IP restriction is the failure of initializing the built-in adblocker addon that ships with each standard install package. In the addons page, clicking on the "Details" button on the adblocker extension list item would bring up the addon details page showing an eternally whirling circle in the "Size" metadata field. Clicking on the "Options" button, on the other hand, does NOT call out the adblocking and anti-tracking options which should otherwise been added atop to the Settings page.
Experiments and posts from local Chinese forums indicate that this formerly indispensably handy but now entirely problemtaic adblocker addon has been causing page load hangs for any webpage, rendering the core browsing functionality totally unusable, if user activated the extension. By "hangs" we mean utterly no content shown at all.
A more nuanced observation regarding the addon, with clues from local BBS posts: the adblocker's activation switch does not immediately update its status upon user interaction if certain locale-specific strings are set to the country code "CN" in the file "Local State" under the Opera profile directory.
I hope that the Opera team can fix this issue ASAP. Opera has been a neat and tidy browser with excellent browsing exeprience for many users across many years and things shall go on as they used to be.
Note: another thread has also been reporting on the recent HTTP 403 bans but has not drawn wide attention (https://forums.opera.com/topic/55166/access-to-addons-opera-com-was-denied-http-error-403-china-ip) .