I'm using Tor Browser 4.5a5 (based on Mozilla Firefox 31.6.0) on Windows 7/64, home router environment.

Several iterations back, I could access http://www.foxnews.com/ . Now, no matter how many times I get new identity, I see the error:

Access Denied You don't have permission to access "http://www.foxnews.com/404error/" on this server.

Is the problem an incorrect setting I have?

3 Answers 3


It may not be the comprehensive answer you are looking for, but it's very common for larger companies to offsource the majority of their infrastructure gruntwork, including the handling and building of plain IP blocklists in response to perceived attacks.

If you look for IP reputation, you'll find that there are lots of companies offering such a service, and they are very attractive for larger companies, as they can show that they spend the money on these subscriptions for an unavoidable purpose.

One well known, easy to find company states:

An IP address earns a negative reputation when (OURCOMPANY) detects suspicious activity, such as spam or viruses originating from that address.

Now it is easy to conceive there does not need to be anyone involved in any malicious activities. It's just their machine may be compromised and actually try to scan open relays or probe for exploits on other hosts without even their owner's realising it.

So yes, you can be sure there's a noticeable proportion of traffic originating from Tor exit points that can be considered malicious. Considering this, it cannot be a problem that any tor user can avoid by tweaking settings.

From this point on, it's not a technical, but a political problem - how much risk can we ask from companies to take when accepting traffic from the IP addresses we share with potential attackers?

And then it's getting very mushy - some people are offended by open relay checks against their not relaying SMTP server, and consider this an attack - whereas in reality, it might be 1kB traffic wasted - in a day with potentially gigabytes of traffic on an XXMbit/s link. Who knows where to draw the line?

I'm not even sure we can convince any of those larger companies to make exceptions for TOR endpoints, as they have legitimate reasons (avoiding country based blocklists), that are against the policies, and wishes(!) of those very companies.

  • 1
    I appreciate the effort but you avoid the three areas that pertain to this bounty, namely, distinguishing between bans due to Tor at large, bans on one's specific external IP, and the length of the ban post exit relay take down. I'm pretty clear on Tor's exit relay abuses section here: torproject.org/docs/faq-abuse.html#TypicalAbuses ... what is not clear, is the variety of abuses and the response or mitigation of this response. The angle here is to make Tor exit relay folks stronger and less susceptible to this type of connectivity issue, not to beg companies for acceptance.
    – oemb1905
    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:16
  • I agree that it's not really answering the question. I was just trying to make a point that of K companies utilising information from n of N entities supplying (essentially) IP blacklists, and deciding to form access policies based on a combination of those blacklists, it is not easy to decide what part of it is failing just because your traffic is coming from a Tor exit. (Even if we can convince every company and blacklist supplier that blocking Tor exits must not be done under no circumstances, that would just convince every attacker to use Tor.)
    – chexum
    Dec 30, 2015 at 13:37
  • It's a great commentary and worthy of a study!
    – oemb1905
    Dec 30, 2015 at 19:42

It's not your settings. I have experienced the same thing, however they are not blocking all Tor exit nodes.

With Tails, you can switch your IP easily using Vidalia, and after trying foxnews just now I was able to get in on the 4th IP change.

They most likely have banned various IPs one at a time. As a parallel, on some sites that use Disqus and have a lot of contentious trolls, I often have to change IP address until I get an unbanned one. Since Tor changes IP every 10 minutes, it gets irritating because I might have been posting okay but then get changed to a banned one.

There is a way to change that 10 minute interval to something else in TBB, but apparently you can't do that in Tails because the Tails terminal user doesn't have permissions to change the torrc file.


Some web sites block all Tor exit nodes. Some even block all Tor relays, also non-exits.

The only way to access those sites is to connect from a different IP. Not from a Tor node.
You can use a proxy/VPN.

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