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Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter

I like Twitter.  Unfortunately every day when I log into I never know what I'm going to get.  This is what I see about 50% of the time:

image

At first I thought it was something wrong with Twitter, which is not all that crazy given their impeccable service record *grin*.  After a closer look with Firebug it's clear that the problem is on my end.

image

403 errors on the CSS files and jquery pretty much assure that my user experience is going to be pretty minimal.

Looking at request for screen.css we can see that the website, in this case a stylesheet resource, was blocked.

image

This is an error that I'm very familiar with.  When I try to visit anything on Jason Bock's site I'm greeted with:

image

The same thing is happening with some of the backing files to the twitter site, they are being blocked.

So how can you get around this?  Well Firebug allows you to edit the rendered html directly.  I've found that for some reason anything from assets1.twitter.com is blocked, but anything from assets2.twitter.com or assets0.twitter.com is not.

To get twitter to work, all I had to do was change the html:

image

Immediately after changing the URL for the css file, firebug goes off an fetches the unblocked css file and applies it's rules, making the page look correct.  Doing the same thing for the js files, behavior is once again in tact and my twitter looks normal.  I'm thinking if anyone out there has any experience with GreaseMonkey (firefox plugin) you could school me real quick on how to do this automatially.

image


Posted 08-20-2008 8:57 AM by Tim Barcz

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Comments

Matt Youngblut wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-20-2008 10:29 AM

Couldn't you just ask J&P to unblock that the addresses that aren't really bad?  Or are you worried that they will block even more?

Tim Barcz wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-20-2008 11:00 AM

I could ask but typically when you ask you have to explain why you need it unblocked and then it goes to your manager.

Twitter at this point is used as a micro blog reader for me and less about socializing, I still think it's not a path I want to go down if I don't have to.

Chris Sutton wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-20-2008 12:09 PM

I'm famous now - my twitter pic has been blogged!

Why don't you get your manager to start twittering and then it'll have to be unblocked.

Chris

Jason Bock wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-20-2008 12:16 PM

My site is blocked because of "games"????

What...the...hell....

Tim Barcz wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-20-2008 12:24 PM

@Jason

Yep, unfortunately I cannot see to confirm...however I suspect that's not necessarily games, it's just that your site is sooooo  much fun.

Caleb wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-21-2008 9:23 AM

Why don't you just change your hosts file (en.wikipedia.org/.../Hosts_file) so that the blocked url resolves to the OK one?

Tim Barcz wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-21-2008 9:32 AM

@Caleb

I went to try this out.  I didn't think it would work since the blockage is happening at the network level.

I tried your method, and since I can only change where a name points to, I was stopped quickly when I found out that assets1 (the blocked url) resolves to the same ip as assets2 (the non blocked one).  Therefore, unless I'm missing something, the host file tweak won't work.

Caleb wrote re: Using Firebug to Bypass Company Filter To Access Twitter
on 08-21-2008 8:16 PM

I would give it a try any way.  If the actual IP is the same then it is the name that is being blocked.  If you put the name resolution in the hosts file then they won't have the name to block it on.  I could be wrong though as I don't really know how your network is set up, but it may be worth a try.

If you are running through a proxy server then it is entirely likely that the request is sent through to the proxy where the name is resolved which would mean it won’t work.

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