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Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

eBay Locks Out Macintosh Safari Users

Macintosh reports today that eBay is locking out users of Apple’s Safari web browser when they are attempting to view some items. The item in question is a Vintage WWII Japanese Samurai Sword, which sold on May 31st for $1332….

  • June 7, 2004

Macintosh reports today that eBay is locking out users of Apple’s Safari web browser when they are attempting to view some items.

The item in question is a Vintage WWII Japanese Samurai Sword, which sold on May 31st for $1332. When viewed on the Mac with the Mozilla Firefox browser, you get to see the listing. But when you view it on the Mac using Apple’s Safari web browser, you get this message instead:


Dear User:

Unfortunately, access to this particular category or item has been blocked due to legal restrictions in your home country. Based on our discussions with concerned government agencies and eBay community members, we have taken these steps to reduce the chance of inappropriate items being displayed. Regrettably, in some cases this policy may prevent users from accessing items that do not violate the law. At this time, we are working on less restrictive alternatives. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you, and we hope you may find other items of interest on eBay.

Thank You.

Hit the return button to return to the previous page.


EBay’s system for restricting access to some users clearly has some bugs in it. It strikes me as odd that the lockout is being determined, in part, by how your web browser identifies itself…

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