and History of Gator Testing System
Documentation of Gator Advertising and Targeting
Benjamin Edelman - Berkman Center for Internet & Society - Harvard Law School
Since the release of Documentation of Gator Advertising and Targeting on May 21, the Gator Corporation has taken steps to prevent the intended operation of the system for testing whether Gator targets advertisements at a given site. This page summarizes Gator's actions, the author's response, the current state of affairs, and plans for the future.
The testing system was released to the public on the evening of May 21.
At 7:21pm on May 22, Gator began blocking tests made through the testing system. Traceroute indicates that the block takes place at the level of a router operated by Level 3 Communications, Gator's ISP. At present, the block seems to affect the entire Harvard network and seems to affect all methods of Internet communication with Gator servers. This block prevents ordinary Harvard users from viewing the www.gator.com web site, sending email to addresses @gator.com, downloading Gator products, and seeing Gator's advertisements if they already have Gator software installed.
Beginning on the evening of May 22, for lack of ability to obtain new results, the testing system reported cached results obtained in testing of April-May 2003.
Beginning on the evening of May 23, the author developed the ability to route testing through other networks. hellyeah! networks provided technical assistance in this regard through June 7.
On June 7, the author reconfigured the testing system to provide only historical, archived data as to Gator targeting -- not current "real-time" results.