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Google rate limits ICMP to It’s not meant to be used as your personal “is the internet up” test.

He probably pinged it because DNS wasn't working. It is meant to be his personal DNS resolver.

I use my own server or for uptime checks, but was my DNS fallback when went down, which then meant I had no DNS working at all, which is why I noticed and tried pinging them.

Seriously? If true that's an awfully quick bait and switch, even for Google.

How is it bait and switch? was never marketed as a "ping me to see if the Internet is up" service, as far as I know. Just as a fast, public DNS server.

An important use of well known easy to type IP addresses is when you're mucking around to figure out if your upstream network isn't working. I could see if they attempted to set a new standard by just not responding to ICMP at all (although turning around an icmp echo takes less work than a DNS lookup...), but responding intermittently is actively harmful.

You haven't identified the "bait" bit of the bait and switch. At no point has Google promised to respond to pings on, nor are they obliged to ever do so. Rejecting ICMP isn't "a new standard".

The promise is implicit when competing for mindshare with Typing an IP address into a router setup is quite infrequent, compared to "let's check connectivity by ping x.x.x.x". Setting expectations that can fill this role is the bait.

As I said, it's much easier to respond to a ping than even a cached DNS query. Or it would also be consistent to simply never respond to ping.

Now obviously in the modern "you get nothing for nothing" world, Google is able to violate whatever expectations they'd like. But "rate limiting" in a way that makes basic ping(8)s look flaky, especially on a service that will be used for debugging, is downright nasty and deserves to be shouted from the rooftops (iff it's true).

> The promise is implicit when competing for mindshare with Typing an IP address into a router setup is quite infrequent, compared to "let's check connectivity by ping x.x.x.x". Setting expectations that can fill this role is the bait. is not even meant to be used as a public DNS server (and has sometimes hijacked DNS requests at times to remind people of that). So it's weird to use to criticize Google for blocking ICMP on their actually-public DNS server.

Sure, that's Level 3's official position. Unofficially, everyone uses it and there is clearly someone inside making the deliberate decision to keep it publicly available. https://www.tummy.com/articles/famous-dns-server/

As I said, the crux of the problem isn't Google's "blocking", but rather making it intermittent. Obviously it's well within their rights to play whatever games they want - drop every other packet, vary the latency based on your IP, duplicate packets, or make it appear some queue occasionally holds your packets for 3 seconds. It's also within their rights to redirect all DNS lookups to an April Fool's page. And to do any of this selectively based on how many different Google services you use.

But that is not what any user expects, and in the end that's all protocols are - expectations. To me, the pushback I've gotten here fits right in with Surveillance Valley's general attitude of shirking responsibility with some fine print disclaimer, knowing full well what the constructive situation is. "I'm just going to go like this [spinning arms], it's not my fault if you walk into me".

If you can't see how people would expect to be able to reliably ping, or how intermittently dropping pings causes confusion (as in the original comment above), then I can't help you.

there are lots of services that are available to the public, but intended only for a specific set of people. if you go to the local supermarket and take a few dozen bags without buying anything, that's immoral and illegal. nobody will stop you from stealing the 1 cent bags, but that doesn't mean that it's OK. in this case, they have specifically put up signs saying "bags for paying customers only". if you continue to regularly go in and take bags without paying, that is theft, both legally and morally.

your argument boils down to "it is convenient for me, and I see other people stealing bags too".

What in ze hell?

1. It is straightforward to restrict a DNS server so that it only answers specific networks. This doesn't even need to be close to comprehensive to get the message across. Level 3's (née BBN's) intent is to continue to respond to the wider Internet community, regardless of what their ambient PR says. Likely for similar reasons that they run a looking glass.

2. The frequency and magnitude of your scenario makes it a straw man. A more worthwhile example is someone using a business's bathroom without buying anything. Yet most places don't really care as in the end it balances out, and we're all humans that have needs that can't be fully met by commercial provisions. The major concern is people who mess up the bathroom, paying or not.

3. While a common touchstone, theft does not apply has nothing has been taken. Perhaps unjust enrichment. But given that anybody using to answer production DNS queries is actually harming themselves with additional latency more than anything "taken" from Level3, that's a stretch too.

Have we really become so full of corporate bullshit that we're stuck analyzing things in its myopic paradigm? I thought this was Hacker News?

PS I notice also responds to pings and DNS queries. Should I expect to get a bill for their services? Because I'd much rather just relish the feeling of a fleeting shared purpose with someone halfway around the world in a vastly different culture.

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