UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Trailfinders lifts block to Israel marketing emails

The holiday company Trailfinders has lifted a block on links from emails sent to its customers in Israel, following a letter from UKLFI.

Trailfinders’ customers who are based in Israel were unable to access Trailfinders’ website via its promotional emails. When any link in the emails was pressed, the following message comes up: “This site has been blocked by the network administrator. Block reason: Gateway GRO-IP Filter Alert. Connection initiated from country: Israel.”

UKLFI wrote to Trailfinders informing them that if they were deliberately blocking customers from Israel, then they would have been discriminating against Israelis and also indirectly discriminating against Jews in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

After receiving the letter from UKLFI Trailfinders have lifted all the blocks to people based in Israel.
Trailfinders’ legal and regulatory director stated in a letter to UKLFI: “…I would stress that we do not deliberately block customers from Israel. You may well be aware that GEO-IP Blocking, as the name implies, blocks network connections according to their location with the firewall getting info about the host country through its IP address.

We only apply Geo IP Blocking to our email marketing newsletter as the offers contained within are sometimes contractually geographically restricted…..….We do have an independent state of the art internet security and surveillance team employed to monitor global online traffic and if from any area of the world there is unusual activity, they are briefed to reactively take internet security decisions as they see fit with regard to GEO-IP filtering or other measures to ensure the security of our network. GEO-IP filtering limits the amount of traffic entering our security environment. Less traffic means less processing, less analysing and reduced risk. We use Geo-IP filtering as a layer in our out network defences.”

Trailfinders also commented: “Trailfinders is supportive of Israel’s rights as a sovereign nation and have no block on our site to exclude Israelis.

Caroline Turner, director of UKLFI commented: “We are pleased that Israelis are now able to access the links on Trailfinders’ promotional emails and thank Trailfinders for their prompt response to the problem.”

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