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How to subvert Big Brother's blocking of URL shorteners?

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I've just had to reinstall Win (XP Media edition, SP3).  It's on a new 1TB HD on a 185 GB partition.  Not much has been installed so far, just the [kinda, sorta] bare essentials.  However, a problem has reared its ugly head:  the inability to access sites from shortened links.  For instance, if I click, Firefox errors with, "The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.  The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again."  (Note, IE v7.0.5730.13 chokes also, but with different error, and I've been having other problems with it, as well, so cannot say at this time whether it is affected by this problem.  It seems to be, but cannot be certain.)

Did a couple of quick searches, but nothing found was applicable.

This has happened often enough in the last few days to be seen as some software helping, or protecting me.  Question is, which one(s)?

Zone Alarm Pro is installed, as is Avira AntiVir (free), both of which recently updated.  Also have several Firefox extensions which recently updated, but don't have any idea which ones - perhaps a dozen or so over the last few days.  These seem the most likely culprits to me, but I don't have a really good way to test which one is saving me from myself.  Or, to discover what other piece of software might be so solicitous of my online health.

Part of the problem is that not every shortened URL is affected.  So even the basic method of shutting one of the suspects down to see if there is a change is problematic ... futile, as well, if I'm wrong about the program(s) causing the problem.

Anyone have an idea or three of where/how to start?  I'd really hate for this to take a month or two to resolve.

'Preciate any thoughts on this.

I don't think Avira is the cause, since I am using that myself and I have no issues with any shortened urls.

While this won't help you discover the cause of your problem, you could try this greasemonkey script and see if it helps:

It works with 88 different URL shortening services and will replace all the short urls on pages, with the real url. That way, you bypass the shortening services and go directly to the sites. (and you'll know exactly where you are going before you click)

I found that if the Avira web guard thing is active that does have a severely negative impact on browsing.
Try turning that off.
(I refer to version 9.)

app103, the GreaseMonkey script doesn't work, nor does the InterClue Firefox extension ... problem seems to be that access to the shorting site is blocked.

cranioscopical, while I'm using v9, I don't find any reference to a Web Guard.  Maybe not in the free version?  Or, I'm just too dim to see it <chortle />.

Forgot to mention earlier, Firefox is v3.08, and Avira is v9.0.0.387.  Also should mention that I cannot [currently] access directly.  However, I can access, another shortening service.

Just for grins I tuned off the anti-phishing element of Avira, but it didn't make a difference.

cranioscopical, while I'm using v9, I don't find any reference to a Web Guard.  Maybe not in the free version?  Or, I'm just too dim to see it
-barney (April 19, 2009, 10:33 AM)
--- End quote ---
Oh, I don't know if it's in the free version, probably not. From my perspective you're not missing out if it's absent :)
FWIW, 3.0.8 is okay with tinyURL from here.

I'm sure someone will pitch in soon with some help.



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