Strange values in Accept-Language header?

Alan Kennedy alanmk at
Mon Sep 23 17:03:02 EDT 2002

Dear all,

I know that this is not quite the correct place to post this question,
but I'm not sure where else to go with it (suggestions? nice ones :-).
And I know that there are plenty of web developers/masters here, and
they might be interested.....

On looking at my server logs for the Accept-Language headers (to
answer another post in this group), I came across some strange values
that are definitely not ISO language codes. For example,

Accept-Language: en-us,x-ns1rDGeT4e2FpA,x-ns2f67971hgDw1
Accept-Language: x-ns13V8cN8S1Xz9,x-ns2T329gfxKa7d

I have no idea what these could mean (I've changed the actual values
BTW, on the remote off-chance that somebody's highly personal
information was coded in there)

They are obviously not meant to convey language preferences, in a
general sense.

Perhaps they are

A: A method of communicating language preference between bespoke
clients/servers coded to recognise them?

B: An experimental method of communicating language preferences which
has yet to be standardised?

C: The result of header anonymization through some form of anonymising
proxy? (why bother?)

D: Some form of cracking attempt involving a buffer-overrun

E: A secret "digital handshake" for the Python Secret Underground ;-)

None of the search engines turned up anything relevant.



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