I'm using the Stack Exchange API with an access token and API key, and I was just checking my remaining quota. According to the documentation, this should be a number (somewhat) lower than 10,000, which is consistent what I've seen in the past.

However, to my surprise, today it's more like the 32-bit integer maximum:

enter image description here

This happens for multiple API routes, not just for /sites. I do get occasional backoffs, which I obey to. What's going on here? Santa Exchange giving out unlimited quota as Christmas presents? It does not matter which IP address I'm calling the API from.

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    I only get 10K quota, with or without an access token, both normal and teams. This question needs an MCVE that duplicates what you are seeing. – Brock Adams Dec 24 '18 at 9:21
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    I did request two Teams tokens for this application, but I'm using a regular token now. I see the strange quota both in Firefox and in my actual Java application. Not sure how to MCVE this without revealing private information ... – Glorfindel Dec 24 '18 at 9:23
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    Maybe try a different requesting IP? – Brock Adams Dec 24 '18 at 9:26
  • I've checked but calling the API from my mobile phone on 4G has the same 'problem'. – Glorfindel Dec 26 '18 at 9:36
  • Still not seeing it in my tests, still need a way to duplicate the issue – Brock Adams Dec 26 '18 at 9:53
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    Use the steps and client ID from this answer. Then supply your app id and key if you dare. ;) – Brock Adams Dec 26 '18 at 10:02
  • I just had a facepalm moment, see the answer below ... – Glorfindel Dec 26 '18 at 10:06

After re-investigating my code, I realized what was going on here. For this particular project I wasn't using the API key and access token of my own application; I'm using the ones I sniffed from the communication between the Stack Exchange mobile app and the API. The Stack Exchange mobile app has an unlimited quota, it seems.

  • Well that's not scary at all... – Brock Adams Dec 26 '18 at 10:07
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    No, but it probably is against the Terms of Service ... – Glorfindel Dec 26 '18 at 10:08
  • This doesn't seem to be the case anymore - that key is also limited to 10k now (ran strings on the extracted application package). – iBug Aug 17 '20 at 6:57
  • @iBug just tested, I can still reproduce this 'issue'. – Glorfindel Aug 17 '20 at 7:30
  • Guess the API keys are different for the iOS app and the Android app. – iBug Aug 17 '20 at 12:01
  • @iBug correct, but also the Android app key + corresponding token results in a 2 billion quota. – Glorfindel Aug 17 '20 at 12:08
  • Oh, my tests are performing unauthenticated read-only checks where there wasn't an access token. That surely made a difference. – iBug Aug 17 '20 at 12:26

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