A couple of weeks ago, a judge in North Dakota ruled against anti-spammer David Ritz for conduct against Sierra, Inc, allegedly an enterprise that spams. In a future post, I'll comment on the case. But for the time being, the key point to remember is that the judge ruled against Ritz because he did, among other things, publish WHOIS information and conduct a zone transfer against Sierra's servers. The judge said in her ruling that Ritz performed computer functions not generally known by the average computer user.
I find this comment a little perplexing. Anything that Ritz did is publicly accessible. WHOIS information is available to anyone who wants it. You can learn how to do a zone transfer with a simple Google search. The fact is, publicly available tools let anyone conduct a whole swarm of research.
Allow me to illustrate my point. The other day, I was watching South Park. It was the one where the kids are investigating a terrorist situation. The episode is spoofing the TV show 24, but the other joke is that all the tools the kids use are available to anyone without the complicated tools that CTU always uses. Here's a summary of some of the very public websites they use to cross-reference and track down the perpetrator:
You see, a public web tool isn't inaccessible to the average computer user. There's plenty of stuff you can use to find out if someone is spamming. A zone transfer may be a little unusual but this is the 21st century and there are several search engines out there. It wouldn't take a long time to figure this stuff out.
Seriously, this judge needs to watch a little more South Park.
PingBack from http://msdnrss.thecoderblogs.com/2008/02/05/maybe-the-north-dakota-judge-should-watch-more-south-park/
Mechanics often perform actions on cars that average drivers know nothing about. Jail them.
Judges often perform legal manoeuvres that average voters (let alone defendants) know nothing about. Jail them.
Well, it's a yearly tradition in the western hemisphere that at the end of the year, we compose a top