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 Post subject: Is Defeating Captchas Illegal?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:49 pm 
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I posted a link about this case awhile ago. Despite being somewhat different than poker botting, it still raises some interesting questions regarding what exactly constitutes "fraud," and what is criminally prosecutable (in America), as apposed to a civil breach of contract. It seems the judge in this case decided that it should go to trial...

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/10/hacking-captcha/


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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:06 pm 
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“They lied about their business model. They lied when they impersonated thousands of individual ticket buyers. And they lied when they established thousands of false email addresses and domain names.”

Let's set aside the domain name thing which is probably the prosecutor not understanding what a domain name is, or the fake email which doesn't mean much, it looks like they misrepresented their company as multiple "individuals" in order to grab more tickets. That's the fraud in question I would assume.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:52 pm 
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This is much more analogous to multi-accounting (with fake ID) than botting or anything to do with a captcha.

Of course, in the short to medium term, the sites are not taking anybody to court in the U.S. because the U.S. government likes to pretend they are illegal (though there is no law that makes it so). Even if/when there is a regulation & legalization bill that passes in the U.S., it's highly unlikely there would be any prosecution or even a civil case for typical amounts of money. You would have to be a major, major operator to be worth anyone's time to take to court. Otherwise, the site will simply confiscate your account like they do today.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:35 pm 
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If you read the previous article (it's online somewhere) they had people sign contracts so the company could use their information on their behalf, credit cards included. They would purchase a ticket under an individual's name, then refund their CC + a small percentage. That doesn't sound like "misrepresenting their company as multiple individuals," rather it sounds like they "partnered" with multiple individuals.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:08 pm 
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This stuff with the tickets is fraud, I agree.

How is defeating a captcha (I mean personally from one doing it point of view) different than any other break of the ToS?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:24 pm 
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c2008 wrote:
it sounds like they "partnered" with multiple individuals.

Thus deceiving the whole purpose of whatever limit they set on max # of tickets per individuals and restrictions on companies to buy/resell those tickets afterwards.

I highly doubt it's captcha related in the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:01 pm 
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Well, the article sites the defeating of captchas as a reason this case is set apart from others... "Prosecutors alleged that bypassing CAPTCHA constituted unauthorized access of ticket seller servers." I guess that's not the fraud aspect in question, my mistake for associating the two, but it still bodes the question: is this criminal or civil? What's the difference between running a bot under someone else's name?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:06 pm 
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In my opinion the only thing that matters is do you break the ToS, or not. That in itself could be illegal or not. In my opinion the ways you break a ToS cannot be differentiated from legal point of view.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:41 pm 
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http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=uk

In the United States (we restrict our brief discussion toU.S. law since that is where we operate), there are sev-eral bodies of law that may impinge on CAPTCHA solv-ing. First, even though the services being protected arethemselves “free”, it can be argued that CAPTCHAs arean access control mechanism and thus evading them ex-ceeds the authorization granted by the site owner, in po-tential violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act(and certainly of their terms of service). While this in-terpretation is debatable, it is a moot point for our studysince we never make use of solved CAPTCHAs and thusnever access any of the sites in question. A trickier issueis raised by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention clause. While there are arguments that CAPTCHA solvers provide a real use outside circumven- tion of copyright controls (e.g., as aids for the visuallyimpaired) it is not clear—especially in light of increas-ingly common audio CAPTCHA options—that such a de-fense is sufficient to protect infringers. Indeed, Ticket-master recently won a default judgment against RMGTechnologies (who sold automated software to bypassthe Ticketmaster CAPTCHA) using just such an argu-ment [2]. That said, while one could certainly apply theDMCA against those offering a service for CAPTCHA-solving purposes, it seems a stretch to include individualhuman workers as violators since any such “circumven-tion” would include innate human visual processes


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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Illegal?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:24 am 
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I'm still not getting it (how all of this relates to poker at all). So, according to these articles what would be the case if for example you are using a bot, but solving the captchas as a human? Is that fine? If not, what is actually the difference (as you would sovle the captcha yourselve in exactly the same way when playing as a human ...)?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Defeating Captchas Fraud?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:31 pm 
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indiana wrote:
In my opinion the only thing that matters is do you break the ToS, or not. That in itself could be illegal or not. In my opinion the ways you break a ToS cannot be differentiated from legal point of view.


German law makes a difference if you go into a house that has a door wide open or one that is locked.
Same with braking barriers on the internet.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackerparagraf

I'm no lawyer as whether this can be applied to captchas (because they are not meant to be a barrier - to humans).


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