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posted something illegal on a site

By Reason ยท 11 replies
Aug 26, 2003
  1. so I posted something illegal on a site (had to do with cracking games and such) and one of the mods said they are going to try to use my IP address to report my actions to my ISP and get me in trouble. I didn't think it was a big deal, it was just a question I asked. They got really mad. The thing is, I was at work, and my work are on a network and have a t-1 connection.. can they really do anything?
  2. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    Yes they can, but I think the actions are a little bit to extreme.
  3. Reason

    Reason TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    what can they do? there are 30 computers in the office I work and it's a t-1 connection.. what can they do? do all the computers have a different IP?
  4. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Reason, the simple answer is they can hammer you to the fullest extent of the law.

    The long answer is that every computer has a unique IP. Sometimes these can be obscured through a NAT, but if that's so, the company takes respsonsibility for what's in their building. When sued for $f00 million, I know they'll suddenly find out who dunnit, fire you, and cough up your name.

    Even if you're not sued civily, you can be charged criminally. Either way a company doesn't want to be affiliated with such actions. So the answers are:

    1. Sue you. Badly. Or get you arrested, their choice. Or both! Arrest isn't likely. Depending on the nature of the file, they may sue. A report to your workplace could get you fired.

    2. Under most circumstances, yes all machines have a unique IP. If for some reason they access the internet under one IP, there will still be a unique identifier that you can track. Even if they can't directly figure out what machine was used, I bet if a company really really wants (hint, I have seen it done before) they'll easily figure out what happened.
  5. Reason

    Reason TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    give me a break..I'm not worried about it.
    whats he gonna say to the ISP? "This guy knows how to crack games, sue him" the ISP guy will laugh in his face.
  6. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Personally, I don't think they will take any action on you. Some employers might not like you doing such things from work, so if they receive a report regarding your actions, then they might do something about it themselves. Its unlikely, but not impossible. If you were just posting info, then I can't see what anyone can do. If you however were supplying cracked software, then you could get sacked.
  7. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Actually it works more along the lines of them saying "Gimme the dude's name or we sue you. Be nice, we won't touch you."

    From an ISP's perspective in legal terms, this is a no brainer.

    "Ok. here you go."

    I'd put it 80% chance you won't get in trouble over it. But tell me, is it worth the chance of trouble?
  8. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    Most ISPs wouldn't probably care about that unless the board made a big deal about it, sending them mail, email, phone calls, faxes, and going inside the building.

    How many people can just make up stuff like that to hopefully get someone they hate in trouble? How many times do you think ISPs get that kind of stuff.

    My POV: Relax, don't worry about it. It's most likely a scare and if they really wanted to make sure you are to be in deep-- they won't blow out lots of their days and hours trying to get the ISP to even consider their "telling".
  9. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    If you are REALLY worried about it, why don't you send a PM or E-Mail to the Mod or owner of the site, and tell him you didn't realize that you were violating there rules, and please give you a break. As others have said, they might not do anything, but then again? Might save your job.
  10. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Xtr-X- As a matter of legal issues, there are two things involved in this.

    1. Under the DMCA, a complaint can be lodged against a potential copyright infringer (or in this case copyright protection circumventor) and the ISP will be left with two choices: Respond to the complaint in a legal manner, or take the offending material down. Taking the material down immediately renders the ISP no longer legally responsible for the content, but places the responsibility on the poster. Making a response, depending on the nature, most likely leaves the ISP open to legal responsibility (IE allows them to be sued as well.) As a result, 90% of the time an ISP will chose to remove the material and leave the response to the individual accused of infringement.

    2. Because of the high likelihood of someone maliciously using the law, there are two teeth involved in this: With the DMCA, invalid allegments of infringement can be handled as harassment, defamation of character, and a wide variety of other legal responses that basically mean "Counter-sue and win a good chunk of money." With the DMCA's nature, it's much more likely that when a countersuit succeeds there will be a larger judgement than normal, although this has yet to be tested fully in court. In order to take action outside of the DMCA, the person or company doing the suing will be required to file legally compelling evidence to convince the courts that sued individual is indeed guilty. Sure, I can spoof IRC logs. But any decent lawyer will point this out, and make that falsified evidence be unusable (at least relatively unusable) in court. As a result, you will typically rely on outside evidence such as packet logs, external IRC logs, server logs, and so forth- third parties that would have no interest in creating the evidence, and plenty of interest in not hiding the evidence (obstruction of justice.) Once again, falsified or insufficient evidence can lead to lawsuits.

    Now, in terms of criminal prosecution, there are several factors that can be used in this situation, at varying levels of jurisdiction. Most likely if you're a US resident, you would be prosecuted in the US District courts. If at all. (Most likely, you would not. One crack is nothing. Drink or Die, tho, is another thing.) The exact crime that you'd be charged with is literally a VERY fine line thing. Chances are if you lawyered up you'd never see prison, but you'd get probation and a criminal record to boot.

    As a result, let me summarize this:

    1. An ISP will not hesitate in cutting you off in response to a DMCA claim, because in the long run that attitude will save them lots of legal trouble and money. I have worked in a networking office, and they're pretty quick to respond to these issues (I think the law allows them 30 days to respond, technically, but for safety sakes they do it asap)

    2. It will then be your responsibility to sort things out, or accept the consequences and make an agreement between you and the other party.

    3. Most of the time this is all that will happen. No lawsuits, no prosecution.

    4. Look up DeCSS. This is an ugly example of what can happen when it goes further. Note that some people involved don't live in the US, and also note that the young kid who wrote the brilliant code is still in court settling this out- You know that can't be cheap to deal with. The kid faced both civil and criminal suits. AFAIK, they're both still in court, but the civil manner could be resolved.

    5. For a criminal situation, look up Drink or Die. For an extreme criminal example, look up Kevin Mitnick (I recommend the book "Takedown" by Mitsomu Shimomura) Also see Dimitry Skylarov. (Both civil and criminal in that case, but both are resolved.)

    6. Napster is an extreme example of DMCA on the civil side.

    7. Look up "Usher" and "DMCA" on google. There was a professor named Usher at some university that recorded his lectures, and distributed them. He got a DMCA complaint, and responded. From what I know, it stopped there. It could have been a lawsuit in the other direction.

    Hope this helps clear some things up.
  11. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

  12. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    Actually, I think that because it is a private message board, and you must sign up to post messages logged on your nick name, it may be different and shouldn't be harsh or anything.

    Look at the board's rules. Do they say anything that will exclude you from posting stuff illegal or whatnot.

    '[You] didn't know it was illegal', you just posted it.
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