[Politech] More on Barney lawyer yearning to hack copyright infringers' sites [ip]

Justin justin-cypherpunks at soze.net
Wed Oct 19 13:40:31 PDT 2005

On 2005-10-19T10:37:55-0700, Declan McCullagh wrote:
> Previous Politech message:
> http://www.politechbot.com/2005/10/17/barney-lawyer-recommends/

> Responses:
> http://www.politechbot.com/2005/10/19/more-on-barney/

Some of the first-round responses mentioned the iniquities involved in
attacking hosted sites, but what if the site that appears to be involved
in copyright infringement isn't?  There is no assurance that the suspect
IP address isn't forwarding illegal (outgoing) traffic from some other
machine, or that it doesn't forward incoming traffic to some other

Suppose someone has a wireless firewall appliance set up to forward a
number of common ports to an interior server.  Attacking a suspect IP
results in an attack on an uninvolved interior server.  The copyright
violation might be some unauthorized person connecting through a
wireless gateway, so the owner of the interior server might not be in
any way connected to the copyright violation.

Suppose someone is running a web proxy.  An attack on a suspect IP
address results in an attack on the machine running the web proxy.  An
open web proxy, while it may violate an ISP contract, is not illegal,
and by itself the proxy is not connected to any illegal activity (except
maybe in China, etc.).

Suppose someone is involved in copyright infringement, but forwards all
incoming connections on certain ports [while dropping traffic to the
rest...] to an IP address associated with the Chinese Embassy.  Is it
clear who's responsible when a copyright holder ends up attacking a
Chinese computer?  Even if the person who set up the port forwarding is
responsible for _connections_ to the Chinese Embassy made as a result,
does that make him responsible for willful attacks conducted by
copyright holders?

If copyright hackers get immunity as long as they attack the public IP
address that appears to be distributing copyrighted material, the
consequences will be much worse than those of DMCA take-down provisions.
ISPs everywhere would police their own networks with a vengeance to
mitigate the risk that some copyright holder would find something first,
attack the ISP, and cause major damage (not to mention subsequent loss
of customers).  At least with the DMCA, ISPs get notified and have a
chance to act before something bad happens, which generally means low
levels of in-house policing.

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list