Welcome to 403

Rather a lot of Yahoo! Answers users in the computer-related sections turn out to be people wanting to circumvent bans from forums — which were, of course, totally unjustified. The answer is always the same: get some sort of proxy to fudge your IP address.

And oh, prepare to go to jail for it:

Changing your IP address or using proxy servers to access public websites you’ve been forbidden to visit is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a judge ruled Friday in a case involving Craigslist and 3taps.

The legal issue is similar to one in the Aaron Swartz case, in which there was debate over whether Swartz “had committed an unauthorized access under the CFAA when he changed his IP address to circumvent IP address blocking imposed by system administrators trying to keep Swartz off the network,” law professor Orin Kerr wrote yesterday on the Volokh Conspiracy blog.

Word to the unwise: if you’re under the banhammer, assume you deserved it, and get another hobby. I suggest stamp collecting: while philately may get you nowhere, it also won’t land you in Hotel Greybar.

(Via this Adam Gurri tweet.)


  1. McGehee »

    21 August 2013 · 7:26 am

    Maybe that’s what happened to “Barney Gumble.”

  2. Charles Pergiel »

    21 August 2013 · 10:05 am

    Interesting that they resort to lawyers rather than fight it out in the technology trenches. Remember the “I am invicible” hacker in that James Bond movie? I think what we’ve got here is some people who just want to argue.

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