[LINK] unlawful interception of internet traffic?

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Thu Dec 7 17:57:07 AEDT 2006

On Thu, Dec 07, 2006 at 04:59:56PM +1100, Eric Scheid wrote:
> On 7/12/06 4:35 PM, "Brendan Scott" <brendansweb at optusnet.com.au> wrote:
> > 477.3 Unauthorised impairment of electronic communication
> > (1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
> > (a) the person causes any unauthorised impairment of electronic
> > communication to or from a computer; and
> hmmm ... 
> client enters 'www.example.com' into their browser
> client computer realises it doesn't know the IP for that domain name
> client computer asks the ISP for the IP address for that domain name
> ISP DNS looks at it's local caches and servers for the IP
> ISP DNS responds with the IP address
> client computer attempts to connect with, succeeds
> client computer successfully retrieves what is on offer at that IP address
> at which step was the ISP intercepting the traffic and fiddling with it?

they've diverted the traffic by providing a false address.

this is the same as if i am a customer of one telco, and try to use my
phone to call another telco....but my telco diverts the call to their
own sales center.

or if dept. store "M" puts out a sign claiming to be dept. store
"DJ" and thus diverts DJ customers into their own store. completely
fictitious, hypothetical and anonymous examples, of course.

so, it's illegal on at least two counts. it's unauthorised impairment of
electronic communication, and an anti-competitive trade practice.

in any case, this isn't exactly what happened.

they intercepted my name-server's request to the rival ISP's name-server
(i.e. direct request from my IP address to their IP address), diverted
it to their own name-server, and provided false responses to the DNS

there is no grey-area here.  that is definitely interception.

in any case, the law referenced above talks about "impairment", not
"interception". it's impairment no matter how someone tries to play with
the definition of "interception".

they can't even claim that the interception/blocking is "authorised" due
to the fact that it's their own IP addresses which are being prevented
from accessing the rival ISPs(*). i have my own /24 networks, and have them
routed down my ADSL links. these are *MY* IP addresses, not theirs.

(*) and even that is a specious argument which wouldn't stand up in
court. the electronic communication is between their customer's computer
and the rival ISP's computer - regardless of IP address.

> ps. for the record: this is evil and I don't approve.

me too.


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>           (part time cyborg)

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