[LINK] unlawful interception of internet traffic?

Adam Todd link at todd.inoz.com
Thu Dec 7 22:24:55 AEDT 2006

At 05:57 PM 7/12/2006, Craig Sanders wrote:
>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:
> >
>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.

You mean like Telstra bought advertising keyword diversions on Google for 
APPT searches?

Or like Telstra diverts calls for directory services ... and the list goes on.

>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.

Not that's not interception.  If a person was walking into Store "M" and a 
sales person came up to them and said "come with me, i can sell you some 
great products" and took the person to store "DJ" then that might be 
diversion, but this is a Trade Practices law area, not a crimes area.

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

No, it's not impairment of electronic communications.  The ISP is free to 
provide whatever services they like.  The consumer can choose another ISP 
if they don't like the default data.

As to whether it's anti-competitive, one will have to gather the relevant 
evidence, such as was a user of the ISP "A" trying to access ISP "B" for 
the purpose of buying services the same as those sold by ISP "A" and hence 
was prevented.

I think you'll find the answer is no.

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

Then it's not a crime.

>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.

No, it may be legitimate transparent proxy of DNS requests to prevent DNS 
storms, abuse by end users of DNS data, users filling DNS servers with 
dodge cache information, maybe ISP "B" sent dodgy data to ISP "A" so you'd 
get all upset.  Not hard to do.

>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".

No, it may be cache pollution.

>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.

<sigh> This has all been covered many years ago, and set in stone in the 
Supreme Court.  The Battle of Koltai and Blancfield.

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

You know what's more evil, someone making statements that are unable to be 
checked, investigated or a right of reply given to the alleged offender.

It's so sad.

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