mailing list archives
RE: Does VeriSign's SiteFinder service violate the ECPA?
From: Kaplan Michael N NPRI <KaplanMN () Npt NUWC Navy Mil>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 12:03:13 -0400
"By this logic, all webservers which unintentionally accept traffic
without somehow verifying that a typo did not take place violate the
ECPA. Thats ridiculous. Do you really want a precedent where, if someone
accidentally POSTs bank information to your site instead of the URL
they meant to type, you are somehow liable? If I accidentally call you
instead of my friend and tell you all sorts of juicy gossip, is it
really your fault?"
They aren't unintentionally accepting traffic, they are willfully redirecting traffic specifically not
intended for them. If someone "accidentally" POSTed information to my site due to a typo then I wouldn't expect to be
held accountable. But if rather I set up a domain similar to the banks so that all typos ended up being redirected to
my site enabling me to collect data not intended for my use, then it would become intentional, as is the case with
VeriSign. All accidents lead to VeriSign.
From: N407ER [mailto:n407er () myrealbox com]
Sent: 23 September, 2003 10:43 AM
To: Richard M. Smith
Cc: BUGTRAQ () SECURITYFOCUS COM
Subject: Re: Does VeriSign's SiteFinder service violate the ECPA?
Richard M. Smith wrote:
> Here's a question for the lawyers. In certain situations, does the
> VeriSign SiteFinder service violate the Electronic Communications
> Privacy Act (AKA, ECPA)?
> Here's the actual text of the ECPA:
> With my packet sniffer, I noticed that the VeriSign SiteFinder Web
> server happily accepts POST form data which is intended for another Web
> server. This situation will occur if the domain name is misspelled in
> the action URL of a form.
> Without SiteFinder in the picture, the HTTP POST operation is never done
> since the DNS lookup fails.
I'm bothered by the VeriSign thing, too. But you've been posting a lot
of stuff about how it breaks certain services, breaks certain mail
clients, and may be illegal. What it does to mail clients and services
is annoying, though easily fixed. But you should hardly wish for it to
be deemed illegal. That's not the sort of precedent I want to worry about.
Ta for now.