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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.

                -----Original Message-----
                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:
                > Hi,
                > 
                > 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:
                >       
                >    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/pIch119.html
                > 
                > 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.


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