mailing list archives
Re: Does VeriSign's SiteFinder service violate the ECPA?
From: "David Nichols" <dnichols () amci com>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 11:40:55 -0400
But isn't there a difference? If someone sends a request to a website, the
site cannot determine intent. It's the senders responsibility to make sure
they're sending the request to correct place. However, VeriSign's actions
are different, they're actively redirecting requests when they cannot
determine it intended destination. To me it's equivalent to the post office
forwarding all undeliverable mail to the federal goverment instead of
simplying sending it back stamped "address unknown".
----- Original Message -----
From: "N407ER" <n407er () myrealbox com>
To: "Richard M. Smith" <rms () computerbytesman com>
Cc: "BUGTRAQ () SECURITYFOCUS COM" <BUGTRAQ () SECURITYFOCUS COM>
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 10:43 AM
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.
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?
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.