State Of Alaska Threatens CrackHo After Confusing Redirect With Hijacking...

from the why-lawyers-should-have-some-tech-knowlege dept

It's always bad news when the technically illiterate start filing lawsuits over technology issues. A few folks have sent in the news that the state of Alaska, under Sarah Palin's governorship, has (we're not making this up) sent a cease and desist letter to the website CrackHo.com supposedly for hijacking a page from the state's website and using the official seal of Alaska without permission -- which the state claims violates both state laws (fines up to $500 or six months in prison) and federal copyright laws.

So what did the site CrackHo.com do to deserve this? Well, it simply redirected anyone who went to Crackho.com to Sarah Palin's website on the state webpage. Yes. A simple redirect. And the state claims that this is hijacking the website, a misuse of the seal of the state and a violation of federal copyright laws. Based on that logic, with a few simple magic tricks, I've just made TinyUrl, Bitly and Is.gd guilty of the same things.

I mean... I'm sure the lawyers working for the state of Alaska have some free time on their hands right now... but... seriously? Did no one bother to actually investigate what they were threatening?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    pegr, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:05pm

    hahahahahahahaha!

    hahahahahaahahahaha!

    Oh, I'm sorry (snicker)... Ahem, let me start again...

    Can someone please send them a copy of "Stupid Web Tricks"?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    Does that mean www.lilcrackho.com goes to Bristol?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    RD, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Clueless

    Please repeat after me, and do this EVERY time a technology issue comes up like this, likely forever:

    POLITICIANS AND LAWYERS DO NOT UNDERSTAND TECHNOLOGY!!!

    (unless the lawyer is a specialist in a tech area)

    Is it any wonder they keep missing the mark when they "go after" these "problems"?

    Idiots running the country.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Hmmm...

    Okay, hijacking the site: No. Copyright violation: No. Misuse of the state seal? I could see that sticking, depending on how the law is worded.

    The analogy I imagine being presented in court would go something like this: Suppose you walk into a store that says "CrackHo" on the sign and are teleported into the governor's office. Many people might surmise that the governor's office is inside the store.

    Yes, yes, yes, I know. You and I and most of the other people reading this would do a double-take, look at the address bar, and know we'd been redirected. But are we representative of the majority of Web users?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    If their IT guys had half a brain they could check the referer tag and further redirect crackho.com requests to http://www.state.gov/secretary/

    Or, if they wanted to be boring and keep their jobs, just return a 404 instead.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Matt, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Hmmm...

    misuse of the seal? how?

    This is a core part of internet, this would be like complaining that we can turn an IP address into a URL. Pointless.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Judsonian, May 13th, 2009 @ 3:12pm

    Miss-use of the state seal ......

    Sounds like the lawyers up there are miss-using some state seals!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Brooks, May 13th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    Good fun

    I always use southlate.com when booking Southwest Airlines tickets. It just amuses me.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    anonymous coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    The IT department is busy at the moment.

    "If their IT guys had half a brain they could check the referer tag and further redirect crackho.com requests to http://www.state.gov/secretary/

    Or, if they wanted to be boring and keep their jobs, just return a 404 instead."

    That's asking an awful lot, they're busy eradicating color printing from the every state office at the moment. ;)

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    hi, May 13th, 2009 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Hmmm...

    you're retarded

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, May 13th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Re:

    You win the comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    DJ, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    Nuh uh! I am!

    wait...

    What just happened?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    I'm so glad that retard Sarah Palen didn't become Vice President. Imagine if somehow (God forbid) the president died and she became president. Then we'll REALLY be in a mess.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:38pm

    Re:

    I would bet my first born/only son that she is lot smarter than you, and a million times smarter than obama. Hell he still doesn't realize that socialism/communism won't work, or is such an evil sob that he doesn't care about the human suffering his cramming that crap on this once great nation is going to cause. Heil Obama.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re:

    That's quite a bet considering you know about Palin only what you've been told about her, and probably nothing about Mr/Mrs Betta.

    However, we did just learn something about you. ;)

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    "I would bet my first born/only son that she is lot smarter than you, and a million times smarter than obama. Hell he still doesn't realize that socialism/communism won't work, or is such an evil sob that he doesn't care about the human suffering his cramming that crap on this once great nation is going to cause. Heil Obama."

    I didn't vote for Obama. I wanted to vote for Ron Paul, I agree with so much of what he says. BTW, he is a doctor, lets see if Palin knows more than him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:29pm

    Re:

    You mean instead of the fucking mess we're in now that the Exalted Communist is in power?

    Dumbass

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:29pm

    My initial choice for president was Mike Huckabee, even before Ron Paul, but before I'm convinced I have to know his position on health freedoms. If he does not endorse health freedoms in the same sense that Ron Paul does then I won't vote for him. Otherwise he would be my primary choice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:30pm

    "You mean instead of the fucking mess we're in now that the Exalted Communist is in power?"

    Lets not forget it was that idiot George Bush that put us in this mess.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:32pm

    Re:

    I wanted to vote for Ron Paul

    Oh well that explains your moonbattiness.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Hmmm...

    Petréa Mitchell wrote:

    The analogy I imagine being presented in court would go something like this: Suppose you walk into a store that says "CrackHo" on the sign and are teleported into the governor's office. Many people might surmise that the governor's office is inside the store.

    And if you were teleported to the planet Venus, would people also assume that the planet Venus was inside the store?

    Since we’re doing analogies and all...

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    "Oh well that explains your moonbattiness." I'm not the one defending Sarah Palin and if you really think she is Smarter than Ron Paul let me see her become a doctor. Even if she did become a doctor I would be afraid for any child who has their parents take them to her if the child is sick.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Jeff Smith, May 13th, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    Too funny

    You all don't REALLY think that Sarah Palin was perusing the internet, surfed over to crackho.com, got offended, and set the lawyers loose...do you?

    Wait...I think you do!

     

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  25.  
    icon
    Nick (profile), May 13th, 2009 @ 8:36pm

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    colorado springs, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:38pm

    Consultant Ted Stevens

    Perhaps Alaska is using former Senator Ted Stevens as their tech guru.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:59pm

    "You all don't REALLY think that Sarah Palin was perusing the internet, surfed over to crackho.com, got offended, and set the lawyers loose...do you?

    Wait...I think you do!"

    She seems pretty stupid, I wouldn't be surprised.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Azrael, May 14th, 2009 @ 12:44am

    Re: Clueless

    (unless the lawyer is a specialist in a tech area)

    Please, PLEASE, tell me where you have found a lawyer that's an expert in anything other than extorsion.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Azrael, May 14th, 2009 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    " would people also assume that the planet Venus was inside the store? "

    From that case i must conclude that you don't have a direct job connection to the average customer. Otherwise you would have known that people (especially the average ones) will assume everything at face value without thinking (not that they are actually capable of that).

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    lulz, May 14th, 2009 @ 4:50am

    Re:

    Damn, betta, can you use the 'reply' function, or are you committed to spread out threads like butter on toast?

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    George Bush, May 14th, 2009 @ 5:42am

    How about...

    I wonder if stupidignoranttechnoidiot.com is available... It might be worth the $10 to register it and point it to her domain.

     

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  32.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Just Funny

    This is really funny. She does kind of act like a crack ho though ...

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Please - Do Not Feed the Trolls

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 14th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    A simple request

    To all of the crazies out there on both sides of the aisle, please stop equating government systems that aren't equal.

    1. Capitalism does not equal democracy
    2. Socialism does not equal communism

    For a breakdown: http://graphcomp.com/home/bfree/opinions/economy.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Cyrus Lesser, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:20am

    Dumb lawyers; dumber judges

    99.9% of lawyers and 99.999% of judges don't know the difference between a megabyte and a mosquito bite! Nor between a database and a naval base.

    So there's a high risk the dopey case will be heard before a dopey judge with a dopey outcome very likely!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, May 14th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    "And if you were teleported to the planet Venus, would people also assume that the planet Venus was inside the store?"

    In Internet terms, yes, they would.

    Please remember that most people understand the workings of Web browsing about as well as you and I understand the finer points of Alaskan state law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    the problem child, May 14th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    One of those lawyers you all seem to hate

    But whatever.

    I appreciate that this post confirmed what I had "known" but not been able to put into techie language: that the Alaska AG's office is full of shit. Now I have the technical language to express it, and this site to cite the information to. Ain't the internetz grand?

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    nasch, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:23pm

    Re: A simple request

    Also don't equate government systems with economic systems. Some examples follow.

    Forms of government:
    democracy
    oligarchy
    totalitarianism/dictatorship
    theocracy

    Economic systems:
    capitalism
    socialism
    communism

    In theory, you can mix and match from the two (incomplete) lists in any way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    anonymous, May 15th, 2009 @ 11:15pm

    No State of AK IT was informed about this that I know of.

    This was a crazy surprise that shook my office to the bones! We did not know! Of course, we'd spot this right away and know what to do. There are a lot of educated, intelligent, experienced IT proffesionals working for the State of Alaska.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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