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?

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Comments on “State Of Alaska Threatens CrackHo After Confusing Redirect With Hijacking…”

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39 Comments
RD says:

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.

Petréa Mitchell says:

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?

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

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…

Azrael says:

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).

Petréa Mitchell says:

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.

anonymous coward says:

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. 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

“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.

the problem child says:

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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