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IM Tools and Google TOS Breaches

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by jimmyr, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. jimmyr

    jimmyr Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Sep 26, 2011
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    I'm trying to get my head around how companies create software that obviously breach various parties terms of service, especially Google's, without being taken down.

    A big example is ScrapeBox. As far as I can tell they are a legit company, with an office address. They have written software that obviously breaches the Google TOS, and I wouldn't exactly say they are flying under the radar. Every second IM'er knows what ScrapeBox is, so surely Google does too. If that is the case, why haven't they been taken down yet?

    Here are the terms I am talking about:

    "You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services through any automated means (including use of scripts or web crawlers) and shall ensure that you comply with the instructions set out in any robots.txt file present on the Services."

    Scrapebox is hardly the only example. There is Market Samurai, every content scraper around, every rank checker around, and more. Does the big G just not have time to deal with this kind of stuff, or do the software companies somehow pass blame down to the user. Something like 'You acknowledge that by using our tools you may be in breach of Google's TOS. If you choose to use our tool to scrape/check/whatever, you accept the responsibility associated with this ..."

    I am building a tool that needs to be able to scrape Google. I don't want to go against the TOS, but every second IM tool out there must be in breach of this. So I guess the question is, how are they getting away with it?
  2. Jonny Quick

    Jonny Quick BANNED BANNED

    Aug 26, 2010
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    Great post. My first reaction is to look at it from Google's perspective. Where do you draw the line? And if they ever did start discriminating against certain software vendors for violating the ToS, there would be 5 that didn't get censored that would make Google look petty, unfair, biased and corrupt. Maybe company "X" bribed Google to allow their software to get PR, and company "Y" did not, and that's why they are banned, or whatever.

    Although, I think this day is coming. It is only a matter of time until Google's enforcement of it's ToS is based on favor and not some hard mathematical formula. They've already admitted "cooking the books" as far as their algorhythm is concerned, and MSN doesn't even bother to claim to be unbiased. They're biased; they are going to favor their large corporate friends over their large corporate enemies, and they will always favor a corporation of any kind over a single individual. All that's missing is the bribes. And yet, if you think about it....

    Seriously. Google employees are all spritually pure? No one takes a bribe there, ever? Never? Not one time has some entity been given PR for no other reason than cash exchanged hands? Once or twice is normal. Zero means they are doing a really good job of hiding it.

    And, in general, with the dissolution of the American middle class, and the complete loss of any sense of individual rights (they've been replaced with a sense of entitlement for government resources instead), I can see that corporations are eventually going to run this whole planet, and anyone that even thinks about changing that situation is going to be immediately killed even before the thought is verbalized. Technology is advancing at a hyper-rate; it is just a matter of time before they can read (and market to) your mind. And you will have as much right to privacy there as you do your email right now, which is none at all.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011