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Is Data Mining Illegal and what are the consequences?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by simatra, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. simatra

    simatra Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have been posting ads on CL for ppl to data mine other massage websites to get their emails and phone numbers. The owner of one the other massage websites found my ad and wrote me this...

    Please be aware that attempting to data mine our site is a direct violation of our Terms of Use and U.S. Copyright Law. If you attempt to use our site for this reason, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of this Craigslist ad has already been sent to our attorney. Thanks.

    My plan was to email the therapists on their site to get them to join my site. Does anybody know what could happen if I get caught? Or is it even illegal? What is the fullest extent of punishment?
     
  2. simatra

    simatra Registered Member

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    Are we talking jail time, money...I just wanna know before I proceed.
     
  3. dannyhw

    dannyhw Senior Member

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    I'm no lawyer so don't take my word entirely, but no it's not the least bit illegal. If they had, say, put up some kind of rate limit and you used proxies or broke captchas you *might* be getting into a gray area. Overwhelmingly though the legal precedent is the TOS of a site don't mean shit and you can do what you want unless they can play the "hacking" card. As far as I know though, the only time anyone has ever gone down for that sort of thing was a whole PVA/VCC deal with ticketmaster and it was millions and millions of dollars in business with demonstrable damages.

    The mailing could be illegal if you're not can-spam compliant, but that has nothing to do with this guy bitching about you data mining. Just don't reply to him.
     
  4. dannyhw

    dannyhw Senior Member

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    He also probably just thinks you're going to scrape and duplicate his site, which could arguably be some kind of copyright violation even though it'd be a bitch for him to prove.
     
  5. JustUs

    JustUs Power Member

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    Do you remember Arron Swartz. The Government went after him for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. While the CFAA is supposed to be limited to computers that are government, or government contractor, or financial computers in practice, any ordinary computer has come under the jurisdiction of the law, including cellphones, due to the inter-state nature of most internet communication. In a few rare cases there have been prosecutions for violations of the terms of service of a website.

    That is the worst case. Something like scraping Craigs List probably would not result in a prosecution.
     
  6. MosesW

    MosesW Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I did not know that scraping web pages for data mining purpose is illegal.
     
  7. dannyhw

    dannyhw Senior Member

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    Aaron Swartz was publishing the content he scraped though right? That was copyrighted paywall protected content, it was just the nature of the content he was distributing and his status that made the case high profile.
     
  8. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    Scrape away unless you're reselling the content!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  9. simatra

    simatra Registered Member

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    Awesome thanks guys!
     
  10. Jota

    Jota Newbie

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    Sorry to post on this old topic, and probably wrong place too, but I have just been ripped off by someone calling themselves a miner and recorded a video on skype of me and threatened to make it public if I didn't pay 2000€. How can I get back at someone like this?