1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

[?? OHRLY ??] Blackhat by definition is NOT illegal

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by phpbuilt, Sep 15, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. phpbuilt

    phpbuilt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    5,208
    Occupation:
    $ from websites I own.
    Location:
    putting monkeys in paypal
    There are some who make the claim that, by definition, blackhat is illegal and therefore discussing illegal stuff on the forum is fair game.

    I found one particular comment today in a thread trying to justify illegal activities and I'm just getting tired of explaining this over and over, so I thought I'd make a new thread for it which I can conveniently link to instead of restating the same thing over and over.

    Point #1, Its against the Forum Rules

    The terms of service of blackhatworld.com are here. Specifically ...

    If it's illegal or deception, its prohibited. This includes the idiot who wants to sell stuff on Flippa and not disclose the fact he just got banned from adsense (fraud and deception). This includes the idiot who wants to cookie stuff commission junction (definitely illegal and fraud). This includes the idiot who wants to steal the work of authors by having them submit sample writing and using the content for websites (using deception and probably fraud). This includes the idiot who wants to set up multiple ebay accounts to post Iphones for sale and then disappear after the money is withdrawn (fraud and illegal). This includes all the idiots who want to fraud CPA offers by filling them in themselves.

    If your tactics can land you in jail, or is attempting to obtain goods from someone through deception -- its against the forum rules. If its against the forum rules, and this is a blackhat seo forum ... then by definition blackhat seo does not automatically include deception and illegal activities (in fact it excludes them).

    Point #2, Blackhat SEO is different than Blackhat Hacking

    What prompted me to write this post is this idiot who says that blackhat seo isn't even a word. then tries to prove it by linking to a hacking page on wikipedia.

    What kind of flaming idiot prances around on a blackhat seo forum and proclaims to everyone that blackhat as applied to seo is a misnomer. Blackhat hacking is different than blackhat seo. Just because in your make-believe fairy tale world blackhat seo doesn't exist doesn't make it so. Trying to prove your point by linking to hacking articles on wikipedia that have nothing to do with SEO only makes the point that you're an idiot.

    Whitehat SEO, by definition, means you are using clever methods of ranking websites that Matt Cutts would give you a pat on the back for, and which meet all of Google's guidelines for webmasters.

    Blackhat SEO, by definition, means you are using clever methods of ranking websites that are against Google's webmaster guidelines. PS: it is not against the law to violate Google's webmaster guidelines.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 8
  2. hameem

    hameem Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1,880
    Likes Received:
    985
    Location:
    221B Baker Street
    Thanks for explaining.
     
  3. cool0403

    cool0403 BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    718
    You are forgetting that all blackhat methods are basically on a thin line from becoming fraud/illegal , all it takes is a court order .

    So don't come and say that blackhat isnt fraud/deception/illegal. Which a lot of it its deception and

    If you make more than enough money to turn some eyebrows your way , your bh method could end up being labeled as fraud or illegal.Perfect example of cookie stuffing, i ve been here long enough to see cookie stuffin at its glory days. Now its fraud and illegal.

    What about that guy sending over 27 million spam messages on facebook, it was blackhat but i don't think he got blackhat sentence more like a felony.

    Same thing goes for spamming, its blackhat but still illegal.

    Point of story: Everything blackhat can become illegal at some point with a simple court order or some lawmakers putting heat on the bh method.Anytime bh methods can become illegal , the definition of blackhat when it becomes fraud/illegal/deception changes overtime .
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  4. BlackhatBigfoot

    BlackhatBigfoot Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    168
    Occupation:
    Forest worker
    Location:
    Hot a$$ Phoenix

    I'm so glad you wrote this. I tried to explain this today to the guy you are talking about, but to no avail. He's intent on assuming that blackhatters are, or should be petty crooks and criminal miscreants.

    I think people like him somehow take pride in having a criminal bent to their thinking, and make the mistake of assuming that everyone else is of their same mentality. These are our future inmates and convicts, who at the moment are too dumb to notice the flaw in their own weave. It's really pathetic to listen to these morons rant.

    Every now and then I come across a moron of the first order, a moronus superbus. That's what this guy you are talking about is for sure.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Codythebest

    Codythebest Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    880
    Location:
    Fuerteventura
    Home Page:
    Blackhat is not illegal...maybe annoying, but not illegal. Fraud is illegal.
     
  6. m0nster

    m0nster Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    1,003
    Occupation:
    Offline Marketing
    Location:
    USA
    never say never or always. take this for example:

    you host a useful PLR article, or claim you have a more recent version of a cracked runescape bot for free on your sitee and content lock it with CPA offer from a site that allows incintivized traffic. PLR articles are free. the bot is free and legal or maybe would get your rune scape acc banned. this is all far from illegal stuff its just having what someone wants and convincing them to help u out to get what they want.
     
  7. BlackhatBigfoot

    BlackhatBigfoot Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    168
    Occupation:
    Forest worker
    Location:
    Hot a$$ Phoenix

    When a blackhat method becomes illegal, it is no longer just blackhat, it's also criminal. Those who continue to use such a method are no longer just blackhatters, they are also criminals. If you are a criminal, fine, but don't try to group me in with you.

    You don't have to tell us that blackhat can become illegal at some point. Any blackhatter knows that. If that happens, I will get around it some other way without breaking the law. That's the beauty of what we do. We are deft professionals, not deviant sociopaths.

    Besides, I could never get used to looking over my shoulder or peeping around corners to see who may be after me. But I imagine that some of you have a permanent crick in your neck.

    A few persons' appetites for the criminal fringe of blackhat does not necessarily characterize the majority of blackhat practitioners.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  8. Crazy

    Crazy Jr. Executive VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    319
    Occupation:
    VB, C#, XHTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery
    Location:
    Everywhere
    This is an ongoing debate and I think phpfail has some valid points, but people who argue otherwise (myself included), also have valid points.

    Clearly you're not implying that just because a public forum is prohibiting certain content for the sake of their hosting and viability, doesn't mean that that policy standard lends itself as a definition to "blackhat" activity. That would be a bit narrow in scope, you must admit.

    BHW's public discourse definitely does not set the standard for everything that is and is not blackhat. It's a valuable resource with a lot of brilliant people that come together to share their knowledge, but of course for the sake of actually remaining online, some stuff just can't be discussed.

    I know many members that do stuff that isn't allowed to be brought up here, does that mean they're blackhat hackers or that they're something other than blackhat since BHW excludes illegal activity from the forum? Of course not, some of them wouldn't know the first thing about hacking (nor would they want to), and just because BHW doesn't allow this type of talk doesn't mean that everything that isn't allowed isn't blackhat.

    So that lays point #1 to rest pretty handily.

    Blackhat SEO and Blackhat Hacking are not mutually exclusively. Yes, some stuff might be "blackhat" to you, but then what do you call hacking involved with SEO? Super Blackhat? No. Blackhat is based on a spectrum of activity, ranging from 100% legit (white) to 100% illegal (black). In this sense, then, wouldn't it be the most logical position to consider illegal activity true blackhat, and everything outside the realm of illegality as advancing into the realm of grey and white?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  9. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    5,389
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Artist / Craftsman
    Location:
    sitting at my PC
    Some of what you say is true, (especially that many blackhat practices can become illegal), I think the point the OP made is more accurate.

    In fact the examples you've given even prove his point.
    First about cookie stuffing...
    You're right it was discussed so much that there was even a whole forum on here devoted to discussions about it. But where is that forum now? When cookie stuffing was deemed to be illegal and people started getting in trouble with the law over it, that forum was deleted and the topic became prohibited from being discussed here. In fact, anyone thinking about using cookie stuffing now will be given advice not to do it, usually by people that used to make a lot of money doing it themselves.

    Next about spam... Spam used to be the #1 marketing method used online. Why? Because it's effective. But it became so prevalent that the government enacted laws regulating it. (That is REGULATING, not prohibiting). They defined some specific lines in which if you cross you will be engaged in illegal spam. As long as you adhere to those guidelines you aren't doing anything illegal. But the different websites, platforms, ISPes, hosting companies, etc. we use have a much looser definition of spam. So hHow is the issue of spam typically discussed on this forum? Always in terms of how to ignore a TOS, and circumvent any filters preventing it, but also how to do it without crossing that legal line.

    The fact is that criminals and scammers do use blackhat techniques, but more importantly they also engage in criminal activity. In other words illegal and blackhat are two seperate things. Criminals certainly use a lot of blackhat techniques, but just using blackhat techniques doesn't mean someone is engaged in criminal activity.

    There's definitely things discussed here that sometimes actually do fall into illegal activities, such as identity misrepresentations dealing with financial transactions, but that's usually only discussed because you sometimes need a way to get paid for the blackhat methods your using. If an article directory only accepts 5 articles a day, but to make decent money you need to submit 50 per day, then the best solution is create 10 accounts. To do that you might also need 10 paypal accounts which means you may need to provide false IDs. The directory is accepting or rejecting the articles as they see fit and only paying for the ones they want. They get what they pay for and transfer money to the paypal accounts. When you withdraw the money from paypal, it's legit money recieved in payment. Doing all that definitely crosses a line, but also isn't scamming anyone.

    Overall though most of what's discussed, in fact the vast majority of what's considered blackhat marketing is simply about ignoring or circumventing the Terms or Service of the companies we work with. Violating a TOS isn't a criminal activity. In a worst case you might be subject to civil liability in a contract suit, but even that's usually a rare case that we want to avoid. In the vast majority of cases the consequences of breaking a TOS is simply that you're account will be banned.

    Blackhat SEO, or more inclusively Blackhat Marketing isn't about scamming anyone or breaking the law. We just want to do what we can to send the most visitors to a sales offer that we can. To do so might violate the TOS of your CPA company, but it isn't scamming them. The traffic landing on their pages is real people that will convert at some percentage.

    Blackhat Marketing is all about doing whatever you can to get the most people to make a purchase. In getting the traffic needed to do that a Blackhat Marketer is willing to break the TOS of the various platforms and companies they deal with. But since the goal is to actually make money and not go to jail, they do all that while at the same time trying to stay within the law. What good is making all that money if it's just going to be taken away and you end up in jail?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  10. phpbuilt

    phpbuilt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    5,208
    Occupation:
    $ from websites I own.
    Location:
    putting monkeys in paypal
    Your first sentence is so out of whack I didn't even bother to read the rest of your post.

    I buy SEO hosting and throw up 20 websites that I purchase and assemble them into a linkwheel with spun content all pointing to my money site.

    This is blackhat because it violates Google's webmaster guidelines. It is not illegal. It is not on a thin line from becoming illegal.

    I could write a 20,000 word post explaining blackhat seo concept after blackhat seo concept that is not illegal and not on a thin line from becoming illegal.

    Fraud is not borderline, fraud is fraud. Tricking someone into buying something by giving them false info is illegal. Filling out CPAs in bulk with false information to get money is stealing. Frauding a company by stuffing cookies will have the FBI knocking on your door (ask Shawn Hogan, owner of digitalpoint forums).
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  11. DamageX

    DamageX Elite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    1,687
    Occupation:
    Unemployable
    Location:
    Former nomad
    phpbuilt, why do you even bother? Let idiots be idiots and enjoy making money instead. ;)
     
  12. DebtFreeMe

    DebtFreeMe Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    363
    Occupation:
    Military
    Location:
    Earth
    Of course being black hat is not illegal... Is it illegal for the bank to tell you that your house, you know the one you pay a mortgage on every month is an asset? Even though you're paying for it every month, just like a credit card or student loan, those must be assets too, right? Assets make you money, not cost you money, its called profit.

    You can add many professions into this idea, used car salesmen, new car salesmen, lawyers, any type of salesman that hypes the good stuff about a product and ignores the other stuff, they are all offline blackhatters.

    I don't do any kind of Blackhat myself, I do gray hat, I find the rules and then look for what the exception to the rule is, and then I use that exception...

    Now if you're talking moral or immoral, then we have a completely different discussion... There are so many things that are legal, that are immoral; we would all be guilty of breaking the law if morality was the judge...

    Anyone need an abortion? I'm pretty shore they give those away these days...

    It's a mater of interpretation and nothing more, law is law, morality is morality, one is based on written rules, the other is based on subjective reality...

    If you confuse the two, you'll always miss the point in both law and morality.
     
  13. BlackhatBigfoot

    BlackhatBigfoot Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    168
    Occupation:
    Forest worker
    Location:
    Hot a$$ Phoenix

    For the record I don't think you laid point 1 to rest handily, but my comment concerns what is quoted right now.

    You would have been more on the mark if you had defined whitehat as 100% legit with TOS's, and blackhat 100% illegit(you used the word "illegal") with TOS's, and let's not forget 100% criminal anything that breaks the law.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  14. phpbuilt

    phpbuilt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    5,208
    Occupation:
    $ from websites I own.
    Location:
    putting monkeys in paypal
    The problem is that blackhat is becoming / has become synonymous with illegal. Its why people are coming out of the woodwork it seems to post their fraud or illegal activities here and asking for advice, because in their mind, and in the public's mind, blackhat = illegal, therefore blackhatworld is a proper place to discuss such things.

    What if blackhat were erroneously synonymous with child pornography? And then while you're reading up on blackhat seo methods you keep stumbling across idiots posting child porn pictures. It would repulse most of the forum so much that they would probably leave.

    Well I get repulsed by people coming in here and asking for opinions on how to rip off ebay users by frauding them.

    I get repulsed by people coming here posting how to steal articles from desperate writers trying to earn writing gigs by taking their articles and running with them. I've been there before, I've been so desperate that I'd write a few articles and send them off to some guy I don't know just hoping for a few dollars to feed my family. It makes me want to vomit reading that crap.

    Just because a blackhat technique was used to do something illegal, it does not mean that blackhat techniques are synonymous with illegal. You could use a plumber's wrench to kill someone and take all their money, but to somehow suggest that makes a plumber's wrench somehow evil or a tool of murderers is ridiculous.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. phpbuilt

    phpbuilt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    5,208
    Occupation:
    $ from websites I own.
    Location:
    putting monkeys in paypal
    Great point. This is like my version of solitaire when my brain is fried from programming.

    I actually did this to save myself time, next time someone posts their illegal activities here I'll just link to this page instead of getting on my rant box over and over again :D
     
  16. zen19

    zen19 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    4,053
    Occupation:
    LOL ya right
    Location:
    International Waters
    For the record hacking doesnt have to be illegal, but due to the pea brains in the media the sheeple assume it must be.

    Similarly Blackhat marketing doesnt have to be illegal, but can be.

    The point about a traffic method being legal and subsequently becomming illegal is well made, just take a look at whats happening with sub prime mortgage origination in the US. It was all perfectly fine, but now its not. Similarly certain methods of promotion online have been reigned in, there is however a difference between the FTC and the FBI/SS, one works for consumers, the others work in a 'law' enforcement role.

    This issue is further muddied by legal juristiction, in Spain (and most of the non 'western' world) I can hotlink disney movies, in the US thats a SERIOUS crime against humanity :/. In some countries spam is perfectly acceptable. No one should make the mistake of assuming that the USA is in someway responsible for a 'global' law.

    The comment about child pornography is strawman and tbh not that far from a Goodwin fail.

    'Tricking someone into buying something by giving them false info is illegal.' What about if I comply with standing national legislation through a series of terms and conditions which are digitally signed by the purchaser?? Common practice for big business, check your CC, Mortgage, Health small print among others. Heck check out GoDaddys terms and conditions.

    I would also say that there is a HUGE gulf between CIVIL and CRIMINAL law, despite efforts in the US/UK to bring the two closer for the interests of big business. I suspect that quite a few recent cases would have been thrown out of courts in countries less disposed to serve the corporate entity, or indeed thrown out in the US had the defendant had access to the same legal team/resources.

    So i'm sorry but the situation can indeed be murky, its not a simple black and white issue. Unethical is not always illegal, and Blackhat SEO/Marketing falls more into the unethical bracket as opposed to the illegal one. A smart marketer will use juristiction, legal loopholes, and the same tactics as big business to maximise profits.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 8
  17. DamageX

    DamageX Elite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    1,687
    Occupation:
    Unemployable
    Location:
    Former nomad
    Can't argue with either of those. :)
     
  18. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    5,389
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Artist / Craftsman
    Location:
    sitting at my PC
    That's a fact.

    Like the 'plumber using a wrench analogy' someone used earlier in the thread hacking is just a tool, it can be used to make some hardware or software much better than it was when first released, or it can be used to breach security or create malware. Hacking is just a method of thinking used when programming. You hack away at the code to make it as efficient and versatile as possible. Hacking can be used to do good or bad things, it just depends on who's doing it.

    It's a shame the media have for so many years used hacker as synonymous with cyber criminal. The fact is that most advancements in computer technology have been either made or pushed further by the efforts of hackers. Hackers should be given a lot more respect since they're responsible more than anyone else (especially in the early days) for the level of advancement we have in computer technology today.

    :pirate:
     
  19. tacopalypse

    tacopalypse Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    2,485
    Home Page:
    my definition of blackhat is simply not playing by the rules. i think it's useful to separate it into 3 categories..

    1) bhw forum rules
    2) websites' TOS
    3) the law

    it's understandable that someone with a general blackhat mindset would have the tendency to disregard all 3 of these. but if you're going to be breaking rules you have to accept the consequences as well.

    so it's a simple risk assessment:
    1) illegal stuff can't be discussed at bhw, regardless of what your own personal definition of "blackhat" is, so if you break that rule, there's nearly a 100% chance of you getting banned.
    2) legally breaking website TOS is pretty much what this forum is about, so that's all good. worst that could happen is you get your earnings revoked, or possibly sued.
    3) if you break the law, you take a chance of going to prison, of course.

    blackhat must be done intelligently to be done properly. posting illegal shit on bhw is not an example of intelligent blackhatting. ;)

    also, this
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/blackhat-lounge/167493-blackhat-not-illegal.html
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  20. zen19

    zen19 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    4,053
    Occupation:
    LOL ya right
    Location:
    International Waters
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.