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Thread: ftp sites.........

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question ftp sites.........

    Hi all.

    I have a question.

    If a corporation has an ftp site that allows anonymous users, and the corp. has files etc. on that site that really shouldn't be there, is it illegal to download them?

    Please let me know your thoughts and if anyone really has a legal answer to this, that would be appreciated too!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    It'd be unethical but, it's illegal to host them.

    I say if it's there get 'em while you can cause someone is going to report them and they'll be removed.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  3. #3
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    Yeah, if the files are there and not in a hidden folder, IMO it is legal, but like KorpDeath said unethical to download...... Just download them all and blackmail the company.... BTW what company is it?

  4. #4
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    Wink

    LOL.................hmmmmmmmm............which company was it again.................sorry.......I'm in the middle of a brain cramp right now!

  5. #5
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    it *might* not be illegal..but if it is a big company...do you have the resources to fight them should they get pissed off...some times they win simply because they can fight the longest...

    also...while it may not be illegal to dl the info..it is very likely illegal to do anything with the info..ie post it to a website or irc...they could probably get you for copyright infringement...
    I used to be With IT. But then they changed what IT was. Now what I'm with isn't IT, and what's IT seems scary and weird." - Abe Simpson

  6. #6
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    Hmm,
    The law on 'hacking' basically is obtaining information that is not known nor posted to the public. An ftp server can be construed as a private server through court systems if you are tried. But, if the files on the server are available for download, and could be downloaded by the general public, this means that there has been no steps that have exceeded gerneral knowledge to get to those files. In cruder terms, if you can not click through the web site to get to them, it can be made 'illegal' in the criminal justice system. {IE of something illegal is accessing the cgi-bin of a website, this could be on a website, but if there was not a link somewhere on the website to it, it is not "available to the general public".
    But, IMO, if the filez are of use to you, I would download them and use them to the best of my abilities.

  7. #7
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    I understand that if I do anything with these files, which I would not, that that could be illegal.

    I didn't hack into anything. I simply went to their FTP site. As far as the FTP server being private........I don't agree. It would be if it required a password but it doesn't. You can just type in the FTP site in windows explorer and get to it. It does allow anonymous access which to me means "public access". I won't say how I decided to visit the ftp site until they secure it.

    It is a major corporation! I have informed a few employees of the corporation that this problem exists. I believe I sent an email to a person very high on the totem pole but will they even open it? Time will tell.

    The comment in the last post about a big corporation going after me just to go after me is making me nervous. Let's hope they don't do that. Instead they should go after their IT person for being an idiot and divulging, more or less, corporate's private files. There is a kind of humorous side to this.........but.......again......I can't say it yet.

    Any lawyers (or friends/relatives/acquaintances of a lawyer) well versed in this area out there or even.......gulp......people in the field of law enforcement out there that could answer this????

    Thanks for the input so far.

    I'll check back tomorrow! Good Night!

  8. #8
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    funny how the news almost keeps up with AO ...

    http://online.securityfocus.com/news/358
    I used to be With IT. But then they changed what IT was. Now what I'm with isn't IT, and what's IT seems scary and weird." - Abe Simpson

  9. #9
    Senior Member cwk9's Avatar
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    Itís best to avoid pissing off companies with deep wallets.
    Its not software piracy. Iím just making multiple off site backups.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BrainStop's Avatar
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    The legality of the visit to their FTP server can be debated. If you got the address of the server for a legitimate purpose such as downloading a driver or something similar, you were there for a valid reason.

    Some companies have anonymous ftp servers to allow you to download files and such instead of going through a web browser. Netscape is an example of this.

    On the other hand, if you just decided to see if they had an ftp server, the analogy would be to go check for open windows on a house. It's not because the window is not locked that you have a legal right to enter the house.

    So anyway ... the best thing is not to go browsing the ftp site again and to delete the files you downloaded.

    Cheers,

    BrainStop
    "To estimate the time it takes to do a task, estimate the time you think it should take, multiply by two, and change the unit of measure to the next highest unit. Thus we allocate two days for a one-hour task." -- Westheimer's Rule

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