A few questions about phreaking laws

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A few questions about phreaking laws

Post by OnlyHuman on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:57 am
([msg=67736]see A few questions about phreaking laws[/msg])

Ok, so I noticed a new challenge category when I logged in the other day, and I've been studying this pretty heavily ever since. I stumbled across some old docs on phreaking at textfiles, and now I really want to put together a software based bluebox, maybe even a catcall clone. But, I need an environment in order to test features. I can only assume testing things here, by attempting the challenges, would be legal, but what about calling my own number? What does the phreaking law say about reaching out and touching yourself?
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Re: A few questions about phreaking laws

Post by limdis on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:41 am
([msg=67744]see Re: A few questions about phreaking laws[/msg])

They are probably shady at best and not well worded to even really make a clear ruling on it. I would think you should be clear though, considering you are testing this all on your yourself. To me it would be like your ISP getting mad for learning how to hack your router.
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Re: A few questions about phreaking laws

Post by OnlyHuman on Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:25 pm
([msg=67750]see Re: A few questions about phreaking laws[/msg])

That's kind of what I was thinking myself, and I hope you're right. I've been looking over some of these documents, and a few other places online, and the general consensus seems to be that phreaking yourself is a cardinal sin. One source even said you WILL be contacted by the FBI. Of course, a lot of these sources are more than 10 years old, and hacking laws change all the time.

Ultimately, this is simply a proof of concept piece for me. Which means the only thing that would bother me about being contacted by the FBI, is if I were to wind up in jail because of it. Since I have absolutely no intention of using what I've learned maliciously, and I'm only curious to put what I'm studying into a working implementation, that would be a price I don't feel comfortable paying.

I haven't written one line of code, and don't plan on it until I know whether or not I should, but I am remaining hopeful that the conclusion you and I have reached is factual. It only makes sense, and does so perfectly. Also, thanks for the reply.
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Re: A few questions about phreaking laws

Post by mShred on Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:13 pm
([msg=67751]see Re: A few questions about phreaking laws[/msg])

OnlyHuman... Haven't seen you in a while.
But anyway, I would only assume that it's perfectly fine. If you were still unsure, I'd try contacting someone and seeing what they had to say about it. I'm sure the FBI's cyber division has a decent ask-a-question person somewhere.
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Re: A few questions about phreaking laws

Post by OnlyHuman on Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:32 pm
([msg=67752]see Re: A few questions about phreaking laws[/msg])

@mShred - Yeah, I've been gone for a long time. From just about everywhere actually. It's not intentional though. Lot of different things pulling me in different directions, so it's sometimes difficult to balance all of it.

Anyway, this following statement seems to be the closest I've come to any sort of legal disclaimer.

Exploring the telephone network wasn't (and isn't) illegal, in and of itself. But phone phreaks sometimes used their skills to make free telephone calls, and that was illegal. Additionally, some phone phreaks wiretaped telephones or stole telephone company equipment, which also got them into hot water.

http://www.historyofphonephreaking.org/faq.php


Granted this is for searching using the term "phreaking". If there are any other legal terms for it, I have no idea what they are, but I'm sure they would bring up statutes, instead of blog posts. Either way, to me, that reads pretty much like the stuff most of us associate with hacking in general. It's perfectly legal to know how an SQL Injection is performed, it's perfectly legal to perform one in a test environment (such as HTS or your own server), it's just against the law to do it for real, unless you've been hired as a pentester.

Additionally, things such as free phone calls don't even concern me, and isn't one of the aspects of this that really intrigue me either, because I'm fortunate enough to have unlimited long distance included in my monthly bill. So giving myself a free phone call from two feet away doesn't even make sense.

As far as getting in touch with the cyber division directly, I'm kind of having a hard time doing that. I've found loads of numbers for both the local and federal offices, but the cyber unit contacts seem to be reserved for reporting crimes only. I can't seem to find anything for general inquiries. And, of course, thanks for your reply as well. I want to do this, so I appreciate all the help.
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Re: A few questions about phreaking laws

Post by mShred on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:20 pm
([msg=67849]see Re: A few questions about phreaking laws[/msg])

Yeah I'd definitely agree with you on that. I doubt it'd be illegal, and if it were you'd at most get a warning.
But I wouldn't know how to approach the law enforcement side of things.. I would think that they would at least have a decent control desk somewhere for routing people to the right places.
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