Judge Charles Breyer of District Court in Northern California ruled that changing your IP address or using proxy servers in order to access public websites you have been forbidden to visit is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This was ruled in a case involving Craigslist and 3taps.
3taps bypassed the technological barrier using different IP addresses and proxies to conceal its identity and continued to scrape data from Craigslist. Cragslist’s rage grew as 3taps was aggregating and republishing its ads. In order to stop 3taps, Craigslist sent a letter where they told 3taps to stop their scraping activity.
Even though Craigslist blocked IP addresses associated with 3taps the scraping activity continued. By using different IP addresses and proxies 3taps was able to scrape Craiglist’s website. Craiglist went to court and Judge Charles Breyer ruled in their favour.
This may be a great breakthrough for companies exposed to malicious web scraping. But the legal aspect of the scraping issue is still undetermined in most parts of the world.
Read more about this court ruling in Ars Technica