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It's theft of service.

Remember as abstract as the law can be, the legal system is not going to be amused by contrivances like "they were offering DNS service free and clear, so tunneling youtube over DNS is fine"

The legal system is going to understand that you were trying to circumvent paying for services and treat it appropriately.




How can it be theft of service when they can deny you service at any time automatically by identifying abnormally heavy users and removing them?

This isn't like bypassing the electrical grid by running your own line from somebody else's service.

This is like saying it's theft of service to read a chapter in the bookstore. If you hang out there all day, you might get kicked out, but that's not a crime.

The courts might agree with you, but only because "computers are hard".

There's a world of difference between tunneling over DNS and compromising servers. Or at least, there should be.


"by identifying abnormally heavy users and removing them" - That costs money, ergo, theft. It's like if someone had to hire a security guard for a vending machine.


Or even just let those users alone. Users aren't stealing service if it's not even the same service. It's much slower than buying wifi from the captive portal.

DNS tunnelling is not fast or convenient. Places deploying captive portals have probably looked at the risk to their business from it and have decided not to worry about it.

I can't believe that using a slow DNS connection, intentionally made public, to tunnel traffic would be considered theft or criminal.

How many free samples do I have to eat before I'm a theif? I don't believe I'm a thief until the offer for free samples is rescinded.


I would imagine at the very least you would degrade DNS resolution times for legitimate users since there would be a lot more requests than usual


That’s exactly like bypassing the electrical grid.

It’s like having a “free” street light and, instead of just enjoying the light, you pull its cables and plug your AC in.

The free service is just for the light.


Can I use my solar powered calculator under a street light? Or is that theft of service too?


The light is free. The electricity isn't.


I suppose adblock is theft too?


Opinion differs, but many ad-supported sites would say yes. I'm not sure if it has every been tested in court. "Fare dodging" might be a better concept to compare this to.


Iirc, tunneling with iodine is somewhat slow, so

> tunneling youtube over DNS is fine

probably wasn't going to work very well anyway. (Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong, though!)




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