The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, Debtember 13, 2004

It may be illegal to protect your own network

A road less traveled

On July 31, 2001, I began the development of what would eventually become LaBrea. The road that was traveled to its current incarnation is well documented, because it was traveled quite publicly and with the help, encouragement, and feedback of many people.

On February 18, 2003, I released the current stable version of LaBrea (version 2.4). By that time, I had begun work on “the next big thing,” although I still get questions about LaBrea daily.

On April 15, 2003, it was brought to my attention that distributing LaBrea from this site may place me in violation of Illinois Compiled Statutes 720 ILCS 5 (Criminal Offenses / Criminal Code of 1961), specifically, Section 16-18 through 16-21.

The “Super DMCA” vs. LaBrea

This section of the Illinois Criminal Code was added on January 1, 2003 by Public Act 92-728 and defines an “unlawful communication device” as “any communication device which is capable of … facilitating the disruption… of a communication service without the express consent or express authorization of the communication service provider …”


It's a shame really. The concept of a network tarpit is wonderful— basically a computer that accepts network connections and puts it on hold (for the technically inclined, it accepts a TCP connection, then only sends out “keep-alive” responses), indefinitely, which is useful in trapping network scans, exploits and virii. Dan (the network engineer I work with) and I were talking about them today and I was surprised he never heard of LeBrea. He was enthusiastic about the concept, and so am I (but never really had a chance to play around with it alas).

But this … gah! In-bloody-sane. It may be illegal to protect your own network—never mind that NATing may be illegal depending on how you read these laws.


Obligatory Picture

[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2024 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.