TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: box_law.txt

A British file on phone boxing and law

     RE: Scare Stories About People Charged For Boxing And Calling Cards
                             DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE
                         by Bender (Chris, Newcastle)

               If you want to dispute or discuss any of these
             points please leave me mail on an Express Board....
     I want to start by mentioning At&t calling cards.
     If you were to make dozens of illegal free-calls to the United
     States, and one day you got caught, no-one would be surprised if BT
     back-billed you and the authorities took legal action against you.
     This explains why people are so ready to believe and spread stories
     about other people that this has supposed to have happened to.
     However, when you use a calling card, you are NOT making an
     illegal free telephone call. 
     The call that originates here is completely legal. You are
     defrauding equipment and/or operators who are in another country
     - outside of UK law.
     For Example:  
     You dial 0800 890 011 for At&t. At&t answer. You are now
     connected to the At&t offices in the US - TOTALLY LEGALLY.
     You give At&t a telephone number and a calling card number, they
     check the card number and then At&t connect you to the number that
     you want to call.  No problem.
     If the card number was not yours to use, then that's fraud;
     but ONLY in the United States, under US law.
     You could actually brag to BT about doing this because it is none
     of their business.  You are defrauding At&t, in America, NOT BT.
     For At&t to take any kind of action against someone it would be 
     up to the US authorities to find out who committed the fraud.
     If that person lived in another country they would have to apply
     for that person's extradition to America in order to bring any
     Unless you were ripping them off big time, and I mean BIG time it
     is extremely unlikely that they would apply for your extradition.  
     How could they catch you anyway, they don't know your number and
     even if they did all that would prove was that it was done on
     your telephone, who could say whether it was you, a friend or
     a flat mate who's fingers actually entered the card number?
     Even in America when someone uses calling cards illegaly it's hard
     for At&t to prove that the person who's name the telephone is in 
     was the one who made calls using a stolen card.
     Unless they have his voice on tape or the authorites can find
     card numbers in his possession the most that they can do is to 
     back-bill that telephone number.  If you don't believe me then ask
     people who you know over there.
     As long as the telephone call that YOU make out of this country is
     done legally you should have nothing to worry about.
     If you call up ANY American company and trick them into connecting
     you to another number then that is their problem.  Even if they send
     you back over to the UK.  Tough shit.  Their problem.
     I've dialed American hotels on 0800 89 numbers and conned them into
     giving me an outside line before. How could BT back-bill ME for that,
     BT were paid for the call.  What could the UK police do about it?
     If I did the same thing to a hotel based here BT would STILL be paid.
     The UK hotel would have to try and take me to court.
     The fact that it's not a hotel but a telephone company that you con
     when you use a calling card doesn't matter, so long as they are 
     outside of the UK.  Even if they are a British phone company based 
     there they can't do anything.
     So long as the call you make to America is made legally it has
     nothing to do with any UK authorities what happens after that.
     If the At&t computers and operators were based in the UK then it'd
     be a different matter, still nothing to do with BT. 
     Look I'll get to the blue-boxing in a second, let me give you another
     example of international law...
     Imagine if I bought a telephone, fitted a bomb inside it then sent it
     to someone in America as a gift.
     One day I call this person up, dial a secret code and blow the
     bastard's brains out.  Murder?  Yeah in America.  Would BT bust me?
     No. So long as I paid for the call or it was an 0800.
     Even the police here couldn't charge me with murder. The most that
     they could do is await an extradition warrant from the US.
     So as far as I can see, using calling cards isn't illegal under
     UK law.  BT chargecards of course would be different because the
     operators and equipment are based here.
     What happens when you apply the above arguments to blue boxing?
     Legal 0800 call. (BT get paid.)
     Okay so far.
     Then you send tones down the line, which fools equipment in Hawaii
     or wherever into connecting you to your favourite American BBS.
     Tough shit GTE.
     Aah! But how did you send the tones?
     You didn't use the keys on your telephone did ya?
      Pair of headphones mate. ILLEGAL. Why? Because if they don't have
      a green circular approval sticker then they are:
                            PROHIBITED from direct or
                         indirect connection to public
                       telecommunication systems. Action
                        may be taken against anyone so
                          connecting this apparatus..
     And that, is what they could do you for. They can't do you
     for tricking equipment in Columbia or Hawaii.

     So what about all of the scare stories?
     You've all heard these rumours. I reckon that they are started by 
     a certain kind of people, the kind of people who wouldn't want
     you to read this file, the sort who will nuke it if you upload
     it to their boards.  They want to scare you into giving up 
     using blue-box programs and calling cards.  Not to be greedy and
     keep it all to themselves - but because they know that if it
     continues to escalate then it will die.

     BT surely MUST know all about blue-boxing (and calling cards).
     Too many people are doing it. The amount of 0800's that have
     died or been filtered in the last few months is unprecedented.

     If you want to help keep boxing alive then you can. But not by
     making up "scare stories" that get discredited later.  Just
     be careful, don't overdo it.  Don't brag to people about it.
     Don't copy your box programs for irresponsible people and kids,
     and for fuck's sake don't make TV programmes about it. 
     I'd like to know what other people think so leave me mail
     on QED.


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