Thursday, 30 July 2009

Lit-bots and Comp-scripts: how the world is getting faster...

I saw this while on holiday published in the International Herald Tribune I was going to blog about it then decided not to becuase it was an isolated case, well I thought it was then I read this about half way down Ben describes this:

"Professional complaints followed in May, mostly about individual chiropractors’ claims. Then, in June, blogger Simon Perry found the BCA database of 1,029 members online, containing 400 website URLs. He wrote a quick computer program to automatically identify all the chiropractors in the UK claiming to treat colic, locate their local Trading Standards office, and report them (more than 500 in total) automatically, followed up with printed letters."

This made me look up. If you haven't read the links here is my main interest in these reasonable disparate stories: they both use simple bots within a legal framework to spam requests. Respectivly one spams buy orders (buy for 1cent more and get a lot of money) the other spams legal letters requests for investigation. This has been online for a while in the form of trawling take down letters, these are simple bots that look for things that may be copyrighted material posted illegally and then spam the ISP of the concerned website with cease and disist letters. My main interest in this is that this sort of thing will produce an arms race, already this is the case on the stock exchange where groups are trying to out do each other with faster systems and smarter algorithms, legally similar systems are likely to evolve: clouds of company bots that exist to absorb the flak of other's take down bots and simlar...

for more ideas read accelerando by charles stross

anyway just thought I'd flag that up as it interests me

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