I have been running alot of javascript code on nike.com through the console in order to create a shoe bot. The code i paste into the console has one intense loop with many iterations which makes me worry as I got a temporary site down when i tried to connect to the site earlier. My code is by no means harmful, all it does is scans the site for elements using normal js functions. Could this be considered as spam? Could I get into trouble? What is considered not okay when running console javascript code on a site in your browser? If my question isn't clear please let me know and I will try to explain it better.

closed as off-topic by Xander, Mark, Steve, Rory Alsop Aug 6 '14 at 7:56

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  • Are you loading any resources from the site using the JavaScript (as in, beyond just browsing to nike.com)? It sounds like you're just doing things to the page that's already loaded, not, say, performing a bunch of AJAX requests. – Kitsune Aug 3 '14 at 3:39
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    Legal questions are not on-topic for the site. That said, if you're running JavaScript that runs inside your browser, that's clearly not an issue. If your JavaScript is making requests to their site however, then they get to decide whether it's an issue or not. – Xander Aug 3 '14 at 3:43
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    If you're just traversing the DOM, then I don't think it's an issue (since you downloaded the page). If you follow links (ie: loop through all <a> elements and set your document.location to it), you could overload the site a bit. – ndrix Aug 3 '14 at 4:19
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is requesting legal advice. – Xander Aug 5 '14 at 13:52
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    This question appears to be off-topic - if you are asking whether you will get in trouble - We cannot know. if you are asking for legal guidance - we cannot provide this; In any case, this question appears far too broad. – Rory Alsop Aug 6 '14 at 7:56

The Javascript is running on your browser, not "on a site". Your browser is doing everything.

You can access their DOM, but that's alright, because you are only seeing content which has been sent to your browser. You can't see other user's data or any of the server internals.

Also, the browser has a number of builtin limits and throttles. I believe the per-host connection limit is 4, so even if you did write some bad javascript that tried to load 1,000,000 urls from the web site, it would only run 4 urls at a time, which is not much extra load for a moderately sized web site.

  • Load is not the only consideration. If he's making requests that do some sort of scraping, for instance, the fact that the tool is JavaScript in the console is immaterial, but the behavior is basically the same as lead to Weev's conviction and imprisonment and Aaron Swartz's prosocution and suicide. It's also similar to what snipers do on EBay every day with the implicit support of the site, so, <shrug />. – Xander Aug 3 '14 at 13:45
  • Both Weev and Swartz were charged in gross data breaches of insider data - not running Javascript in a single browser against a public web site. Totally different situations. – Jeff-Inventor ChromeOS Aug 4 '14 at 1:24
  • That is not correct in either case. Weev was charged with "identity theft and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization" after using a script to pull data off a public website, and Swartz was charged with wire fraud and violations of the CFAA after using a script to pull data off a system he had legitimate access to. – Xander Aug 4 '14 at 15:25
  • I feel like you are being willfully ignorant. There's obviously a huge difference between a guy accessing a completely public web site, with his web browser. If you are a Google employee and you write a script to copy their entire Search engine algorithm and infrastructure to your hard disk, you are going to be prosecuted. You accessed it with authorization, at the time, but you still violated about a dozen laws. – Jeff-Inventor ChromeOS Aug 5 '14 at 2:53
  • Accessing a public website is exactly what Weev did. – Xander Aug 5 '14 at 12:02

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