Congress joins battle against ticket bots

December 3, 2015

Legislation now pending in Congress would outlaw the use of bots – coded automation used by scalpers – to buy up tickets to concerts and other events before the average buyer can even get in line.

Some members of Congress apparently think that by passing a law, they can beat ticket bots.

The response of IT experts: Good luck with that.

The intentions are the best, of course. Companion bills now pending in the House and Senate are aimed at stopping online ticket scalpers by banning the use of bots – software that can buy hundreds or even thousands of tickets or reservations before the average individual buyer even gets started.

But a law isn’t going to stop the scalpers, according to experts including Rami Essiad, cofounder and CEO of Distil Networks. “You’re trying to combat an enemy you can’t see,” he said. “Making it illegal doesn’t allow you to see them. There’s a lot of legislation saying it’s illegal to hack, but there’s plenty of hacking still going on.”

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