1694: Phishing License

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Phishing License
Later, walking out of jail after posting $10,000 bail: "Wait, this isn't the street the county jail is on."
Title text: Later, walking out of jail after posting $10,000 bail: "Wait, this isn't the street the county jail is on."


In many areas, a fishing license is needed if you want to angle in controlled rivers or lakes.

Phishing is a scam where a criminal sends an email or other message pretending to be from a trusted institution in order to get the victim's password and personal details. Phishing is illegal under both traditional fraud laws and modern cybercrime laws.

Cueball wanted to phish, and saw the sign offering a phishing license. This is of course itself a phishing attempt to lure him to the police station.

The title text takes this further - Cueball went to post bail, but was presumably tricked and instead gave his money to another phisher.


[A sign reads: Phishing license apply here]
Cueball: Hi, I’d like to apply for a—
Ponytail: You’re under arrest.
Cueball: …OK, I should’ve seen that coming.
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Cueball hasn't actually committed phishing yet (or has not provided any evidence to prove he did), so they can't arrest him. 05:17, 22 November 2018 (UTC)

Perhaps it should also mention that the need for a license is analog to the need for one when you actually go fishing. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

While exiting the fake/scam jail, Cueball could have also been amazed that he could pay his bail with *Apple gift cards*. 16:13, 15 June 2016 (UTC)Daniel H

Do I sense a reference to Monty Python's Fish licence sketch here as well? 21:57, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

"Clearly, there is no reason why a license would be available for a clear crime like fraud" I think the tax stamps for illegal drugs come very close to being a license for a clear crime.-- 05:08, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

I agree, there needs to be further clarification of that statement in the explanation, many times criminal activity becomes legal if the government can find a way to tax it Spongebob (talk) 15:10, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

On the other hand, you used to be able to get a pirating license. The ship attacking one, not the copyright infringement. But then again...--Henke37 (talk) 07:31, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

Wasn't that specifically called "privateering?" Or was that something else? CJB42 (talk) 18:23, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but changing the name is just a marketing rebranding exercise and it does not change the actual product. Spongebob (talk) 15:08, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

The idea of a Phishing License is not as stupid as it sounds, many previously illegal activities has been made legal through some framework, like for example Loan Sharks used to be illegal, but somehow Payday Loans are now a legit businesses. Spongebob (talk) 15:04, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Things that became legal after they could be taxed
  • Gambling (most states)