There are sites, for example 'moodys.com', which require an explicit agreement to the terms and conditions on every vist (e.g. https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-affirms-Chang-Hwa-Commercial-Banks-ratings-outlook-stable--PR_394007 .) I understand that if you click 'I Agree', that is legally binding. But I don't have to click I agree, instead it is possible to just go into your browsers developer tools, and just remove that popup from the screen, and continue to browse normally. Does this then exempt me from their terms and conditions - which I never read or agreed to? Is this a violation of some sort? I don't know how it could be because you're just changing what is locally displayed on your machine, if I were to screenshot the page and whiteout the terms and conditions that wouldn't be illegal would it? Is that not the same here? Most importantly though does that process exempt you from their T&Cs, sorry for the longwindedness.

1 Answer 1


In such a case the person who bypasses the terms knows that use of the site is conditioned on agreement to the terms, and has taken an explicit action to continue past the terms and use the site. I suspect that if a dispute were to arise where this is relevant, it would be held that taking such action was legally equivalent to clicking "I agree". But I don't know of any court case on this point, and i can't be sure what a court would do.

If having intentionally bypassed the terms, such a person tried to raise his or her lack of consent to the terms as a defense to some obligation imposed by those terms, such equitable concepts as "unclean hands" and estoppel might be raised, since such a person, in effect, leads the other party, the site owner, to believe that s/he has accepted the terms, I suspect that such a person will be treated as having accepted them.

If this becomes at all common, I suppose that the designers of such sites will in future store a record of such consent being given, and not allow the user to proceed unless it has been.

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