A loophole is an ambiguity in a system, such as a law or security, which can be used to circumvent or otherwise avoid the intent, implied or explicitly stated, of the system. Loopholes are searched for and used strategically in a variety of circumstances, including taxes, elections, politics, the criminal justice system, or in breaches of security.

Historically, arrow slits were narrow vertical windows from which castle defenders launched arrows from a sheltered position, and were also referred to as "loopholes". Thus a loophole in a law often contravenes the intent of the law without technically breaking it, much as the small slit window in a castle wall provides the only ready means of gaining entry without breaching or destroying the wall or a gate. For example, in some places, one may avoid paying taxes to the jurisdiction by forming a second residence in another location, or a commercial property can be built in a residential zone if it is made also for residential use.

In a security system, the one who breaches the system (such as an inmate escaping from prison) exploits the loophole during the breach. Such weaknesses are often studied in advance by the violator, who spends time observing and learning the routine of the system and sometimes conducts surreptitious tests until such a loophole can be found.

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Other articles related to "loophole":

Loophole (disambiguation)
... A loophole is a weakness that allows a system to be circumvented ... Loophole may also refer to Arrowslit, a slit in a castle wall Loophole (short story), a short science fiction story by Arthur C ... Clarke Loophole (1954 film), a film about a bank teller Loophole (1981 film), a film about a bank robbery Loophole (Law Order Special Victims Unit), an episode of Law Order Special Victims Unit A minor ...
Enron Loophole
... The "Enron loophole" exempts most over-the-counter energy trades and trading on electronic energy commodity markets from government regulation ... The "loophole" was enacted in sections ยง 2(h) and (g) of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, signed by U.S. 2058 specifically to close the "Enron Loophole" ...
List Of Wild Cards Characters - Major - Loophole
... Loophole is a character from the Wild Cards series of books, first appearing in volume III, "Jokers Wild." He was created by George R ... Latham had earned the name Loophole as a mercilessly effective lawyer with the ability to wriggle his clients out of any charges ... An important figure in the Shadow Fist organization, Loophole also went under the alias Prime as leader/creator of the jumpers ...
Bell Test Experiments - Notable Experiments - Ansmann Et Al. (2009) Overcoming The Detection Loophole in Solid State
... This experiment surmounted the detection loophole using a pair of superconducting qubits in an entangled state ... However, the experiment still suffered from the locality loophole because the qubits were only separated by a few millimeters ...
Loophole - Examples
... Though Wal-Mart later withdrew this controversial plan, the plan highlighted a legal loophole ... The process exploits a loophole in the customs definition of a commercial vehicle ...

Famous quotes containing the word loophole:

    I’ll bet your father spent the first year of your life throwing rocks at the stork.
    Irving Brecher, U.S. screenwriter, and Edward Buzzell. J. Cheever Loophole (Groucho Marx)

    I know, you have forgotten those June nights on the Riviera, where we sat ‘neath the shimmering skies, moonlight bathing in the Mediterranean! We were young, gay, reckless! The night I drank champagne from your slipper—two quarts. It would have held more, but you were wearing inner soles!
    Irving Brecher, U.S. screenwriter, and Edward Buzzell. J. Cheever Loophole (Groucho Marx)