Personally I am confused as to why this was added at all. I know the specific example of using an avatar that says you're under arrest when you're not was used to arrest an Imperial, and I chatted with several asims about it to ensure there wans't a problem. As Selatos told me, its in the motif of lying, which is a vital part of the game.
To me, using a fake avatar to show yourself under arrest is the game equivalent of chewie being escorted into the detention center with loose handcuffs. The combine's 2-d environment doesn't allow us to simulate that quite in the same way, but isn't a fake avatar just teh same? its easily detectable, especially since the real arrest avatar extends outside the picture's borders, and a simple 'copy link location' reveals that its fake. If you take simple precautions, and don't make assumptions, all these deceptions are eaisly detectable.
As for the fake ship avatar, I should not that those are denied to begin with, so its not possible.
What I think needs to be done is something that is done by judges whenever a law is interpreted: Produce a test. Currently the golden rule is a bit vauge "Don't use features for ways other than intended." What is the intent of each feature? how do we know what is intented, what is not? Are we allowed to fake screenshots ? Are we allowed to disguise ourselves as an npc by changing our avatar to the race's main one and removing info fields? These are far far too vauge.
So what sort of test can we use that will be more or less fair to everyone, and still allows the clear abusers to be punished? I can't say I have a definate answer. But for me, looking at a situation, the test has always been: Could there be a logically explanation for this in character? Can it be prevented by the victim? (if yes, than its fair to both sides, if not, than don't use it.)
What do I mean by this? Well using the arrest avatar -> its simply faking your arrest. This is often done in character - just look at a new hope. However what means are there in the game to portray this? Yes, you can actually be arrested, but then thats certainly not faking it. Changing your avatar and faking screenshots is more or less the only way it can done.
As for changing the tie's name, even if we can say its intent was to disguise it as an imperial ship (which i imagine was the itnent). Once again, this is something that happens in character. Think of the lambda shuttle in return of the jedi. So yes, there is an in character explanation. What possible ways are there to do this in the combine? Faking ship ids etc. are not implimented yet. But changing the name of your ship is, and if you've got any sort of a brain, you'll know that its very possible and likely that it could happen.
But those are two examples I wouldn't characterize as abuse. Lets apply the test to something that we would: Having a friendly arrest you in order to prevent the enemy from doing so for 24 hours. What happens here in character: rresting the leader ofYou are arrested by a friend, and this some how makes you invincible for the next 24 hours. Is it preventable by the ohter side: no, they can't possibly know that you're invincible until its too late, nor can they undo it until the time runs out. In this case, it would be abuse.
Another example: using your generator to turn the power off to buildings, when the buildings owner have their own generator. Is this logical in character? of course not. Yeah, its preventable (be careful where you build) but really, its not something that can be explained in character, and the flaw here is not the other side, but the limited nature of the combine's features.
I think that this test would be a good standard, and would be fair to all sides involved. I also think we can then start putting down precedents and explanations based upon this, so that future incidents can be prevented.