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Be careful when using an open WiFi connection you find

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by tke711, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Parents are responsible for their children. That's ALSO the law. This individual is NOT responsible for some criminal sitting outside his house. Wanna try again?
  2. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    <a href="http://dedicated.sbcis.sbc.com/NDWS/sbc_policy/aup.jsp">SBC's AUP disagrees</a>.
  3. Andy



    Hmm I wonder if Verizon has a similar AUP....
  4. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I'm amazed to see so many intelligent people arguing about a point of law that IMHO is an established fact and certainly nothing for laymen to argue about. It's like watching people argue about gravity.

    This reminds me of my friends arguing about whether it's illegal to receive and decode encrypted satellite TV signals since "the signals are falling on my property and I have a right to use anything that lands on my property."

    You guys may think you have the legal right to use any unsecured WiFi signal -- but you're wrong. IMHO you should have the right, but that's just an opinion and not reality as it currently exists.

    I'm not a lawyer so I'll sit back and probably not comment on the rest of this thread.
  5. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    That is an Acceptable Use Policy. It is not law.
  6. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Thank you Misu and thank you Biker for the responses. I will look into purchasing the service. Especially since I wouldn't know if I was hooking into something private.

    I have to say this. I am not DUMB. I am not IGNORANT. I don't need to hire a 12 YEAR OLD. While I may be ignorant of the facts to how the systems work I'm not an asshole as so many of you seem to think those of us not in the know are. I am in a trade, I need tools for that trade, I watch TV, I come in here and ask for recommendations, I go online and I buy something that I am told will work. I have to tell you, that when I bought my laptop there was NOTHING in there that said I would be stealing if I actually used it to the extent that was advertised. The commercials on TV showing the guy in the park using his WIFI doesn't have a disclaimer, oh, by the way, you have to pay extra for the service otherwise you are a thief. So, we aren't all stupid, ignorant, dumb. We are uninformed. And if you guys weren't making me feel like such an asshole, I might actually ask questions, learn more and possibly even stick it out until the end of the thread. :)
  7. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    :rofl: I'm STEALING that and passing it on. What a hoot!
  8. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Cyd, it's not illegal to use advertised "free wifi" at restaurants, hotels, etc. that offer the service. However, if you do need to use it out in front of a house where free wifi is not offered, then by all means subscribe to one of the services.
  9. Andy


    I'd still like to see the exact wording of which law covering WiFi you are staunchly supporting... :)

    From CNet
    Even Law professors are up in the air over this... Current laws do not cover WiFi (yet)

    The original article even call hooking into wide open AP's "Innocuous".

    Cyd, you are smart enough to ask here.. (as is everyone else here.. so if you think I've offended.. I am falling on my sword and appologize.) that puts you head and shoulders above the other 98% of people in the world who are completely clueless when it comes to this sort of cutting edge technology. :)

    But apparently, you have broken the "law" as most of the rest of us who have ever fired up Netstumbler to do a site survey for a potential wireless network customer. Spankings all around. :love:

    This case will be interesting to watch no matter what the outcome.

    Another article about the same case and others..


  10. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I don't have to use laws regarding WiFi. All I need to do is use existing laws regarding unauthorized accessing of networks and computer systems.
  11. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I'm not a lawyer but IMHO Biker has it correct. I believe this is the law that put that curdog Mitnick in jail. :)

    The only wiggly area is the word "intentional." If somebody is so non-technical that they don't realize their laptop's Internet connection is going through somebody else's WiFi then I don't see how they could be prosecuted. Go to jail for being a newbie? Heh -- they'd have to jail half the computer users in America!
  12. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Unfortunatley since you agreed to it when you started recieving service from your ISP, you are bound by it.
  13. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Read the fine print of any AUP or ToS. 99.9% of them will state that if any portion conflicts with existing laws (in other words it was removed because it was challenged), the rest of the AUP stands. In other words, the law trumps the AUP.
  14. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    The AUP has nothing to do with a transgressor soaking up free Internet service through your connection -- he is not a party to the AUP, he agreed to nothing.
  15. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    There is no law conflicting with the AUP on this matter.
  16. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    At least for me your argument has become unclear. Are you saying that since the AUP doesn't mention it's okay for freeloaders to tap your WiFi connection that the law is good with that?

    I don't believe for a minute that you meant that, but IMHO you should state exactly what you do mean.
  17. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    I am saying that the AUP clearly states that the person who is the purchaser of the connection is responsible for its use and security and there is no law contradicting that. Or in layman's terms, if some dude sits outside your house, and uses your wi-fi to download the latest Dave Matthews Band album the RIAA can legally screw you.
  18. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Techie, I give you credit for a lot more smarts than that. That reference in your agreement is the ISP covering their ass when down loaders are pursued by the RIAA. I find it difficult to believe you buy their feeble attempt to disavow all responsibility while you assign full responsibility to the the poor guy just trying to have Internet across his house without wires hanging all over the place.

    Theft is theft. We should not need locks, we should not need security on wireless routers. We only do because so many are dishonest and will steal whatever they can. Justifying it because the honest man did not know as much as a 12 year old is proposing rule by IQ - no, rule by computer savvy. I will not believe you intend to justify that as long as you are computer savvy you should be able to take the property or use the property of those who are not. Not a far cry from rule by the amount of muscle you have and not at all different in principal.
    1 person likes this.
  19. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Aww Cyd, don't take personal offense to it - this type of "crime", whether it be downloading copies of music or using a wireless internet connection your computer's wifi card latches onto is all new and because of this, arrests like this guy's and what the RIAA is doing to music downloaders is setting precedent. Of course your laptop didn't come with anything written saying that using the wireless card in the park without paying for service is illegal (but before I committ to that statement, make sure you check all of the documentation that came with your computer - my HP laptop came with built-in wireless capabilities, and in the user's manual of my HP it says something about paying for your own internet access - I'll look it up later, but I'm almost positive it talked about that). If they did make it plain as day, it would affect THEIR sales - who wants to buy a piece of expensive hardware if they knew it required a subscription service in order to be functional? That would turn a lot of people off from buying a laptop with wifi built in - it's easier to sell the image of sitting in the park checking your email from your laptop rather than the reality.

    And don't let the tech guys in here deter you from asking questions. There are a lot of people within the IT community that have an air of arrogance about them that the rest of us see as them being jerks and elitists. They figure since they took the time to learn this stuff, the rest of us should know it as well, and those of us who don't are "stupid and lazy and idiots", when the truth is we're not - we're just not fascinated by this stuff and instead, are into something else. We use IT stuff as tools to achieve our goals (you for helping your clients find the perfect house, me for finding music to load up my iRiver music player or look up an address on mapquest.com).

    Cyd, you're NOT an asshole. And next time I hear you say something bad about yourself, I'm going to spank you :)
    1 person likes this.
  20. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    We're all bound by the TOS of our ISPs for SERVICE - the worst that can happen for breaking the terms of the TOS is that:

    1. our service gets interrupted and
    2. if copywritten material is involved, they can hand over our contact information to the RIAA and MPAA for them to prosecute us; if illegal activities are involved (like child pornography or death threats) our information will be handed over to the authorties to prosecute us based on state laws.

    But the AUP/TOS isn't law. You can't be tossed in jail because some wardriver latched onto your wireless signal that feeds off your SBC service.

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