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Wi-Fi Sniffing Question

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November 12, 2004 12:53:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Recently, I posted on a Mac newsgroup about visiting my daughter's townhome,
turning on my Wi-Fi enabled iPaq PDA, and logging on to the net using a signal from
a neighbor's wireless router. My daughter was unsuccessful in doing the same with
her Mac Powerbook notebook. Since then I've been hit with posts calling my actions
"contemptible" and "stealing". I often turn on my iPaq on in a mall or a business to see
if there's a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby. Isn't Wi-Fi sniffing a common practice? Is there
anything unethical about it?

Thanks!
Scott

More about : sniffing question

Anonymous
November 12, 2004 7:54:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

In article <419433C9.2600A769@uslink.net>, Scott <golden@uslink.net> wrote:
:Recently, I posted on a Mac newsgroup about visiting my daughter's townhome,
:turning on my Wi-Fi enabled iPaq PDA, and logging on to the net using a signal from
:a neighbor's wireless router. My daughter was unsuccessful in doing the same with
:her Mac Powerbook notebook. Since then I've been hit with posts calling my actions
:"contemptible" and "stealing".

Those posts are not without justification.

:I often turn on my iPaq on in a mall or a business to see
:if there's a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby. Isn't Wi-Fi sniffing a common practice?

But you didn't just sniff: you actively *used* the neighbour's
equipment to send your traffic to the internet. Sniffing is a passive
activity.

:Is there anything unethical about it?

How much does your daughter's neighbour pay in "excess bandwidth" charges?
Or how much extra does the neighbour pay for an account with a higher
bandwidth limit? Did you offer to compensate the neighbour for the
bandwidth you used?

Hot-spots are generally set up by businesses for the use of their
customers, and non-customers are generally unwelcome unless the
business specifically advertises otherwise. If you went to a local
store one hot summer day and you found that the store had set up a
sprinkler on the lawn for customer's children to run through while a
parent shopped, then would you have gone over and filled a drum with
the water they were supplying, and taken it home to water your lawn?


Your email address appears to indicate that you are somewhere in the
USA. We're still debating some of the fine details of FCC regulations,
so we can't tell you -exactly- where the line is. The FCC regulations
say with respect to the ISR spectrum that if a certain kind of
frequency hopping is being used and no attempt is made to encrypt the
data, that it is not an offence against -that- section of the
regulations to *record* the data [it would not be considered a
wiretap].

If, though, the other kind of frequency hopping or spread spectrum is
being used, or there is any kind of protection at all on the data, then
it is an offence under that section. There are also applicable state
laws. Nothing in the FCC section that permits that one variety of
frequency hopping to be recorded allows for using someone else's
equipment to *transmit* your data. Our arguments are about exactly
which US federal law would best apply in such a case, not about whether
it is permitted.


The question we are still arguing is more or less whether, if caught,
you'd most likely be charged with an FCC civil offence (potentially big
fine and confiscation of *all* your computer equipment, but no criminal
record), or under a minor criminal law [e.g. "Theft under $5000"]
(potentially big fine; potential restraints upon your behaviour for
several years such as being banned from owning a computer for 3 years;
potential jail time up to 2 years less a day to be served in state
prison, criminal record but no loss of civil rights), or whether you'd
be charged under one of the many laws with a -potential- penalty of 2
years or more of jail time (potential big fine, potential jail time in
a state or federal prison, potential permanent restraints on future
behaviour; potential permanent loss of certain civil rights... because
any offence with a -potential- jail term of 2 years or more is a Felony
even if one is only sentance to a token overnight jail visit.)

Incidently, in Canada, the offence is clearly established in law.
It used to be implicit in the computer security laws, but for emphasis
they specifically enacted a "Theft of Telecommunications" offence
that definitely applies to wireless. At least one person has been
formally charged under the law.
--
IEA408I: GETMAIN cannot provide buffer for WATLIB.
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 8:06:37 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

That is a simple question with a multi-faceted answer! Yes there are
unethical issues with it...you are using bandwidth you are not paying
for!! BUT...if the individual/company KNOWS that their network is
available to the public it is NOT stealing bandwidth.
How would you like it if I came to your home and stood outside and
used your network for free? And then did Gods only knows what with
it...maybe porn, maybe warez, maybe music sharing, etc. Who do you
think the people are gonna bust for it....? Me...they don't know who I
am and where I went to AND until they go thru YOUR computers, they
don't even know I EXIST!

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 21:53:45 -0600, Scott <golden@uslink.net> wrote:

>Recently, I posted on a Mac newsgroup about visiting my daughter's townhome,
>turning on my Wi-Fi enabled iPaq PDA, and logging on to the net using a signal from
>a neighbor's wireless router. My daughter was unsuccessful in doing the same with
>her Mac Powerbook notebook. Since then I've been hit with posts calling my actions
>"contemptible" and "stealing". I often turn on my iPaq on in a mall or a business to see
>if there's a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby. Isn't Wi-Fi sniffing a common practice? Is there
>anything unethical about it?
>
>Thanks!
>Scott
Related resources
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 9:05:08 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 21:53:45 -0600, Scott <golden@uslink.net> wrote :

>Recently, I posted on a Mac newsgroup about visiting my daughter's townhome,
>turning on my Wi-Fi enabled iPaq PDA, and logging on to the net using a signal from
>a neighbor's wireless router. My daughter was unsuccessful in doing the same with
>her Mac Powerbook notebook. Since then I've been hit with posts calling my actions
>"contemptible" and "stealing". I often turn on my iPaq on in a mall or a business to see
>if there's a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby. Isn't Wi-Fi sniffing a common practice? Is there
>anything unethical about it?
>
I see several replies saying it is both unethical and illegal, but I
really have some doubts about that: any legislation would have to be
carefully written to avoid a successful challenge. Anyone who sets up
a WiFi system and doesn't encrypt it to restrict access could be
construed as issuing an open invitation for it to be used by anyone.
After all, most air waves are "free to air" and you can listen to
radio and TV for free - except for police channels in some states.
Similarly, two-way HF and UHF CB repeaters are set up all over the
place and are freely accessible to anyone with a CB transceiver to
extend range. What is different about a WiFi?

If my WiFi card can find a useable unencrypted service and log on, it
does so. The only restriction is that I have set a log-on priority,
so that if any of my networks are available, it will log onto one of
them first - after that, anything goes.

I encounter a similar situation as you reported when I visit my
daughter. As soon as I turn on my laptop, it automatically logs on to
a neighbours unencrypted broadband WiFi network and I can access the
Internet to browse and receive email. I can't send email through my
normal server, but I can through my web server.

When the neighbour was acquainted with this situation, and advised to
encrypt to protect his network, he said he "couldn't give a s--t" as
he had unlimited hours and unlimited download and didn't want to
encrypt, so I could "go for it". So I feel comfortable about that,
but not quite so comfortable about some other situations. I can
understand if someone has a limited service and had to pay for
additional usage, that there could be a question of ethics in using
that service without notice to the owner - but if the owner fails to
encrypt or limit access, then it seems to me to be a bit like our
local newspaper, which sets out papers for readers to pick up for free
if they want it.

Hot spots are a different matter - you can log on to them only if you
pay the necessary fee.

So my view is, if you are passing through and it is a "one off" and
you are only going to download a few K in emails and never use that
site again, no harm is done. If it is likely to be a regular
occurrence, then it would be ethical and I think obligatory to
acquaint the WiFi owner of your usage. However, if the owner then
gives an all-clear or fails to encrypt, I wouldn't see any problem in
continuing to use it.

--
Regards,
Peter Wilkins
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 9:05:09 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

In article <cbm8p0hi0ii74cafl7nmu2bh3vgtr767gv@4ax.com>,
Peter Wilkins <wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:
:I see several replies saying it is both unethical and illegal, but I
:really have some doubts about that: any legislation would have to be
:carefully written to avoid a successful challenge. Anyone who sets up
:a WiFi system and doesn't encrypt it to restrict access could be
:construed as issuing an open invitation for it to be used by anyone.

WiFi systems that are connected to the Internet in the USA fall under
the classification of computer systems used for interstate commerce,
and thus are protected systems for the purposes of the US Computer
Fraud and Abuse Statutes. The CFAS say that anyone who uses a
computer system without authorization or who knowingly exceeds their
authorization is in violation; the only exception is for the case
of information kiosks.

:After all, most air waves are "free to air" and you can listen to
:radio and TV for free - except for police channels in some states.
:Similarly, two-way HF and UHF CB repeaters are set up all over the
:p lace and are freely accessible to anyone with a CB transceiver to
:extend range. What is different about a WiFi?

In the USA, is it legal to use "cable descramblers" or hacked
satellite TV cards to get subscription content for free? If not, then
why not, since it's just radio waves?

You missed cell phones, by the way.

When you look more closely at the spectrum allocation, you will find
that there is a -lot- of the spectrum that is only legally accessible
to people with appropriate commercial or amateur licenses. Try setting
up your own FM radio station and see how long your right to -transmit-
signals lasts.
--
Before responding, take into account the possibility that the Universe
was created just an instant ago, and that you have not actually read
anything, but were instead created intact with a memory of having read it.
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 9:05:09 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 18:05:08 +1100, Peter Wilkins
<wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:

>On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 21:53:45 -0600, Scott <golden@uslink.net> wrote :
>
>>Recently, I posted on a Mac newsgroup about visiting my daughter's townhome,
>>turning on my Wi-Fi enabled iPaq PDA, and logging on to the net using a signal from
>>a neighbor's wireless router. My daughter was unsuccessful in doing the same with
>>her Mac Powerbook notebook. Since then I've been hit with posts calling my actions
>>"contemptible" and "stealing". I often turn on my iPaq on in a mall or a business to see
>>if there's a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby. Isn't Wi-Fi sniffing a common practice? Is there
>>anything unethical about it?
>>
>I see several replies saying it is both unethical and illegal, but I
>really have some doubts about that: any legislation would have to be
>carefully written to avoid a successful challenge. Anyone who sets up
>a WiFi system and doesn't encrypt it to restrict access could be
>construed as issuing an open invitation for it to be used by anyone.
>After all, most air waves are "free to air" and you can listen to
>radio and TV for free - except for police channels in some states.
>Similarly, two-way HF and UHF CB repeaters are set up all over the
>place and are freely accessible to anyone with a CB transceiver to
>extend range. What is different about a WiFi?
>
You missed the cell phone frequencies, it used to be okay to listen
but now it is illegal to listen a cell phone conversation you are not
a part of. You also missed that in Virginia nd DC it is illegal to
posses a radar detector. The Police even have radar detector detectors
that can sense your detector and the Police WILL confiscate it and
only return it to you if you come to Court. It is illegal to receive
those frequencies, it is also illegal to transmit on ANY frequency an
airplane uses if not for "official" airplane business. This was
designed to stop people from interfering with plane to ground
communications.
In short, there are LOTS of frequencies that are illegal to use and
activities that are illegal and just because we find them doesn't mean
we can use them.
I guess another analogy would be, you find a bag of money laying on
the ground, it has a Banks name on it, but no one is around, are you
stealing it if you pick it up and keep the money? ABSOLUTELY, and you
WILL be prosecuted for Bank Robbery!
Just because you find it, doesn't mean you can use it!
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 9:05:10 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

It is also illegal to listen in on cellular calls. It is
legal in Canada (or at least it was a number of years back). You
could go to Canada and buy a scanner that would listen in on cellular
calls. But if you tried to bring it back into the United States and
were caught, you were in big trouble because listening in on cellular
calls is considered [in the U.S.] to be wiretapping.

Just because you can 'listen' to just about anything else, on
all [except the commercial (television, AM, and FM) broadcast and on
amateur radio] radio services, you are not legally allowed to divulge
the contents of or use the information 'for profit'. This means (for
example) that a tow truck company that monitored the police and fire
frequencies [for the purpose of finding accidents or people who
otherwise needed a tow] is in violation of the law for using the
intercepted communications for gain. I'm not saying it doesn't happen
all the time because it does. But that doesn't make it legal.

Knowingly gaining access to someone else's communication
system without their approval is risky business. So, 'free to listen
to whatever you want' is a relatively loose term. Listening carries
responsibility.



Fred
Anonymous
November 12, 2004 10:00:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

you must be one of those guys that`s always reasonable,
Mr reasonable, you're not using your front yard right now, my dog will just
add a little moisture, there's no reason for him to leave a plop.
Anonymous
November 13, 2004 7:09:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

bumtracks wrote:
> you must be one of those guys that`s always reasonable,
> Mr reasonable, you're not using your front yard right now, my dog will just
> add a little moisture, there's no reason for him to leave a plop.

I'm not so unreasonable as to expect a dumb animal to defecate in a
toilet. Humans, however, can usually be trained to accomplish simple
tasks like picking up their pet's feces.

I think a sense of social responsibility sets in at about the same stage
of development where children realize that sarcasm is, indeed, the wit
of fools.

William.
Anonymous
November 13, 2004 4:50:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 15:08:07 GMT, f/f george <george@yourplace.com>
wrote :

snip
>In short, there are LOTS of frequencies that are illegal to use and
>activities that are illegal and just because we find them doesn't mean
>we can use them.

I couldn't agree more - but not everything is quite so black and
white, and I don't know that the law is yet completely firmed up
regarding WiFi, particularly here in Oz where I don't think the
government even knows what the term means.

>I guess another analogy would be, you find a bag of money laying on
>the ground, it has a Banks name on it, but no one is around, are you
>stealing it if you pick it up and keep the money? ABSOLUTELY, and you
>WILL be prosecuted for Bank Robbery!

That money was already lost or stolen - a better analogy would be if
the bank was deliberately throwing banknotes out the window and you
picked them up - can you keep them? Probably!

>Just because you find it, doesn't mean you can use it!

Of course, and if you read my original post you would note that when
faced with this situation (when visiting my daughter my computer
automatically logs on to a neighbours network) we acquainted him of
the situation (it took a few days to find out WHICH neighbour was
broadcasting) and received his blessing. But what should I have done
if I had not received his blessing? He wouldn't encrypt and my
computer automatically logs on to his network as soon as it is turned
on. So I suppose I shouldn't turn on my computer while visiting my
daughter, but why should I be penalised because someone won't take the
elementary precaution of limiting access to his network?

I don't know the answer, I'm no lawyer, but I think it is not
completely black or white - there has to be room for some compromise.
If you take someone's bandwidth by stealth, then there is no argument
in my mind: it is at least immoral and probably illegal. But if you
advise him of the problem and he takes no steps to prevent it, then I
think the matter should become a bit grey, and the law should be a bit
more lenient.



--
Regards,
Peter Wilkins
Anonymous
November 13, 2004 4:50:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 13:50:23 +1100, Peter Wilkins
<wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:

>On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 15:08:07 GMT, f/f george <george@yourplace.com>
>wrote :
>
>snip
>>In short, there are LOTS of frequencies that are illegal to use and
>>activities that are illegal and just because we find them doesn't mean
>>we can use them.
>
>I couldn't agree more - but not everything is quite so black and
>white, and I don't know that the law is yet completely firmed up
>regarding WiFi, particularly here in Oz where I don't think the
>government even knows what the term means.
>
Well I wouldn't want to be the first person tried for violating
whatever they will call it!

>>I guess another analogy would be, you find a bag of money laying on
>>the ground, it has a Banks name on it, but no one is around, are you
>>stealing it if you pick it up and keep the money? ABSOLUTELY, and you
>>WILL be prosecuted for Bank Robbery!
>
>That money was already lost or stolen - a better analogy would be if
>the bank was deliberately throwing banknotes out the window and you
>picked them up - can you keep them? Probably!
>
AHHH...that was the point of my analogy! YOU are still going to be
charged with bank robbery! YOU kept the money and didn't turn it in!
That makes you an "accessory after the fact".

>>Just because you find it, doesn't mean you can use it!
>
>Of course, and if you read my original post you would note that when
>faced with this situation (when visiting my daughter my computer
>automatically logs on to a neighbours network) we acquainted him of
>the situation (it took a few days to find out WHICH neighbour was
>broadcasting) and received his blessing. But what should I have done
>if I had not received his blessing? He wouldn't encrypt and my
>computer automatically logs on to his network as soon as it is turned
>on. So I suppose I shouldn't turn on my computer while visiting my
>daughter, but why should I be penalised because someone won't take the
>elementary precaution of limiting access to his network?
>
If you advise him and he still won't do anything about it you STILL
don't have the legal right to use it. He has not told you it is okay.
Maybe he is just too obtuse to recognize the problem. Don't get caught
ESPECIALLY after you told him of the problem!!!

>I don't know the answer, I'm no lawyer, but I think it is not
>completely black or white - there has to be room for some compromise.
>If you take someone's bandwidth by stealth, then there is no argument
>in my mind: it is at least immoral and probably illegal. But if you
>advise him of the problem and he takes no steps to prevent it, then I
>think the matter should become a bit grey, and the law should be a bit
>more lenient.
The law is NEVER more gray or lenient! It is ALWAYS black and white,
laywers just want you to THINK it is grey! There are NO COLORS in the
law books!
Anonymous
November 13, 2004 4:50:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 13:50:23 +1100, in alt.internet.wireless , Peter
Wilkins <wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:

>Of course, and if you read my original post you would note that when
>faced with this situation (when visiting my daughter my computer
>automatically logs on to a neighbours network) we acquainted him of
>the situation (it took a few days to find out WHICH neighbour was
>broadcasting) and received his blessing. But what should I have done
>if I had not received his blessing? He wouldn't encrypt and my
>computer automatically logs on to his network as soon as it is turned
>on.

You should properly configure your computer to prevent it doing that.

>So I suppose I shouldn't turn on my computer while visiting my
>daughter, but why should I be penalised because someone won't take the
>elementary precaution of limiting access to his network?

Its his fault he's not taking precautions, but you still have a duty to
avoid acting illegally. An analogy might be if he insisted on leaving the
doors and windows open, it would still be illegal for you to enter his
house. So you must make reasonable efforts.


--
Mark McIntyre
CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html&gt;
CLC readme: <http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/clc.welcome.txt&gt;

----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----
Anonymous
November 15, 2004 10:09:27 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Taking a moment's reflection, f/f george mused:
|
| You also missed that in Virginia nd DC it is illegal to
| posses a radar detector. The Police even have radar detector detectors
| that can sense your detector and the Police WILL confiscate it and
| only return it to you if you come to Court. It is illegal to receive
| those frequencies ...

It's only illegal in those states because no one has challenged the law
and taken it to the Supreme Court. The State law against radar detectors is
unconstitutional according to the stipulation that unencrypted RF band
transmission can be freely received by anyone. This is why passive sniffing
of wireless networks is legal, but connection (which would also involve
transmitting) is illegal. However, until someone appeals the law in those
states, they remain enforceable.
Anonymous
November 15, 2004 10:21:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Taking a moment's reflection, Walter Roberson mused:
|
| I disagree. Anyone who has been a part of the computer culture for
| more than a couple of months knows that there are millions and
| millions of computer systems out there owned by people who don't
| have a clue how to properly secure their systems, or even that
| their systems need to be secured.

That argument kind of defeats itself doesn't it? ;-)
Anonymous
November 16, 2004 2:23:24 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

In article <H97md.409234$D%.219516@attbi_s51>,
mhicaoidh <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailŠPäM.com> wrote:
[with regard to radar detectors]

: It's only illegal in those states because no one has challenged the law
:and taken it to the Supreme Court. The State law against radar detectors is
:unconstitutional according to the stipulation that unencrypted RF band
:transmission can be freely received by anyone.

Could you clarify which 'stipulation' that is?
--
The Knights Of The Lambda Calculus aren't dead --this is their normal form!
Anonymous
November 16, 2004 2:50:08 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

>In article <H97md.409234$D%.219516@attbi_s51>,
>mhicaoidh <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailŠPäM.com> wrote:
>[with regard to radar detectors]
>
>: It's only illegal in those states because no one has challenged the law
>:and taken it to the Supreme Court. The State law against radar detectors is
>:unconstitutional according to the stipulation that unencrypted RF band
>:transmission can be freely received by anyone.
>
UMMM....NOT! In Virginia it WAS taken to the Supreme court and it was
decided in the State's favor, because to allow the reception of "those
particular" frequencies "enhanced" the breaking of the law.
I am not able to cite the case, but the Police do it all the time.
No other States, except Michigan and the District of Columbia, have
banned the reception of those frequencies while travelling, to my
knowledge.

Also the free reception is NOT guaranteed! It is allowed except where
the Police or other Law type organizations would be harmed because of
the reception. The Law is rarely cut and dry, and is FULL of
exceptions.
Anonymous
November 16, 2004 2:13:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 19:09:27 GMT, "mhicaoidh"
<®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailŠPäM.com> wrote :

>Taking a moment's reflection, f/f george mused:
>|
>| You also missed that in Virginia nd DC it is illegal to
>| posses a radar detector. The Police even have radar detector detectors
>| that can sense your detector and the Police WILL confiscate it and
>| only return it to you if you come to Court. It is illegal to receive
>| those frequencies ...
>
> It's only illegal in those states because no one has challenged the law
>and taken it to the Supreme Court. The State law against radar detectors is
>unconstitutional according to the stipulation that unencrypted RF band
>transmission can be freely received by anyone. This is why passive sniffing
>of wireless networks is legal, but connection (which would also involve
>transmitting) is illegal. However, until someone appeals the law in those
>states, they remain enforceable.
>
That's a very interesting comment.
The software and hardware provided in my laptop by Toshiba and Bill
Gates automatically scans the 2.4 and 5GHz bands (legal you say, if
I'm prepared to take it to the Supreme Court) but then automatically
connects to the best available unencrypted a, b or g network if mine
is not available - which you say is definitely illegal. I don't think
I can stop it doing this except by turning off the WiFi card (if
anyone knows how, please post details) so it seems I have been sold a
product which forces me to break the law every time I turn it on away
from home!

Do I have a case to sue Bill Gates or Toshiba????? :-)

Or better yet, would Bill be interested in getting the law made more
practical and realistic?
--
Regards,
Peter Wilkins
Anonymous
November 16, 2004 2:13:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

In article <9rgip05tee3k7a2adt9u0d9gupcg9vfh2h@4ax.com>,
Peter Wilkins <wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:
:The software and hardware provided in my laptop by Toshiba and Bill
:Gates automatically scans the 2.4 and 5GHz bands (legal you say, if
:I'm prepared to take it to the Supreme Court) but then automatically
:connects to the best available unencrypted a, b or g network if mine
:is not available - which you say is definitely illegal. I don't think
:I can stop it doing this except by turning off the WiFi card (if
:anyone knows how, please post details)

At worst, turn off XP's Zero Wireless Configuration. As it says right
in XP's help on the Wireless Connection page:


To disable automatic wireless network configuration

Automatic wireless network configuration is enabled by default in
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). With this setting, you
can connect to an existing wireless network, change wireless
network connection settings, set up a new wireless network
connection, and specify the wireless network that you prefer to
use.

If you are using non-Microsoft wireless configuration software, you
should disable automatic wireless network configuration. To
configure settings on the Wireless Networks tab, you must be logged
on to this computer as an administrator.

1. Open Network Connections.
2. Right-click Wireless Network Connection, and then click Properties.
3. On the Wireless Networks tab, clear the Use Windows to configure
my wireless network settings check box.

--
I wrote a hack in microcode,
with a goto on each line,
it runs as fast as Superman,
but not quite every time! -- Don Libes et al.
Anonymous
November 17, 2004 3:01:32 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On 16 Nov 2004 02:49:34 GMT, roberson@ibd.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca (Walter
Roberson) wrote :

>
>At worst, turn off XP's Zero Wireless Configuration. As it says right
>in XP's help on the Wireless Connection page:

Thanks for that, but I seem to be using Toshiba software called
"ConfigFree" and not the XP Zero Wireless Config.

I haven't yet found how to turn off autoconnect with ConfigFree - it's
back to RTFM.
>
snip

> If you are using non-Microsoft wireless configuration software, you
> should disable automatic wireless network configuration. To
> configure settings on the Wireless Networks tab, you must be logged
> on to this computer as an administrator.
>
> 1. Open Network Connections.
> 2. Right-click Wireless Network Connection, and then click Properties.
> 3. On the Wireless Networks tab, clear the Use Windows to configure
> my wireless network settings check box.

I don't see a wireless network tab - probably because I'm using
Configfree. Perhaps I should switch to using the windows S/W.

Ah, what the hell, I'll just leave it be: if I accidentally log on to
someone else's network, I'll just turn off the wireless power switch.



--
Regards,
Peter Wilkins
Anonymous
November 17, 2004 11:22:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 00:01:32 +1100, Peter Wilkins
<wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote :

>On 16 Nov 2004 02:49:34 GMT, roberson@ibd.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca (Walter
>Roberson) wrote :
>
>>
>>At worst, turn off XP's Zero Wireless Configuration. As it says right
>>in XP's help on the Wireless Connection page:
>
>Thanks for that, but I seem to be using Toshiba software called
>"ConfigFree" and not the XP Zero Wireless Config.
>
>I haven't yet found how to turn off autoconnect with ConfigFree - it's
>back to RTFM.
>>
Just for info, I managed to switch to using Windows Zero Config and
got it working OK, including not automatically connecting.
However, the disadvantages of turning off auto connect are too great -
When I move away from my desktop stations at home or work, and unplug
the 100M ethernet cable, the laptop no longer automatically switches
to the slower wireless connection, and I lose my connection.
If I leave autoswitch on but set connections to manual, the laptop
autoswitches and connects to the wireless OK but can't get an address
assigned.
Also, ConfigFree complains that the profiles I had set up for our
different locations and networks will no longer work, as they have
been overridden by Windows.

It's all too hard for this senile 70 year-old brain. I've set
everything back to auto and if I inadvertently connect to someone
else's network for a few minutes until I notice and disconnect, then I
just hope I don't get caught. Still, it probably won't matter if I do
- I'll be long dead and gone before it would ever get to court here!

Seems to me the law is an ass in this situation and needs updating to
take account of modern technology. I reckon that if anyone opens up a
WiFi system and doesn't protect it (which is pretty easy to do, as
even I can do it) then they shouldn't have any complaint if someone
else uses it.

--
Regards,
Peter Wilkins
Anonymous
November 17, 2004 11:22:15 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

In article <chqkp015433qd4jgqvfebt52lngahkjpsr@4ax.com>,
Peter Wilkins <wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:
:Seems to me the law is an ass in this situation and needs updating to
:take account of modern technology. I reckon that if anyone opens up a
:WiFi system and doesn't protect it (which is pretty easy to do, as
:even I can do it) then they shouldn't have any complaint if someone
:else uses it.

My spouse doesn't use a steering wheel lock on the car. Does that mean we
"shouldn't have any complaint" if someone puts a jimmy down the window
and steals the car?
--
So you found your solution
What will be your last contribution?
-- Supertramp (Fool's Overture)
Anonymous
November 17, 2004 11:22:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Walter Roberson wrote:
> In article <chqkp015433qd4jgqvfebt52lngahkjpsr@4ax.com>,
> Peter Wilkins <wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:
> :Seems to me the law is an ass in this situation and needs updating to
> :take account of modern technology. I reckon that if anyone opens up a
> :WiFi system and doesn't protect it (which is pretty easy to do, as
> :even I can do it) then they shouldn't have any complaint if someone
> :else uses it.
>
> My spouse doesn't use a steering wheel lock on the car. Does that mean we
> "shouldn't have any complaint" if someone puts a jimmy down the window
> and steals the car?

Of course not: a car is too valuable for anyone to assume they can use
it without permission. Everyone knows, or should know, that it's so.

A WiFi hotspot, however, can be used without damage or inconvenience
suffered by its owner, and I think there's a societal paradyme shift
going on, in which bandwidth is becoming inexpensive enough that it's
not worth the cost to deny it to others.

The costs of wireless, like that of PC's (drive through any town on
trash day: you'll see at least one PC that was worth over $1,000 less
than half a decade ago) is declining, and I think it will reach the
point where sharing it with others is simply a polite thing to do, like
taking a turn providing coffee for the after-meeting social at your
house of worship.

I may be wrong, and am probably overly optimistic, but that's life. If
you don't think your connection should be shared, then don't. Even WEP,
although flawed, is an effective "Keep Off" sign, and can be implemented
quickly: please, however, don't assume that others agree with you.

We guard what we value: money, privacy, the respect of others. If
everybody benefits from sharing wireless, and it costs little or nothing
to do so, and our privacy can be assured, then I think average Internet
users will lose respect for those who hoard.

FWIW. YMMV.

William

(Filter noise from my address for direct replies.)
November 17, 2004 11:22:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

"William Warren" <william_warren_nonoise@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:BUxmd.619816$8_6.101379@attbi_s04...
> Walter Roberson wrote:
>> In article <chqkp015433qd4jgqvfebt52lngahkjpsr@4ax.com>,
>> Peter Wilkins <wilkinsp_nospam@ozemail.com.au> wrote:
>> :Seems to me the law is an ass in this situation and needs updating to
>> :take account of modern technology. I reckon that if anyone opens up a
>> :WiFi system and doesn't protect it (which is pretty easy to do, as
>> :even I can do it) then they shouldn't have any complaint if someone
>> :else uses it.
>>
>> My spouse doesn't use a steering wheel lock on the car. Does that mean we
>> "shouldn't have any complaint" if someone puts a jimmy down the window
>> and steals the car?
>
> Of course not: a car is too valuable for anyone to assume they can use it
> without permission. Everyone knows, or should know, that it's so.
>
> A WiFi hotspot, however, can be used without damage or inconvenience
> suffered by its owner, and I think there's a societal paradyme shift going
> on, in which bandwidth is becoming inexpensive enough that it's not worth
> the cost to deny it to others.

As an aside, that's "paradigm", not "paradyme".

One thing that people frequently omit from these discussions is the question
of who owns the bandwidth. There is a tendency to think the hotspot owns all
the resources. In fact, the thing you want - the bandwidth provided by the
ISP - does not belong to the hotspot at all. It's a service provided by an
ISP under contract. People providing free wifi access to their home cable or
DSL are almost always violating their EUAs. Technically, a case can be made
that they are abetting theft of service. In practice, the provider will
simply terminate the service if it's abused.

I belong to a volunteer wifi group that helps businesses install and
provision wifi for free use. We council all venues to get business-class
cable or DSL service. Local service providers agree that this class of
service grants the client the right to make the service available to the
public.

Bandwidth is certainly becoming cheaper and more widely available, but that
fact is unrelated to ethical or legal questions about your right to use an
unsecured hotspot.

>
> The costs of wireless, like that of PC's (drive through any town on trash
> day: you'll see at least one PC that was worth over $1,000 less than half
> a decade ago) is declining, and I think it will reach the point where
> sharing it with others is simply a polite thing to do, like taking a turn
> providing coffee for the after-meeting social at your house of worship.

You certainly have a right to share your personal network resources via
wifi. But not services provided by someone else, unless they agree to it.

>
> I may be wrong, and am probably overly optimistic, but that's life. If you
> don't think your connection should be shared, then don't. Even WEP,
> although flawed, is an effective "Keep Off" sign, and can be implemented
> quickly: please, however, don't assume that others agree with you.

I think most people here agree that anyone who has a clue and doesn't want
to be an open hotspot should at least be using WEP.

>
> We guard what we value: money, privacy, the respect of others. If
> everybody benefits from sharing wireless, and it costs little or nothing
> to do so, and our privacy can be assured, then I think average Internet
> users will lose respect for those who hoard.

There's no free lunch. If every home connection becomes a portal for dozens
of end users, then two things happen:

1. Cable/DSL load rises much more rapidly then planned, requiring additional
buildout.
2. The subscriber base to pay for it grows far more slowly then planned.

The net result is that subscriber rates increase. I don't mind at all if
someone else volunteers to pay more to subsidize free internet access, but
if this free access raises my rates, it amounts to an unfair tax.


>
> FWIW. YMMV.
>
> William
>
> (Filter noise from my address for direct replies.)
November 17, 2004 11:22:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

William,

Very well said.

Scott

William Warren wrote:

>
> >
> > My spouse doesn't use a steering wheel lock on the car. Does that mean we
> > "shouldn't have any complaint" if someone puts a jimmy down the window
> > and steals the car?
>
> Of course not: a car is too valuable for anyone to assume they can use
> it without permission. Everyone knows, or should know, that it's so.
>
> A WiFi hotspot, however, can be used without damage or inconvenience
> suffered by its owner, and I think there's a societal paradyme shift
> going on, in which bandwidth is becoming inexpensive enough that it's
> not worth the cost to deny it to others.
>
> The costs of wireless, like that of PC's (drive through any town on
> trash day: you'll see at least one PC that was worth over $1,000 less
> than half a decade ago) is declining, and I think it will reach the
> point where sharing it with others is simply a polite thing to do, like
> taking a turn providing coffee for the after-meeting social at your
> house of worship.
>
> I may be wrong, and am probably overly optimistic, but that's life. If
> you don't think your connection should be shared, then don't. Even WEP,
> although flawed, is an effective "Keep Off" sign, and can be implemented
> quickly: please, however, don't assume that others agree with you.
>
> We guard what we value: money, privacy, the respect of others. If
> everybody benefits from sharing wireless, and it costs little or nothing
> to do so, and our privacy can be assured, then I think average Internet
> users will lose respect for those who hoard.
>
> FWIW. YMMV.
>
> William
>
> (Filter noise from my address for direct replies.)
Anonymous
November 17, 2004 7:21:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On 16 Nov 2004 23:10:48 GMT, roberson@ibd.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca (Walter
Roberson) wrote :
>
>My spouse doesn't use a steering wheel lock on the car. Does that mean we
>"shouldn't have any complaint" if someone puts a jimmy down the window
>and steals the car?

Someone who jimmys your window did so because you took the sensible
precaution of locking your car. That's all I ask - that people who
don't want others to use their WiFi networks take the sensible and
simple precaution of locking (encrypting) them.

That's not to say that people should feel free to use other peoples
unsecured WiFi networks without any conditions - but a one-off
transient shouldn't be a problem to anyone. I do use a neighbours
network on a fairly regular basis when visiting my daughter - but only
after going to the trouble of finding out which neighbour it was, and
then asking him if it was OK.
--
Regards,
Peter Wilkins
Anonymous
November 17, 2004 10:10:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

gary wrote:
> "William Warren" <william_warren_nonoise@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:BUxmd.619816$8_6.101379@attbi_s04...
>
[snip]
>>A WiFi hotspot, however, can be used without damage or inconvenience
>>suffered by its owner, and I think there's a societal paradyme shift going
>>on, in which bandwidth is becoming inexpensive enough that it's not worth
>>the cost to deny it to others.
>
>
> As an aside, that's "paradigm", not "paradyme".

Noted, thanks.

[snip]

> There's no free lunch. If every home connection becomes a portal for dozens
> of end users, then two things happen:
>
> 1. Cable/DSL load rises much more rapidly then planned, requiring additional
> buildout.
> 2. The subscriber base to pay for it grows far more slowly then planned.
>
> The net result is that subscriber rates increase. I don't mind at all if
> someone else volunteers to pay more to subsidize free internet access, but
> if this free access raises my rates, it amounts to an unfair tax.

I agree. If I implied that I thought ADSL/Cable/whatever connections
should be shared with "dozens" of end users SO AS TO DENY THE ISP
REVENUE, then I wrote unclearly, and I apologize.

My argument is that when "everybody" has an always on, high speed
connection, that it will become a societal norm for people to share it
via WiFi, so as to afford mobile access to others who ALSO have always
on, high speed connections and who ALSO share them. In this scenario,
the ISP gains by selling pipes to multiple subscribers, and by the
increased revenue from value-added services that only make sense in an
environment where portability is taken for granted, such as paperless
menus in restaurants.

Nobody likes a freeloader, least of all me, but we all make exceptions
for the elderly, the infirm, and the disadvantaged, according to a set
of norms that change over time. I think those norms will change to make
shared WiFi something we all just do, like mowing our lawns.

I may be wrong. I hope not.

William

(Filter noise from my address for direct replies.)
Anonymous
November 18, 2004 3:08:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I am not saying its right but if they cant lock down there wireless
routers then its there own fault. People need to read and learn about
there equipment, if you dont your just an idiot who deserves it.


--
ace420
http://forums.speedguide.net
November 18, 2004 9:36:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

On Thu, 18 Nov 2004 00:08:29 -0500, ace420
<ace420.1fwibd@no-mx.earth.universe.org> wrote:

>
>I am not saying its right but if they cant lock down there wireless
>routers then its there own fault. People need to read and learn about
>there equipment, if you dont your just an idiot who deserves it.

Good lord. If you are going to refer to other people as idiots, you really need
to get a basic grasp of spelling and punctuation.

-----
I am not saying it's right, but if they can't lock down their wireless routers
then it's their own fault. People need to read and learn about their equipment.
If you don't, then you're just an idiot who deserves it.
-----

Notice the differences?
Anonymous
November 18, 2004 12:26:25 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

"gary" <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:_Qymd.17250$fC4.7821@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com...
>
> "William Warren" <william_warren_nonoise@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:BUxmd.619816$8_6.101379@attbi_s04...
>> Walter Roberson wrote:
>> A WiFi hotspot, however, can be used without damage or inconvenience
>> suffered by its owner, and I think there's a societal paradyme shift
>> going on, in which bandwidth is becoming inexpensive enough that it's not
>> worth the cost to deny it to others.
>
> As an aside, that's "paradigm", not "paradyme".
>
>
> I belong to a volunteer wifi group that helps businesses install and
> provision wifi for free use. We council all venues to get business-class

And of course, that should be "counsel".

Pot to kettle, come in... If you really must start criticising other
people's use of English, better make sure you double-check your own posting.
LOL

John
November 20, 2004 8:53:58 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

"John Blessing" <newsgroup@LbeHelpdesk.com> wrote in message
news:303860F2qthe0U1@uni-berlin.de...
>
>
> "gary" <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> news:_Qymd.17250$fC4.7821@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com...
>>
>> "William Warren" <william_warren_nonoise@comcast.net> wrote in message
>> news:BUxmd.619816$8_6.101379@attbi_s04...
>>> Walter Roberson wrote:
>>> A WiFi hotspot, however, can be used without damage or inconvenience
>>> suffered by its owner, and I think there's a societal paradyme shift
>>> going on, in which bandwidth is becoming inexpensive enough that it's
>>> not worth the cost to deny it to others.
>>
>> As an aside, that's "paradigm", not "paradyme".
>>
>>
>> I belong to a volunteer wifi group that helps businesses install and
>> provision wifi for free use. We council all venues to get business-class
>
> And of course, that should be "counsel".
>
> Pot to kettle, come in... If you really must start criticising other
> people's use of English, better make sure you double-check your own
> posting. LOL

Kettle back to pot.

You're right, it's "counsel". Thanks for pointing this out. At least my
misspelling is actually a word, though not the one I intended.

>
> John
>
Anonymous
November 21, 2004 10:46:09 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Taking a moment's reflection, Walter Roberson mused:
|
| Could you clarify which 'stipulation' that is?

It was in the FCC charter. However, upon looking at the dates of my
source documents, I see they are likely no longer current (early 80's).
Anonymous
November 21, 2004 10:47:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Taking a moment's reflection, Walter Roberson mused:
|
| My spouse doesn't use a steering wheel lock on the car. Does that mean we
| "shouldn't have any complaint" if someone puts a jimmy down the window
| and steals the car?

If there existed a culture of some car owners leaving their cars in
public places for anyone to use, you might not. Of course, that would also
assume the doors were left unlocked too. ;-)
Anonymous
November 22, 2004 6:21:21 AM

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

mhicaoidh <ÆÍmıvÈ_mhic_aoidh@hot—ÓXmailäP‰M.com> wrote:

> Taking a moment's reflection, Walter Roberson mused:
> |
> | My spouse doesn't use a steering wheel lock on the car. Does that mean we
> | "shouldn't have any complaint" if someone puts a jimmy down the window
> | and steals the car?
>
> If there existed a culture of some car owners leaving their cars in
> public places for anyone to use, you might not. Of course, that would also
> assume the doors were left unlocked too. ;-)

Which nicely suggests the basic question at the heart of this thread:
What are the social conventions regarding use of an unencrypted wireless
network by a stranger?

Wi-Fi is still too new to have much in the way of generally accepted
conventions. (Consider that we're still arguing about SSID hiding.) That
newness also means that many owners of access points are quite clueless
about the technology they're using. Such widespread ignorance has to be
taken into account when making inferences about unencrypted networks.
From my home, I can see two other wireless networks. One uses WEP, and
the other has an SSID of "linksys". Can I infer that the owner of
"linksys" doesn't mind if I use it to get Internet access? No. Were the
network named "come and get it" or were I sitting in a restaurant in a
commercial zone, my answer would probably be different.

The only sensible approach, given the current state of public knowledge,
is that any wireless network must be presumed to be private unless its
owner has in some way advertised, by a descriptive SSID or otherwise,
that it is open for public use.
!