Free Wireless Internet? I don't get it.

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

I was at a school today that had wireless access so I fired up my
laptop and used its wireless port for the first time. It was great.

So I get home tonight and turn on the computer -- my laptop was still
set for wireless because I had never turned it off.

Lo and behold, the Internet works on my home PC even though my phone
cord is not plugged in. I checked out the specs -- it's a different
wireless service than the one at the school. I made sure my connection
was firewalled and as safe as I possibly could.

I'm not sure what this is about. I guess there must be someone nearby
with a wireless connection and my computer tapped into it. I went back
to the phone cord.

Anyone ever have this happen? Is this theft of service, if I use it,
or are the airwaves free?
35 answers Last reply
More about free wireless internet
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    In article <1b0df3ea.0405301920.5595349d@posting.google.com>,
    you@askjfk.com (Emma Winner) wrote:

    > I was at a school today that had wireless access so I fired up my
    > laptop and used its wireless port for the first time. It was great.
    >
    > So I get home tonight and turn on the computer -- my laptop was still
    > set for wireless because I had never turned it off.

    You have a neighbor with a non-secure network. I have one right next
    door to me. I use it sometimes just to see if it's still there. Some
    people are incredibly stupid.

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

    "Emma Winner" <you@askjfk.com> wrote in message
    news:1b0df3ea.0405301920.5595349d@posting.google.com...
    > I was at a school today that had wireless access so I
    fired up my
    > laptop and used its wireless port for the first time. It
    was great.
    >
    > So I get home tonight and turn on the computer -- my
    laptop was still
    > set for wireless because I had never turned it off.
    >
    > Lo and behold, the Internet works on my home PC even
    though my phone
    > cord is not plugged in. I checked out the specs -- it's a
    different
    > wireless service than the one at the school. I made sure
    my connection
    > was firewalled and as safe as I possibly could.
    >
    > I'm not sure what this is about. I guess there must be
    someone nearby
    > with a wireless connection and my computer tapped into it.
    I went back
    > to the phone cord.
    >
    > Anyone ever have this happen? Is this theft of service, if
    I use it,
    > or are the airwaves free?

    this has been asked & answered a few times. As I understand
    it, if you use the other persons connection without his
    knowledge, that is technicaly theft. I believe also, in the
    US, he can also be held liable if you use his connection,
    albeit unknowingly, for nefarious purposes. As for the
    airwaves being free?..nothing in this life is ever free ;-)

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

    "PJB" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:WLCY53201C9A34@wilecoyote.homeip.net...
    >
    > "Emma Winner" <you@askjfk.com> wrote in message
    > news:1b0df3ea.0405301920.5595349d@posting.google.com...
    > > I was at a school today that had wireless access so I
    > fired up my
    > > laptop and used its wireless port for the first time. It
    > was great.
    > >
    > > So I get home tonight and turn on the computer -- my
    > laptop was still
    > > set for wireless because I had never turned it off.
    > >
    > > Lo and behold, the Internet works on my home PC even
    > though my phone
    > > cord is not plugged in. I checked out the specs -- it's a
    > different
    > > wireless service than the one at the school. I made sure
    > my connection
    > > was firewalled and as safe as I possibly could.
    > >
    > > I'm not sure what this is about. I guess there must be
    > someone nearby
    > > with a wireless connection and my computer tapped into it.
    > I went back
    > > to the phone cord.
    > >
    > > Anyone ever have this happen? Is this theft of service, if
    > I use it,
    > > or are the airwaves free?
    >
    > this has been asked & answered a few times. As I understand
    > it, if you use the other persons connection without his
    > knowledge, that is technicaly theft. I believe also, in the
    > US, he can also be held liable if you use his connection,
    > albeit unknowingly, for nefarious purposes. As for the
    > airwaves being free?..nothing in this life is ever free ;-)
    >
    > P.
    You are no doubt right that this is theft. It would make more sense if it
    was only theft i I stand on my neighbours property when I use his internet.
    It is my neighbours responsibility to prevent acces on my property. After
    all, if his dog strays on my property then have I stolen his dog?.
    Should I sue my neighbour for sending unwanted radiowaves into my house?
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    E.D. <erik.d@Fieldingroth.com> wrote:

    > After
    > all, if his dog strays on my property then have I stolen his dog?.

    No, but you have no right to shoot it! (Except when you are from Texas).

    --
    Groeten,

    Antonio (Voor email, verwijder X)
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Mon, 31 May 2004 12:52:43 +0200, "E.D." <erik.d@Fieldingroth.com>
    wrote:

    >
    >"PJB" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    >news:WLCY53201C9A34@wilecoyote.homeip.net...
    >>
    >> this has been asked & answered a few times. As I understand
    >> it, if you use the other persons connection without his
    >> knowledge, that is technicaly theft. I believe also, in the
    >> US, he can also be held liable if you use his connection,
    >> albeit unknowingly, for nefarious purposes. As for the
    >> airwaves being free?..nothing in this life is ever free ;-)
    >>
    >> P.
    >You are no doubt right that this is theft. It would make more sense if it
    >was only theft i I stand on my neighbours property when I use his internet.
    >It is my neighbours responsibility to prevent acces on my property. After
    >all, if his dog strays on my property then have I stolen his dog?.
    >Should I sue my neighbour for sending unwanted radiowaves into my house?
    >>
    >>

    You are free to *receive* (ie. passively monitor) your neighbors radio
    waves (in the US anyway). The courts have consistently ruled that
    anyone broadcasting an unscrambled transmission cannot presume that
    the transmission will be kept private.

    However, using your neighbor's access point involves an active
    exchange with it. The law is very clear that such access requires
    permission from your neighbor.

    George
    --
    Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST o NET
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "George Neuner"
    | >> this has been asked & answered a few times. As I understand
    | >> it, if you use the other persons connection without his
    | >> knowledge, that is technically theft. I believe also, in the
    | >> US, he can also be held liable if you use his connection,
    | >> albeit unknowingly, for nefarious purposes. As for the
    | >> airwaves being free?..nothing in this life is ever free ;-)
    | >>
    | >> P.
    | >You are no doubt right that this is theft. It would make more sense if it
    | >was only theft i I stand on my neighbours property when I use his
    internet.
    | >It is my neighbours responsibility to prevent acces on my property. After
    | >all, if his dog strays on my property then have I stolen his dog?.
    | >Should I sue my neighbour for sending unwanted radiowaves into my house?
    | >>
    | >>
    |
    | You are free to *receive* (ie. passively monitor) your neighbors radio
    | waves (in the US anyway). The courts have consistently ruled that
    | anyone broadcasting an unscrambled transmission cannot presume that
    | the transmission will be kept private.

    Not necessarily true. Wireless intercept laws and case law are complicated.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Tue, 1 Jun 2004 09:43:21 -0400, "Not Me" <me@privacy.net> wrote:

    >
    >"George Neuner"

    >| You are free to *receive* (ie. passively monitor) your neighbors radio
    >| waves (in the US anyway). The courts have consistently ruled that
    >| anyone broadcasting an unscrambled transmission cannot presume that
    >| the transmission will be kept private.
    >
    >Not necessarily true. Wireless intercept laws and case law are complicated.
    >

    *** DISCLAIMER ***

    I am not an attorney, but several members of my family are attorneys
    in intellectual propery, real estate and general practice.

    *** DISCLAIMER ***

    AFAIK, The law is pretty clear that receiving radio signals is not a
    crime. It is a crime to transmit in certain frequency ranges without
    a license, but those same frequencies can be received without one. A
    crime is only committed when a listener takes steps to decode a
    deliberately scrambled signal without permission or when information
    gleaned from listening is used in the further commission of a crime.

    Civil actions, OTOH, are all over the map. It's difficult to predict
    outcomes because anyone can sue for any perceived wrong and the facts
    are inconsistent from case to case. However, the largest civil case
    I am aware of involved competing traffic information companies - one
    of which was monitoring the other's, supposedly private, helicoptor
    reports and reporting the information as their own. The judge in that
    case ruled ( rightly I think ) that because the transmissions were
    made in the clear, there could no expectation of privacy.

    George
    --
    Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST o NET
  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, Not Me mused:
    |
    | Not necessarily true. Wireless intercept laws and case law are
    | complicated.

    While they may be complicated, that doesn't mean they are not clear.
    Establishing two-way traffic on someone else's network constitutes
    connecting and using that network. In the case of consumer network, the
    owner and the connector are probably both in violation. The owner with the
    ISP's TOS and the connector with the legality of an unauthorized connection.
    Though, in the States, just because you do something that is technically
    illegal, it doesn't mean you will necessarily be charged with a crime, or
    convicted if charged.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    We do have this conversation periodically. I am certainly not a lawyer, and
    the one person in my family who is a lawyer doesn't specialize in this.

    Nonetheless, I find it hard to believe that anyone can claim to know for
    certain that the law is perfectly clear in the U.S. about intercepted
    transmissions. In the first place, much of the applicable law is privacy
    law, and the bulk of this law is state, not federal, law. Federal law does
    *not* prevent state law from being more restrictive.

    California and New York have strict laws forbidding the monitoring of
    unencrypted cordless phone signals transmitted in the unlicensed radio
    bands, in spite of "reasonable expectation of privacy". New Mexico has a law
    forbidding monitoring of communications including "wireless" - it places no
    restrictions on whether the wireless communication is encrypted or not, or
    in an unlicensed band. Fourteen states have specific laws forbidding
    monitoring of cell phones, even though these transmissions are also
    unencrypted. Actually, federal law also forbids cell phone monitoring, and
    the production and sale of devices that allow it.

    I think that very few of these laws have been tested against wifi. Even if
    you assume they do not apply, there may be other privacy laws that do - for
    example, if you record the intercepted information, or if you post it to the
    internet or otherwise spread it around.

    "George Neuner" <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote in message
    news:3k9pb01sfiuqheka4m6lugir4mj6ul2dl7@4ax.com...
    > On Tue, 1 Jun 2004 09:43:21 -0400, "Not Me" <me@privacy.net> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"George Neuner"
    >
    > >| You are free to *receive* (ie. passively monitor) your neighbors radio
    > >| waves (in the US anyway). The courts have consistently ruled that
    > >| anyone broadcasting an unscrambled transmission cannot presume that
    > >| the transmission will be kept private.
    > >
    > >Not necessarily true. Wireless intercept laws and case law are
    complicated.
    > >
    >
    > *** DISCLAIMER ***
    >
    > I am not an attorney, but several members of my family are attorneys
    > in intellectual propery, real estate and general practice.
    >
    > *** DISCLAIMER ***
    >
    > AFAIK, The law is pretty clear that receiving radio signals is not a
    > crime. It is a crime to transmit in certain frequency ranges without
    > a license, but those same frequencies can be received without one. A
    > crime is only committed when a listener takes steps to decode a
    > deliberately scrambled signal without permission or when information
    > gleaned from listening is used in the further commission of a crime.
    >
    > Civil actions, OTOH, are all over the map. It's difficult to predict
    > outcomes because anyone can sue for any perceived wrong and the facts
    > are inconsistent from case to case. However, the largest civil case
    > I am aware of involved competing traffic information companies - one
    > of which was monitoring the other's, supposedly private, helicoptor
    > reports and reporting the information as their own. The judge in that
    > case ruled ( rightly I think ) that because the transmissions were
    > made in the clear, there could no expectation of privacy.
    >
    > George
    > --
    > Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST o NET
  10. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Please don't top post.
    A: Top posting.
    Q: What's the most annoying behavior on Usenet.


    On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 17:37:36 GMT, "gary" <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net>
    wrote:

    > I find it hard to believe that anyone can claim to know for
    >certain that the law is perfectly clear in the U.S. about intercepted
    >transmissions. In the first place, much of the applicable law is privacy
    >law, and the bulk of this law is state, not federal, law. Federal law does
    >*not* prevent state law from being more restrictive.

    That's the beauty of case law - no one can ever know for certain.

    States can further restrict Federal law when Federal law does not
    explicitly disallow it - there have been a number of laws written
    expressly to forbid state modification ... e.g., statutes giving
    Federal priority to criminal prosecution for a lesser charge and many
    laws dealing with interstate commerce.


    >California and New York have strict laws forbidding the monitoring of
    >unencrypted cordless phone signals transmitted in the unlicensed radio
    >bands, in spite of "reasonable expectation of privacy". New Mexico has a law
    >forbidding monitoring of communications including "wireless" - it places no
    >restrictions on whether the wireless communication is encrypted or not, or
    >in an unlicensed band. Fourteen states have specific laws forbidding
    >monitoring of cell phones, even though these transmissions are also
    >unencrypted. Actually, federal law also forbids cell phone monitoring, and
    >the production and sale of devices that allow it.

    You are correct, but these laws are extensions of previously existing
    wiretapping statutes to cover new technology. They pertain only to
    telephone use and do not apply to, eg., CB or shortwave, police, fire,
    EMT, civil defense or aircraft radio transmissions.

    In 1991, a tropical storm destroyed the transmission towers of WBZ
    1030AM, a 50KW station in the Boston MA. When the towers were rebuilt
    in the spring of 1992, their alignment was different than it had been
    previously. For almost 2 months, residents living near the towers in
    parts of Hingham, Hull and Scituate received WBZ through a myriad of
    electrical appliances - including wierd things like toasters, ceiling
    fans and refrigerators. It came through telephones, intercoms, radios
    and televisions (even when turned off) and was superimposed on other
    broadcasts making them difficult to understand. It so overwhelmed the
    police sideband radios that emergency communication was nearly
    impossible in some parts of Scituate and Hull.

    The WBZ incident was certainly a fluke, but I lived that nightmare.
    There is no pratical way to prevent radio reception regardless of
    stupid laws to the contrary. If my braces happen to tune in
    somebody's portable phone - what the hell am I supposed to do about
    it? The laws are only meant to discourage unethical practices.


    >I think that very few of these laws have been tested against wifi. Even if
    >you assume they do not apply, there may be other privacy laws that do - for
    >example, if you record the intercepted information, or if you post it to the
    >internet or otherwise spread it around.

    I said previously that *using* the information in any way could very
    well be a crime.


    George
    --
    Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST o NET
  11. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Thanks everyone for your posts. I'm the original poster who got this
    going. Obviously its a grey area.

    I do live in New York. I just had the wifi button automatically set
    for on and happened to be picking up service. No password required.
    And I have no desire to try to intercept someone's personal data. I
    really don't have a desire to use someone else's wifi service, but if
    I were, say, 17, I could see doing it without consideration for the
    law.

    Though it does seem like if my house is facing the burden of someone
    else's radio waves, I should get some payback. Say these waves are
    biologically dangerous? Or hurt other reception in the house (cell
    phones, a.m. radio, etc.)? I doubt these things to be true, but you
    never know?

    I have a relative who has TV cable wires going over his property and
    the cable company gave him free lifetime premium cable.
  12. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 12:21:19 -0400, in alt.internet.wireless , George
    Neuner <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote:

    >AFAIK, The law is pretty clear that receiving radio signals is not a
    >crime.

    correct

    >A crime is only committed when a listener takes steps to decode a
    >deliberately scrambled signal without permission or when information
    >gleaned from listening is used in the further commission of a crime.

    The meat of this is in the definition of "decoding".

    802.11 is not an analogue signal you can simply listen to with a cats
    whisker and crystal. A court might rule that "going equipped" to translate
    the raw radio waves into meaningful data was in and of itself enough
    evidence that your intentions were dishonorable.

    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:09:19 +0100, Mark McIntyre
    <markmcintyre@spamcop.net> wrote:

    >On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 12:21:19 -0400, in alt.internet.wireless , George
    >Neuner <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote:
    >
    >>AFAIK, The law is pretty clear that receiving radio signals is not a
    >>crime.
    >
    >correct
    >
    >>A crime is only committed when a listener takes steps to decode a
    >>deliberately scrambled signal without permission or when information
    >>gleaned from listening is used in the further commission of a crime.
    >
    >The meat of this is in the definition of "decoding".
    >
    >802.11 is not an analogue signal you can simply listen to with a cats
    >whisker and crystal. A court might rule that "going equipped" to translate
    >the raw radio waves into meaningful data was in and of itself enough
    >evidence that your intentions were dishonorable.

    That's true, but not necessarily relevent. Emergency scanners operate
    on side bands and spread spectrum and are perfectly legal. The issue
    AFAICT is whether the transmission was deliberately scrambled with the
    expectation that it would then be private.

    George
    --
    Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST o NET
  14. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "George Neuner" <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote in message
    news:f9lpb0116q8nal4hs2463lh8e2r5jg2ie3@4ax.com...
    > Please don't top post.
    > A: Top posting.
    > Q: What's the most annoying behavior on Usenet.

    I was not responding point-by-point, but making general comments. I realize
    style preferences vary from person to person, but you can't please everyone,
    can you? There is no "proper" style for posting, any more than there is a
    single monolithic law that deals with wireless interception.

    >
    >
    > On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 17:37:36 GMT, "gary" <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    > > I find it hard to believe that anyone can claim to know for
    > >certain that the law is perfectly clear in the U.S. about intercepted
    > >transmissions. In the first place, much of the applicable law is privacy
    > >law, and the bulk of this law is state, not federal, law. Federal law
    does
    > >*not* prevent state law from being more restrictive.
    >
    > That's the beauty of case law - no one can ever know for certain.
    >
    > States can further restrict Federal law when Federal law does not
    > explicitly disallow it - there have been a number of laws written
    > expressly to forbid state modification ... e.g., statutes giving
    > Federal priority to criminal prosecution for a lesser charge and many
    > laws dealing with interstate commerce.

    I assume the relevant Federal law is 18 USC 2511. This contains several
    clauses beginning with the phrases:

    "It shall not be unlawful under this chapter"
    "Notwithstanding any other provision of this title or section 705 or 706 of
    the Communications Act of 1934"
    "It shall not be unlawful under this chapter or chapter 121 of this title
    for any person"

    Nowhere can I find any wording indicating that states are not free to make
    independent and more restrictive law.

    >
    >
    > >California and New York have strict laws forbidding the monitoring of
    > >unencrypted cordless phone signals transmitted in the unlicensed radio
    > >bands, in spite of "reasonable expectation of privacy". New Mexico has a
    law
    > >forbidding monitoring of communications including "wireless" - it places
    no
    > >restrictions on whether the wireless communication is encrypted or not,
    or
    > >in an unlicensed band. Fourteen states have specific laws forbidding
    > >monitoring of cell phones, even though these transmissions are also
    > >unencrypted. Actually, federal law also forbids cell phone monitoring,
    and
    > >the production and sale of devices that allow it.
    >
    > You are correct, but these laws are extensions of previously existing
    > wiretapping statutes to cover new technology. They pertain only to
    > telephone use and do not apply to, eg., CB or shortwave, police, fire,
    > EMT, civil defense or aircraft radio transmissions.

    I am not claiming that these laws will apply to wifi. I am claiming that it
    is not clear that they do not. I cite the specific state laws regarding
    cordless phones to indicate that some states believe that some kinds of
    unencrypted transmissions in an unlicensed band are entitled to protection
    beyond what Federal law offers. These laws are all worded so that they do
    not apply to accidental interception - intent (which, to some extent, has to
    be measured by behavior) makes a difference.

    Even if these state laws do not apply, wifi could be added to the list -
    just as cordless phones were - if state legislatures come to believe that
    there is a privacy issue that needs to be dealt with.

    I'm not interested in trying to prove that some specific state law does or
    does not prohibit wifi eavesdropping. I'm trying to counter the impression
    that Federal law about radio interception is the only law that matters, or
    even that radio interception is the only legal issue. This is simply not
    true. I'm also trying to make the point that eavesdropping just because you
    can is at least unethical, and probably a legally grey area.

    >
    > In 1991, a tropical storm destroyed the transmission towers of WBZ
    > 1030AM, a 50KW station in the Boston MA. When the towers were rebuilt
    > in the spring of 1992, their alignment was different than it had been
    > previously. For almost 2 months, residents living near the towers in
    > parts of Hingham, Hull and Scituate received WBZ through a myriad of
    > electrical appliances - including wierd things like toasters, ceiling
    > fans and refrigerators. It came through telephones, intercoms, radios
    > and televisions (even when turned off) and was superimposed on other
    > broadcasts making them difficult to understand. It so overwhelmed the
    > police sideband radios that emergency communication was nearly
    > impossible in some parts of Scituate and Hull.
    >
    > The WBZ incident was certainly a fluke, but I lived that nightmare.
    > There is no pratical way to prevent radio reception regardless of
    > stupid laws to the contrary. If my braces happen to tune in
    > somebody's portable phone - what the hell am I supposed to do about
    > it? The laws are only meant to discourage unethical practices.

    Isn't this example a bit extreme? Surely you acknowledge that there is a
    difference between a neighbor who is clueless enough to run a wide-open wifi
    network and a radio station which is clearly violating all sorts of laws to
    generate a signal so powerful that you can't avoid receiving it, even
    without a device designed to be a radio receiver!

    I hesitate to get into more examples, because examples quickly become
    tortured hypotheticals. I'll just say that privacy law is an extremely
    tricky thing. Not all of the relevant law has to do specifically with
    intercepting radio signals.

    >
    >
    > >I think that very few of these laws have been tested against wifi. Even
    if
    > >you assume they do not apply, there may be other privacy laws that do -
    for
    > >example, if you record the intercepted information, or if you post it to
    the
    > >internet or otherwise spread it around.
    >
    > I said previously that *using* the information in any way could very
    > well be a crime.

    In New York, merely recording a cordless phone conversation is illegal. It
    doesn't have to be used "in furtherance of a crime", it is a crime. As I
    suggested above, other privacy laws that have nothing to do with
    intercepting radio signals may apply. Just to make it clear: I'm not saying
    that accidentally picking up your neighbor's signal is illegal, or
    unethical. But consciously deciding to monitor his network traffic is a
    different thing. Intent matters.

    >
    >
    > George
    > --
    > Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST o NET
  15. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:27:24 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "gary"
    <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

    >
    >"George Neuner" <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote in message
    >news:f9lpb0116q8nal4hs2463lh8e2r5jg2ie3@4ax.com...
    >> Please don't top post.
    >> A: Top posting.
    >> Q: What's the most annoying behavior on Usenet.
    >
    >I was not responding point-by-point, but making general comments.

    The trick, if you are doing that, is to avoid annoying those of us who
    dislike top=posting by removing all the material below your own remarks.
    This is presumably ok since if you didn't need to refer to it by quoting it
    in context, its irrelevant to your own post.


    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 16:35:08 -0400, in alt.internet.wireless , George
    Neuner <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote:

    >On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:09:19 +0100, Mark McIntyre
    ><markmcintyre@spamcop.net> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>802.11 is not an analogue signal you can simply listen to with a cats
    >>whisker and crystal. A court might rule that "going equipped" to translate
    >>the raw radio waves into meaningful data was in and of itself enough
    >>evidence that your intentions were dishonorable.
    >
    >That's true, but not necessarily relevent. Emergency scanners operate
    >on side bands and spread spectrum and are perfectly legal.

    I've no idea what you mean by emergency scanner, so I can't comment on
    that.

    >The issue
    >AFAICT is whether the transmission was deliberately scrambled with the
    >expectation that it would then be private.

    My point was that 802.11 /is/ scrambled, for any definition you care to
    use, from the point of view of "ordinary" nondigital radio.

    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 08:39:49 -0400, George Neuner <gneuner2@dont.spam.me>
    wrote:

    >You are free to *receive* (ie. passively monitor) your neighbors radio
    >waves (in the US anyway). The courts have consistently ruled that
    >anyone broadcasting an unscrambled transmission cannot presume that
    >the transmission will be kept private.

    Incorrect. Cellphones are a perfect example. Analog phones and even home
    cordless phones have "an expectation of privacy" and are illegal to monitor
    (ie - receive) at all if you are not the intended recipient.
  18. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    George Neuner wrote:

    >
    > You are free to *receive* (ie. passively monitor) your neighbors radio
    > waves (in the US anyway). The courts have consistently ruled that
    > anyone broadcasting an unscrambled transmission cannot presume that
    > the transmission will be kept private.

    Slightly OT, but you are not entirely free to receive. RADAR detectors,
    which merely detect but do not decode or transmit, are illegal in two
    states (CT and VA) and in DC; and, by federal law (so I've been told)
    are illegal in commercial vehicles anywhere in the US. The conflict
    between federal (free to receive) laws and the state (RADAR ban) laws
    have been fought in court several times, and the state laws have always
    been upheld; a pity IMHO.
    --
    Cheers, Bob
  19. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    |
    | The trick, if you are doing that, is to avoid annoying those of us who
    | dislike top=posting by removing all the material below your own remarks.
    | This is presumably ok since if you didn't need to refer to it by quoting
    | it in context, its irrelevant to your own post.

    That's still not going to keep some plonker from coming along any
    posting a "please include some of the message you are replying to in your
    response" message. ;-)
  20. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, Bob Willard mused:
    |
    | Slightly OT, but you are not entirely free to receive. RADAR detectors,
    | which merely detect but do not decode or transmit, are illegal in two
    | states (CT and VA) and in DC; and, by federal law (so I've been told)
    | are illegal in commercial vehicles anywhere in the US. The conflict
    | between federal (free to receive) laws and the state (RADAR ban) laws
    | have been fought in court several times, and the state laws have always
    | been upheld; a pity IMHO.

    The only reason is because they have not been taken to the Federal
    level. I believe the reception of RF signals is Constitutional law, and the
    States cannot write laws which infringe upon such laws. However, until
    challenged on a Federal level, they are enforceable. It's been a while
    since I paid much attention to the radar detector issue, but I seem to
    recall that some detector manufacturer was offering to financially assist in
    the defense if someone where willing to "go all the way" in one of these
    states.
  21. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    |
    | I've no idea what you mean by emergency scanner, so I can't comment on
    | that.

    Commonly known as Police Band Scanners ...

    | My point was that 802.11 /is/ scrambled, for any definition you care to
    | use, from the point of view of "ordinary" nondigital radio.

    You've mixed your metaphors. Raw 802.11 is not scrambled by any
    definition. If you have the tool to receive it, and you are in range, then
    the signal is yours. Scrambling requires the tool to receive, and the means
    to descramble. That's a bit like saying TV band waves are scrambled because
    I cannot receive them on my radio.
  22. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    I find interlinear posting annoying, unless it really is a series of
    specific responses to individual points.I would much rather read a single
    unified piece of text at the beginning or the end. The original text is not
    irrelevant, I may want to refer to it, but I am not so lazy that I can't
    scroll the text.

    We could debate this objectively, but it would be a waste of keystrokes.
    Your objection to top-posting is an arbitrary choice you have made. Others
    have made a different choice. I prefer top-posting, but I tolerate
    interlinear. If you are unable to do the same, then it's really your
    problem.

    Much ado about nothing.

    "mhicaoidh" <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailSPäM.com> wrote in message
    news:pvmvc.35800$eY2.5442@attbi_s02...
    > Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    > |
    > | The trick, if you are doing that, is to avoid annoying those of us who
    > | dislike top=posting by removing all the material below your own remarks.
    > | This is presumably ok since if you didn't need to refer to it by quoting
    > | it in context, its irrelevant to your own post.
    >
    > That's still not going to keep some plonker from coming along any
    > posting a "please include some of the message you are replying to in your
    > response" message. ;-)
    >
    >
  23. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, gary mused:
    |
    | Your objection to top-posting is an arbitrary choice you have made.

    I have not raised an objection to top-posting. Someone else did that.
  24. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Yeah, I should've backed up one level in the thread. Sorry.

    "mhicaoidh" <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailSPäM.com> wrote in message
    news:6Upvc.36714$js4.31304@attbi_s51...
    > Taking a moment's reflection, gary mused:
    > |
    > | Your objection to top-posting is an arbitrary choice you have made.
    >
    > I have not raised an objection to top-posting. Someone else did that.
    >
    >
  25. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 15:45:35 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "mhicaoidh"
    <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailŠPäM.com> wrote:

    >Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    >|
    >| I've no idea what you mean by emergency scanner, so I can't comment on
    >| that.
    >
    > Commonly known as Police Band Scanners ...

    Euh, those are illegal in the UK.

    >| My point was that 802.11 /is/ scrambled, for any definition you care to
    >| use, from the point of view of "ordinary" nondigital radio.
    >
    > You've mixed your metaphors. Raw 802.11 is not scrambled by any
    >definition.

    I'm not mixing any metaphors, I'm making an argument that could easily be
    made in court, and I suspect might well stand up.

    802.11 is not interpretable by a radio reciever, it has to be decoded by a
    computer programme or equivalent dedicated hardware. This is virtually the
    definition of signal scrambling. Try in your lawyers mind to separate the
    technical processes going on in this and in your sat TV descrambler.

    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 15:42:18 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "mhicaoidh"
    <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailŠPäM.com> wrote:

    >Taking a moment's reflection, Bob Willard mused:
    >|
    >| Slightly OT, but you are not entirely free to receive. RADAR detectors,
    >| which merely detect but do not decode or transmit, are illegal in two
    >| states (CT and VA) and in DC; and, by federal law (so I've been told)
    >| are illegal in commercial vehicles anywhere in the US. The conflict
    >| between federal (free to receive) laws and the state (RADAR ban) laws
    >| have been fought in court several times, and the state laws have always
    >| been upheld; a pity IMHO.
    >
    > The only reason is because they have not been taken to the Federal
    >level. I believe the reception of RF signals is Constitutional law, and the
    >States cannot write laws which infringe upon such laws.

    As far as I understand it, and I'm a UK resident, you're quite wrong. State
    laws can and do override federal laws unless the federal law explicitly
    states to the contrary. I guess that as you say tho, a test case would
    prove it.


    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 20:30:38 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "gary"
    <pleasenospam@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

    >Yeah, I should've backed up one level in the thread. Sorry.

    Well, FWIW I find top-posting INCREDIBLY irritating in technical groups, as
    it destroys the logical flow of the text and makes it impossible to discern
    who said what, to whom and when. As you just demonstrated.

    I therefore plonk persistent offenders as their remarks are IMHO worthless
    without context.
    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    No. State laws may be more restrictive than Federal laws, but a state law
    may never override a Federal law. Federal laws may only be passed in areas
    where the Constitution explicitly has granted the Federal government that
    power. In all other areas, states are free to pass laws.

    Ron Bandes, CCNP, CTT+, etc.

    "Mark McIntyre" <markmcintyre@spamcop.net> wrote in message
    news:9hjsb099l7rj7g0sr2b1j9pp43ni1lalhl@4ax.com...
    > On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 15:42:18 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "mhicaoidh"
    > <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailSPäM.com> wrote:
    >
    > >Taking a moment's reflection, Bob Willard mused:
    > >|
    > >| Slightly OT, but you are not entirely free to receive. RADAR
    detectors,
    > >| which merely detect but do not decode or transmit, are illegal in two
    > >| states (CT and VA) and in DC; and, by federal law (so I've been told)
    > >| are illegal in commercial vehicles anywhere in the US. The conflict
    > >| between federal (free to receive) laws and the state (RADAR ban) laws
    > >| have been fought in court several times, and the state laws have always
    > >| been upheld; a pity IMHO.
    > >
    > > The only reason is because they have not been taken to the Federal
    > >level. I believe the reception of RF signals is Constitutional law, and
    the
    > >States cannot write laws which infringe upon such laws.
    >
    > As far as I understand it, and I'm a UK resident, you're quite wrong.
    State
    > laws can and do override federal laws unless the federal law explicitly
    > states to the contrary. I guess that as you say tho, a test case would
    > prove it.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Mark McIntyre
    > CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    > CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>
    >
    >
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  29. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    |
    | I'm not mixing any metaphors, I'm making an argument that could easily be
    | made in court, and I suspect might well stand up.

    I doubt it.

    | 802.11 is not interpretable by a radio reciever, it has to be decoded by a
    | computer programme or equivalent dedicated hardware. This is virtually the
    | definition of signal scrambling. Try in your lawyers mind to separate the
    | technical processes going on in this and in your sat TV descrambler.

    That's the flaw. The "equivalent dedicated hardware" is the wireless
    network card ... just as is the radio to radio band transmissions. Radio
    and TV band scramblers are then added to the mix ... just as WEP/WPA is
    added to WLAN transmissions.

    802.11b in a raw state can be received and understood by any 11x spec
    WLAN card. Once your encrypt it, however, this is not necessarily true.
    So, maintaining that raw 802.11 traffic is the same as scrambled traffic is
    simply wrong headed.
  30. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    |
    | As far as I understand it, and I'm a UK resident, you're quite wrong.
    | State laws can and do override federal laws unless the federal law
    | explicitly states to the contrary. I guess that as you say tho, a test
    | case would prove it.

    State laws may not over step Federal laws. The Civil War pretty much
    asserted the Federal government's authority over that of the states'. State
    laws, however, can "add" to Federal law.

    For example, assume there is a Federal law that says that US citizens
    may not drive red or black automobiles (since they are statistically higher
    in accident and theft incidents). A state may draft a law that its citizens
    may not drive red, black, or green cars. This parallel's the Federal law,
    and adds green cars to the list (which only applies in that state).

    However, the state may not pass a law that bans the driving of red and
    green cars, but specifically allows for its citizens to drive black cars.
    This infringes upon the Federal law. In real life, much like the radar
    detector laws in some states, this law could stay on the books and be
    enforceable until someone charged under the law appealed to a Federal court
    on the grounds that the Federal law was being infringed.
  31. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 13:36:23 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "Ron Bandes"
    <RunderscoreBandes @yah00.com> wrote:

    >No. State laws may be more restrictive than Federal laws, but a state law
    >may never override a Federal law.

    Sorry, my bad wording. What I meant to express was "state laws are allowed
    to be more restrictive, except in cases where Federal law is explicitly
    defined to be supreme".


    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 18:59:57 GMT, in alt.internet.wireless , "mhicaoidh"
    <®êmõvé_mhic_aoidh@hotÑîXmailŠPäM.com> wrote:

    >So, maintaining that raw 802.11 traffic is the same as scrambled traffic is
    >simply wrong headed.

    I'm not maintaining anything. I'm putting forward an argument that a lawyer
    might put to a non-technical jury or magistrate, who might I fear be hard
    pressed to see the difference between a "special card you need to decode
    802.11" and a "special card you need to decode satellite TV". Such fine
    distinctions abound in our lives. They're the bread-and-butter of
    lawyering, and are only proven by case law.


    --
    Mark McIntyre
    CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
    CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc.html>


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

    Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    |
    | Sorry, my bad wording. What I meant to express was "state laws are allowed
    | to be more restrictive, except in cases where Federal law is explicitly
    | defined to be supreme".

    Federal law is explicitly defined to be supreme ... always. States can
    *add* to the Federal laws (to make them more specific or of wider scope),
    but States may not diminish the scope of Federal law.
  34. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Taking a moment's reflection, Mark McIntyre mused:
    |
    | I'm not maintaining anything. I'm putting forward an argument ...

    That's different how, exactly?

    | a lawyer might put to a non-technical jury or magistrate, who might I fear
    | be hard pressed to see the difference between a "special card you need to
    | decode 802.11" and a "special card you need to decode satellite TV".
    | Such fine distinctions abound in our lives. They're the bread-and-butter
    | of lawyering, and are only proven by case law.

    You're forgetting how easily someone who is identified as an expert can
    make that lawyer look like a complete buffoon. The only way that argument
    would win would be if the opposing counsel knew even less than the lawyer
    making said argument. But, likely, once the argument were brought forth,
    opposing counsel would quickly bring up a counter-argument to blow it out of
    the water.

    It just doesn't wash.
  35. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "George Neuner" <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote in message
    news:luppb0pphv3a535lu6uo0di8mc8o3snk3t@4ax.com...
    > On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 21:09:19 +0100, Mark McIntyre
    > <markmcintyre@spamcop.net> wrote:
    >
    > >On Tue, 01 Jun 2004 12:21:19 -0400, in alt.internet.wireless , George
    > >Neuner <gneuner2@dont.spam.me> wrote:
    > >
    > >>AFAIK, The law is pretty clear that receiving radio signals is not a
    > >>crime.
    > >
    > >correct
    > >
    > >>A crime is only committed when a listener takes steps to decode a
    > >>deliberately scrambled signal without permission or when information
    > >>gleaned from listening is used in the further commission of a crime.
    > >
    > >The meat of this is in the definition of "decoding".
    > >
    > >802.11 is not an analogue signal you can simply listen to with a cats
    > >whisker and crystal. A court might rule that "going equipped" to
    translate
    > >the raw radio waves into meaningful data was in and of itself enough
    > >evidence that your intentions were dishonorable.
    >
    > That's true, but not necessarily relevent. Emergency scanners operate
    > on side bands and spread spectrum and are perfectly legal. The issue
    > AFAICT is whether the transmission was deliberately scrambled with the
    > expectation that it would then be private.
    >
    > George
    > --
    > Send real email to GNEUNER2 at COMCAST o NET

    Just offer the guy $10.00 a month and use it. I'll share mine.

    Jerry
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