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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I would call it WIFI trespassing

I wrote about this topic about a month ago but saw this article by Steve Hargreaves at CNN Money on the topic of using other people's wireless networks for Internet access. A couple of quotes jumped out at me in this article.
On the state level it could be more clear. "It's unlawful access", said John Geraty, an officer with the Internet crimes against children unit of the San Francisco Police Department.

According to Geraty, using your neighbor's wireless is specifically prohibited in the California penal code. "It's not yours and you're taking it," he says.
This idea of stealing your neighbor's wireless connectivity ignores the fact that your neighbor is broadcasting radio waves into your home. So would we consider this trespassing?

If there is any liability on this issue, it should be on the person with the wireless network not those who surreptitiously use someone else's wireless network. Those who don't secure their home network are not only opening themselves up for others to use their network for nefarious purposes, but are opening themselves up for violating their ISP user agreements against sharing the paid Internet connection.

I was also amused by this quote in the story:
"But securing many older wireless systems with a password is difficult and even newer ones can be a challenge if you're running multiple computers or multiple operating systems."
What a red herring? Any monkey can secure a wireless network, even the older systems. Here is a screen shot from the setup for my wireless router which is a pretty common one. Yeah, that password looks hard to change.

I love the caveat about the newer ones. If your're runing multiple computers and especially if you are using multiple operating systems, you probably know a thing or two about computers. I don't buy this lame excuse.

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