Coffeehouse Thread

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Using just any unsecured WiFi - stealing?

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  • User profile image
    davewill

    , Sven Groot wrote

    *snip*

    Except that I'm pretty damn certain that 99%

    *snip*

    As a teenager I was informed by the legal community that pleading ignorant was not an option. Smiley

    Seems like that would apply to both sides of the legal argument.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , davewill wrote

    *snip*

    As a teenager I was informed by the legal community that pleading ignorant was not an option. Smiley

    Seems like that would apply to both sides of the legal argument.

    Feel free to try that one in court too.

    Just sayin' if you're doing something you know is wrong, and you think you're going to "trick" the court by saying "oh but maybe it was unsecured because they wanted me to use it" isn't going to work.

    Courts don't need proofThey need beyond all reasonable doubt

    Our jails are full of people who thought that they'd never be caught or that they'd be able to blag it in court.

    If in doubt, try not to do stuff you know is wrong. If it's obvious to the court you're doing something that's obviously wrong, they'll just throw the book at you.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    Feel free to try that one in court too.

    Just sayin' if you're doing something you know is wrong, and you think you're going to "trick" the court by saying "oh but maybe it was unsecured because they wanted me to use it" isn't going to work.

    Courts don't need proofThey need beyond all reasonable doubt

    Our jails are full of people who thought that they'd never be caught or that they'd be able to blag it in court.

    If in doubt, try not to do stuff you know is wrong. If it's obvious to the court you're doing something that's obviously wrong, they'll just throw the book at you.

    I am amazed at how many folks who have posted here just do not get it....

    what you and I think / our opinions are not what will keep us out of jail.  it is the law and the judges and juries and they work on a set of rules that say how it will go.

    they look at things like "intent" "Proof" and what the law says.

    yes at times folks get away with things, but is it worth trying to get away with this?  I guess the other thing is the idea of your "moral compass"  in my case it says that if I did not ask to use it and I do not own it, if someone else has to pay for it then I can not touch it, it's not mine and I will not even try to mess with it.

    but possibly I am a rare person who looks to do the right thing,

  • User profile image
    DaveWill2

    @figuerres: Intentionally connecting to another party's wireless network without asking permission is definitely NOT proper. I think we can all agree that is best (well most of us).

    The real concern is inadvertently doing so.  As in the use of devices that automatically follow the strongest signal. I wouldn't want to be fined or do jail time in that situation. There must already be some industry "understanding" in this regard (i.e. this is an area where we can't make technology "just work" for the user). Is that the case? Is every wireless radio designed such that it requires a user to initiate a connection to a specific access point?

    Another area of concern ... I don't want grandma going to jail because over the phone her 15 year old grandson told her to "select the one with the most bars" because surely that has to be her router she just plugged up. Poor grandma happened to select the neighbors "open" network and it allowed her to connect. Poor grandma in the hooscow.

    Just seems that the "open" network should provide more legal leeway than a secure network.

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    Another way to phrase my opinion is pretty much this:

    Wifi access points have two modes: One for the specific purpose of limiting access to people who are allowed to use it, and one for the specific purpose of announcing to the world "here's some Internet for you." 

    The fact that router vendors don't communicate this correctly to their customers or that they are configured wrong is, as the person sitting in the car using it across the street, not my fracking problem. 

    Yes, I could be charged with a crime for doing it in some states, I might have a lawyer that can't get a not guilty verdict, I might be fined, I might be jailed, or whatever. If it's the law, so be it. As to the moral question, however, I'm not having any problems sleeping at night over using an open wifi without scouting the neighborhood for a piece of paper taped on someone's door.

     

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , Craig_​Matthews wrote

    The fact that router vendors don't communicate this correctly to their customers or that they are configured wrong is, as the person sitting in the car using it across the street, not my fracking problem. 

    And another way is "Hey this door is unlocked, I'm going to go inside and help myself to anything I want. It's not my fault the owner didn't lock their door."

    We get it. You're cheap and don't want to pay for your own connectivity.

  • User profile image
    mstefanik

    , Sven Groot wrote

    Except that I'm pretty damn certain that 99% of unsecured networks are that way because that's the default configuration of the router and the person who set it up didn't know any better. That's even more likely if they're using the router's default SSID.

    I really put that at the feet of the router/WAP manufacturer and not the end user. For example, I know that the Motorola routers that I've used (recently) came out of the box with a randomly generated SSID, configured with WPA2 enabled by default, with a randomly generated password (on a label on the bottom of the router, and in the docs). There's no reason that every vendor shouldn't be required to do this. Shipping the device without any kind of default security (or WEP enabled, which is pretty much the same thing) and a generic SSID is tantamount to negligence in my book.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @evildictaitor:

    The largest demographic in jail by far at least in the USA are poorly educated inner city blacks, largely on drug convictions. Pasty nerds accessing YouTube on their neighbour’s wifi is not exactly a common jail situation, so I think you need to tone down the punishment fetish a little bit here.

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    , blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    And another way is "Hey this door is unlocked, I'm going to go inside and help myself to anything I want. It's not my fault the owner didn't lock their door."

    Yes, because a Wifi router broadcasting an unencrypted wireless signal with access to the Internet is exactly the same thing as leaving your front door unlocked. When the thread topic is about whether it's okay to enter an unlocked house, your point might have a place.

    We get it. You're cheap and don't want to pay for your own connectivity.

    I have no problem paying for my own connectivity, and I think it's a bit rude for you to make assumptions like that without any basis. I pay $130/month for high speed Internet access at my home just like everyone else and I pay $60/month for a phone that includes unlimited texts, voice, and data with the hotspot feature. I always have my own Internet access for every device in my bag, regardless of where I am.

    I'm simply answering the question the thread brought up. Newsflash: one can have an opinion which finds no problem with using an open wifi router, yet still decide to pay for their own Internet access with their own money. One has nothing to do with the other.

    edit: rewrote a little of the last two paragraphs for the slow people.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @Craig_Matthews:

    *swoons*

    That's it Craig. We are locking you up for criminal conspiracy to commit a serious hacker crime. Someone grab the handcuffs. I want to do this one myself.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    , Craig_​Matthews wrote

    I pay $130/month for high speed Internet access

    $130????

    Do you have a private link to the backbone, or what?

  • User profile image
    Kental2

    @Sven Groot: I don't know where Craig_Matthews is located, but internet in America isn't as cheap as a lot of other places Tongue Out  It takes a LONG time and a lot of money to upgrade the infrastructure.  I pay about the same for mine for 50 MB/s down.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    @Kental2: That's insane. I pay about $45 a month for 200Mbps down, and I thought that was expensive. Back in the Netherlands, I paid €6 a month for a 100Mbps connection (this was a special student deal, though).

  • User profile image
    Kental2

    @Sven Groot: Rub it in more why don'tcha.  I'm just praying the area I live in gets fiber sometime soon.  One of my friends at work asked me what I could possibly need that much bandwidth for.  I replied that bandwidth is like having two monitors.  Once you get two monitors, you want three monitors.  Then four.  And if you don't you're doing it wrong. Wink

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    And another way is "Hey this door is unlocked, I'm going to go inside and help myself to anything I want. It's not my fault the owner didn't lock their door."

    We get it. You're cheap and don't want to pay for your own connectivity.

    That's an absolutely unfair characterization of what he said and it's almost as if folks in this thread are purposefully ignoring the words that are being used.

    In my OPINION if someone leaves their router wifi open AND I'm walking by AND my phone links up to it and downloads a few emails, I DO NOT BELIEVE I SHOULD be charged with a crime.

    And, every one of you has at one time or another done exactly that. 

    I'm well aware of what can and does happen when some legal ahole decides to get punative, but that doesn't change the fact that it's f*cked up when it does. 

     

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , ScanIAm wrote

    I'm well aware of what can and does happen when some legal ahole decides to get punative, but that doesn't change the fact that it's f*cked up when it does. 

    It seems this thread is getting derailed a bit.

    The OP's question wasn't is it moral to connect to an unsecured router, or even should it be illegal to connect to an unsecured router. The question was is it legal.

    The answer, pretty much no matter how you want to swing it is no. it is not legal if you deliberately gain access to someone else's router without their permission.

    How illegal it is, whether you're going to get punished, and whether the punishment is acceptable to you is an entirely different question.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    And it's one I feel like arguing about since the original question was answered almost immediately.

    There's no reason to create locked-door analogies when the answer is "Yes, it's illegal, don't do that" Smiley

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Fair enough.

    On a related note, you wouldn't steal a car...

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