Is It Wrong? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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zaggie
07-31-2005, 10:31
Brought my laptop to the lake cottage today. No internet hooked up there, but when I turned on my laptop it immediately found an unsecured wireless network. Is it wrong to use this to surf the net?

ronin_asano
07-31-2005, 13:07
depends on the laws in your state. it might not be illegal, but i think it's unethical if you do it without knowledge and consent of the owner.

funbob
07-31-2005, 16:46
It's a legal gray area at this time. Unless I'm reasonably sure that the access point is meant for public access, I'd refrain from using it. I wouldn't want folks using my wireless connection partly out of concern of what they might do while using it but also because I pay good money for my internet connection and equipment and don't want others using up my bandwidth. Then again, I also take steps to make sure my network is reasonably secure. Lots of folks don't have the knowledge to do this (try driving around with a wireless device one day, the amount of unsecured networks is mind boggling) but that doesn't mean their ignorance should be taken advantage of.

Nyper
08-01-2005, 20:30
I don't think it's the least bit unethical. Perhaps they leave it unsecured because they don't mind sharing. If they want it secured, they should secure it. ;a

David_G17
08-01-2005, 22:25
Originally posted by Nyper
I don't think it's the least bit unethical. Perhaps they leave it unsecured because they don't mind sharing. If they want it secured, they should secure it. ;a

do you feel the same way about cable TV?

HerrGlock
08-02-2005, 02:31
Originally posted by zaggie
Brought my laptop to the lake cottage today. No internet hooked up there, but when I turned on my laptop it immediately found an unsecured wireless network. Is it wrong to use this to surf the net?

It's not a gray area:

TITLE 35 CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 43 OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY
CHAPTER 2 BURGLARY--TRESPASS

Burns Ind. Code Ann. @ 35-43-2-3
35-43-2-3. Computer trespass.

(a) As used in this section:
"Access" means to:
(1) Approach;
(2) Instruct;
(3) Communicate with;
(4) Store data in;
(5) Retrieve data from; or
(6) Make use of resources of;
a computer, computer system, or computer network.
"Computer network" means the interconnection of communication lines with a computer through remote terminals or a complex consisting of two (2) or more interconnected computers.
"Computer system" means a set of related computer equipment, software, or hardware.

(b) A person who knowingly or intentionally accesses:
(1) A computer system;
(2) A computer network; or
(3) Any part of a computer system or computer network;
without the consent of the owner of the computer system or computer network, or the consent of the owner's licensee, commits computer trespass, a Class A misdemeanor. [P.L.35-1986, @ 3.]

Sgt. Schultz
08-02-2005, 07:53
Just because some state law makers are lagging behind does not make it legal, itís still theft of service. If you found your neighbors telephone (cordless or cellular) lying in the street would you return it to him or would you use it to make long distance calls? Whatís the difference? Whether itís an unsecured router or a lost telephone, etcÖ they are/were careless and most decent people with help them correct their errors. Iíve never understood why routers are sold with the security disabled!



Originally posted by Nyper
I don't think it's the least bit unethical

HmmmÖ. Unethical
1: not conforming to approved standards of social or professional behavior; "unethical business practices" 2: not adhering to ethical or moral principles; "base and unpatriotic motives"; "a base, degrading way of life"; "cheating is dishonorable"; "they considered colonialism immoral"; "unethical practices in handling public funds" dishonorable, immoral

partspin
08-02-2005, 08:33
Somebody is broadcasting a wireless signal onto your property. I don't view this any differently than sitting in your own house with a scanner and listening to the neighbors cordless phone conversations. As far as I'm concerned, if it's on my property... it's mine. I don't feel bad about using the neighbors, hell, I have even considered cancelling my service and using theirs exclusively. Don't broadcast unencrypted wireless signals to your neighbors house if you don't want them to use it...

Teal'c
08-02-2005, 08:52
That still makes you a thief, here's hoping that they will "broadcast" a Trojan or Worm onto your system!

"sitting in your own house with a scanner and listening to the neighbors cordless phone conversations" ... wow talk about a lonely and deranged individual .... By the way, it is illegal to listen in on a private conversation.

srhoades
08-02-2005, 09:00
Originally posted by Nyper
I don't think it's the least bit unethical. Perhaps they leave it unsecured because they don't mind sharing. If they want it secured, they should secure it. ;a


So if I happend to find one of your windows or doors unlocked I should just assume I am welcome since it was not secure, right?

partspin
08-02-2005, 09:06
Originally posted by srhoades
So if I happend to find one of your windows or doors unlocked I should just assume I am welcome since it was not secure, right? Wrong, that would be tresspassing and it would get you shot. Why would you broadcast something onto other people's property and expect privacy or security?

partspin
08-02-2005, 09:12
Originally posted by Teal'c
"sitting in your own house with a scanner and listening to the neighbors cordless phone conversations" ... wow talk about a lonely and deranged individual .... By the way, it is illegal to listen in on a private conversation. I agree, it is a lonely individual that would listen to cordless phone conversations.

Is it a private conversation if it's being broadcast to your neighbor's house?

One can listen to private conversations on a train everyday, and I've yet to hear of one person being arrested for it. One can easily overhear many cell phone conversations too.

One cannot broadcast data, radio, or other emissions to another persons property and expect privacy.

HerrGlock
08-02-2005, 09:17
So your neighbours are welcome to cancel their own phone service and just use yours? How considerate of you.

DanH

Sgt. Schultz
08-02-2005, 09:18
It's not being broadcast to your house, it's being broadcast to the base unit. And yes it is illegal to listen in on someones cell/cordless conversation ... why do you think they stop selling scanners that would pickup those channels?

partspin
08-02-2005, 09:36
Originally posted by Sgt. Schultz
It's not being broadcast to your house... Then there is no problem, right? If I can't connect to your wireless connection because you aren't broadcasting it to my property, then the problem is solved, now isn't it? Seems like a real easy solution to the problem of privacy.

HerrGlock
08-02-2005, 11:09
Originally posted by partspin
Then there is no problem, right? If I can't connect to your wireless connection because you aren't broadcasting it to my property, then the problem is solved, now isn't it? Seems like a real easy solution to the problem of privacy.

Outstanding. So, making sure all your neighbours have wireless phones that are on the freqs to your base would cause no problem at all.

Great.
DanH

partspin
08-02-2005, 11:13
Originally posted by HerrGlock
Outstanding. So, making sure all your neighbours have wireless phones that are on the freqs to your base would cause no problem at all.

Great.
DanH If you are concerned about privacy you have two options... use a corded phone, or use a cordless, but make sure that your neighbor is not in range. Same applies to networks for computers.

Otherwise, it's almost implied consent to be snooped on. Just like you have no expectation of privacy on a train, you don't have any expectation of privacy if you are broadcasting to your neighbor's property.

grantglock
08-02-2005, 13:27
it's a lake cottage, its not like you are going to be using this as your primary internet connection forever. go ahead and use it. In fact I leave my own access point open so people near my house can use mine if they need to. I won't allow people to use it 24/7 but the occassional user is no problem.

Nyper
08-02-2005, 14:06
Most of ya'll are being pretty ignorant about this. I work in telecommunications as a network administrator. Using a wireless network that is being broadcast and unsecured is nothing like stealing cable, using a cell phone someone has left behind, walking into unlocked doors, or using a scanner to detect someone else's private phone calls. I'm not dabbling into their personal information or imposing in their personal space. Sure, I am using their bandwidth, but I check email & browse the web. I'm not causing performance issues for them.

If you are flipping channels, and suddenly a big pay-per-view event is coming through your satellite or cable for free (by mistake of the cable provider), are you going to call them and ask them to send you a bill?

Now, if you cut the lock on a cable box and tap into your neighbor's line, I'll agree.. that is completely unethical and stealing.

Do I think it is unethical to use your neighbor's wireless Internet for a whole year without mentioning to him? You're leeching off of something he is paying for and that is just rude, in my opinion. Does that make it unethical? I don't know... I personally wouldn't do it.

Do I think it is unethical to use a wireless connection in my own home from my neighbor if my Internet happens to go down for a few hours one night? Not at all. If someone wants to tell me they have an unsecured network and would appreciate me not using it, then I will gladly comply and not use it. Otherwise, lock it up.

srhoades
08-02-2005, 15:08
Originally posted by Nyper
Most of ya'll are being pretty ignorant about this. I work in telecommunications as a network administrator. Using a wireless network that is being broadcast and unsecured is nothing like stealing cable, using a cell phone someone has left behind, walking into unlocked doors, or using a scanner to detect someone else's private phone calls. I'm not dabbling into their personal information or imposing in their personal space. Sure, I am using their bandwidth, but I check email & browse the web. I'm not causing performance issues for them.



Red herring. The fact that is causes no noticable decrease in performance does not negate the fact that it doesn't belong to you.


Do I think it is unethical to use your neighbor's wireless Internet for a whole year without mentioning to him? You're leeching off of something he is paying for and that is just rude, in my opinion. Does that make it unethical? I don't know... I personally wouldn't do it.

Do I think it is unethical to use a wireless connection in my own home from my neighbor if my Internet happens to go down for a few hours one night? Not at all.


So it ok to use it for a little bit, but not for a year? At what point is it wrong, a month, two, six?


If someone wants to tell me they have an unsecured network and would appreciate me not using it, then I will gladly comply and not use it. Otherwise, lock it up.

That is just silly. Unless you have already been given permission, it is implied, secured or not, that you do not have permission to access it.

Nyper
08-02-2005, 17:10
No use continuing an argument that nobody is going to win. I don't see it as unethical, and have yet to meet a single person in real life who believes it is. I do not equate it to stealing or anything of the sort. I know many people who purposely leave (unimportant) routers un-secured so other people can use them. I have even done this myself. One of my coworkers does it 90% of the time.

08-02-2005, 18:21
Its just like putting a spliter on your neighbors Cable TV and getting full advantage of the service yet not paying for it.

Even if it doesnt reduce the actual performance its still getting services without paying. I think they call it ...theft and it is a crime.

Andy

Nyper
08-02-2005, 19:00
Originally posted by USCG1988
Its just like putting a spliter on your neighbors Cable TV and getting full advantage of the service yet not paying for it.

Even if it doesnt reduce the actual performance its still getting services without paying. I think they call it ...theft and it is a crime.

If you view it as "theft" from the service provider, I can see your point. I guess in all situations where I have used another person's wireless router, it has been in a place where I work for the service provider and am one of the network administrators, so I never thought of it from that point of view.

That doesn't mean I will never use someone else's wireless router though. They should still lock it up. It's not like putting a splitter on my neighbor's cable. It's like they put a splitter on it and ran it to my living room and said "here ya go!".

funbob
08-03-2005, 00:35
I don't see it so much as a matter of ethics as I do simply being common courtesy. I wouldn't want someone using my unsecured wireless network, so I'm going to return the favor and not use other folks unsecured wireless networks. It's a moot point for me as I have the knowledge to properly secure my network but the majority of people do not. Most people just go down to Circuit City/Best Buy, etc. and buy whatever the sales person recommends, then go home and plug them in with no real concept of how they work or get someone else to set them up. I'm not going to take advantage of their ignorance.

As for the legal side of things, RF energy crossing onto someones property does not imply any sort of ownership to it, as it is not feasible to control that. As for the whole issue of accessing unsecured wireless networks, the law has consistently come down on the side of any unauthorized access to computing resources, regardless of if they are secured or not, is not legal. Wireless will be no different.

gwalchmai
08-03-2005, 06:59
What if I walk over to my neighbor's house and attach my garden hose to his spigot, and use that to water my garden? I would consider this a clear case of theft of services.

However, what if my neighbor has his lawn sprinkler set so that it oversprays his lawn and the water falls on my garden? It's the same water and the same veggies, but I don't think the case is anywhere near so clear.

I think it is the owner's responsibility to secure his wireless AP, especially since I have no way of knowing whether or not he's intending to provide free access to all.

Nyper
08-03-2005, 08:57
Originally posted by funbob
It's a moot point for me as I have the knowledge to properly secure my network but the majority of people do not. Most people just go down to Circuit City/Best Buy, etc. and buy whatever the sales person recommends, then go home and plug them in with no real concept of how they work or get someone else to set them up. I'm not going to take advantage of their ignorance.

It's real hard to read an instruction manual isn't it!? ;a

zaggie
08-09-2005, 18:13
Stealing your neighbor's Net
The spread of wireless is opening lots of opportunity to log on for free, but experts urge caution.
August 9, 2005: 5:24 PM EDT
By Steve Hargreaves, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Forty bucks for high-speed Internet access? Not a bad deal. But how does free sound?

To a growing number of Internet piggy-backers, it's the sweet sound of pirating their neighbor's wireless network.

Most new computers are equipped for wireless Internet access, and more and more people opting for Wi-Fi in their homes. But as the networks become stronger and more prevalent, more of those signals are available outside the home of the subscriber, spilling over into neighbor's apartments, hallways and the street.

Add to this the growing number of cafes and other public "hot spots" that offer Wi-Fi (for wireless fidelity) connections and the ability to buy more powerful antennas that can pick up signals several hundred feet away. The coverage in some places can be pretty near flawless.

One study by Jupiter Research said 14 percent of wireless network owners have accessed their neighbor's connection. Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more people are logging on for free.

"I haven't paid for Internet since I've been in New York City," said one friend of this reporter. "Ditto," chimed in another.

And as the practice of using someone else's connection without paying for it expands, it raises the question: Is there anything wrong with that?
Will this land you in jail?

The legality of stealing your neighbor's connection is murky at best.

"All of this stuff is so new, it's hard to say what the liability issues are," said Robert Hale, a San Francisco-based attorney who recently published an academic paper on the subject.

Hale points out that there is a federal law on the books that ostensibly prohibits using someone's access point with out their permission. But "without permission" is vaguely defined and the law seems more geared towards computer hacking.

It seems pretty clear that if you hack your neighbor's password then it could be reasonably argued you didn't have authorization.

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. And, while it may be a violation of the user agreements with Internet service providers, some community-minded users deliberately leave their connections open for others to borrow.

"It's a gray area," said Paul Stamp, an analyst at the technology consultants Forester Research. "By not restricting access it could be argued that you're implicitly making that available."

"A broad statement concerning the access of unprotected wireless networks as being always legal or illegal simply can't be made," said Jackie Lesch, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice. "It's just kind of dicey."

On a federal level, according to Lesch, prosecuting decisions are made on a case to case basis, mostly depending on the type of system accessed and what it was accessed for.

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.

But Geraty said his department doesn't deal with that type of crime specifically and an officer at the department's fraud desk -- whose jurisdiction it would fall under -- said she couldn't recall anyone ever being arrested for it.

Experts do agree that the likelihood of getting caught and prosecuted for stealing a wireless connection probably depends on how often you do it and how you're using it.

"The damages are really the big issue," said Hale. "Are you just poking around, checking your e-mail, or are you doing it on a regular basis and affecting this person's bandwidth?"

Location also seems to play a part.

"If you're in a Manhattan building with 30 apartments that's one thing," said Julie Ask, research director at the technology consultants Jupiter Research. "But if you're the guy who parks your car in front of a suburban house in the middle of the night and you've got the screen from your laptop glowing, well..." speaking of a man who was arrested earlier this month in Florida for just that.
Exposing yourself

Legal questions aside, reliability is another reason to pay for your own access. If you are a heavy user or need the Internet to work from home, relying on a connection that your neighbor could shut off at any moment is probably not a good idea.

There is also the possibility that someone could have set up the unsecured connection as a trap. Experts say it's possible for the network subscriber to gain at least partial access to your computer, read your e-mails and see the pages you visit if you are using their connection. Any personal information you send online could then be compromised.

So while pirating your neighbor's Wi-Fi it may seem like a good way to siphon a free service, you may end up feeling pretty stupid if you get a summons for sneaking a peak at the latest sports scores or your favorite Web sites are the topic of conversation at the neighborhood Christmas party.

Washington,D.C.
08-09-2005, 18:29
That sounds like the "grey area" of the people in Canada that watch satelite TV without paying.It's not a grey area to use something that belongs to somebody else without their knowledge.Somebody is paying good money for that connection.There was a time when the internet first went public/commercial that in places like Holland,it was the law if you could access somebody's computer via the internet that was perfectly legal since they connected to the WWW.They had warehouses full of hackers paid to go to Holland to break into company computers via the internet,to get trade secrets,etc.Holland later changed their laws.In Canada they have something similar when it comes to receiving cell phone and other aired services.This led to the "grey area" of satelite TV there.The theory was that if it's on the air and you figure out how to receive it, then that's fine.Well that is now changing in a big way there too.

gwalchmai
08-09-2005, 19:33
If your horse poops on my front lawn, do I owe you the cost of fertilizer?

Washington,D.C.
08-09-2005, 21:08
If I paid for the horse feed,you better believe it.

frefoo
08-09-2005, 21:25
Originally posted by partspin
Don't broadcast unencrypted wireless signals to your neighbors house if you don't want them to use it...

What makes it illegal is you transmitting signals (aka on internet) using a connection that you dont own.

Just because I may broadcast my signals to you. Where do I give you permission to use my network?

In doing so you are at least running up my electric bill (nice green lights flashing).

You are correct (according to FCC rules) that you can receive signals on your property. However it does not apply to you transmitting signals via my network.

gwalchmai
08-10-2005, 04:49
Originally posted by frefoo
What makes it illegal is you transmitting signals (aka on internet) using a connection that you dont own.

Just because I may broadcast my signals to you. Where do I give you permission to use my network?

In doing so you are at least running up my electric bill (nice green lights flashing).

You are correct (according to FCC rules) that you can receive signals on your property. However it does not apply to you transmitting signals via my network. I am not a lawyer, but I used to watch Judge Wapner a bit. I seem to recall a need for there to be an agreement between parties before a contract exists. If I send out a signal and you accept it and pass it to the internet, I don't think we've agreed to anything. I certainly haven't done anything to make you accept that signal and relay it. In fact, you may be relaying it without my permission...

As zaggie's post points out, the law about this will simply have to shake out and these legalities will be made clear.

Who was it that told the story of the baker who sued a man for the price of smelling his bread as it baked? IIRC, the judgement was that the baker was owed the sound of coins being counted.

Egyas
08-10-2005, 06:32
Originally posted by partspin
As far as I'm concerned, if it's on my property... it's mine. I don't feel bad about using the neighbors, hell, I have even considered cancelling my service and using theirs exclusively. Don't broadcast unencrypted wireless signals to your neighbors house if you don't want them to use it...

Gee, maybe because they have no LEGAL way to stop it! It's not a choice to "broadcast onto your property. The FCC made it illegal to block transmissions via any type of radio signal or jamming device, so your neighbors cannot stop it. And in many states, using a scanner to listen to your neighbors phone conversations IS against the law. It sure as hell is in my city.

A person pays for their service, and you are stealing some of their bandwidth, thus depriving them of it. It also open them up to legal problems should you do something stupid (which I would definitely fear you doing after reading some of your posts). Say you try to hack something, to surf child porn, etc, it comes back to their ISP and router address. Now the customer has to try to prove that "It wasn't me, it was the neighbor! He must have been stealing my service!"

Originally posted by partspin
One can listen to private conversations on a train everyday, and I've yet to hear of one person being arrested for it. One can easily overhear many cell phone conversations too.
Oh, this is tripe. There is a HUGE difference, and you know it. A conversation on a train is spoken IN PUBLIC, where people can overhear it without taking ANY action, and sometimes without being able to avoid it. A conversation on a cordless phone is made in PRIVATE, in your own RESIDENCE. To hear it, you must specifically employ a device or receiver, and tune to their frequency to hear it (a deliberate act). The courts in many states have ruled that things done in the home have a reasonable expectance of privacy, and that the specific act of intercepting those conversations are a violation of that privacy.

These latest statements from you re-affirm all I need to know about you, and your character. Or rather, I should say lack there of.

Were you my neighbor, and I say you on my network, I'd broadcast to your machine every virus and malicious script in my vault. After all, you are on MY network, and I have the right to do what ever I want to the machines on my network.


;g

frefoo
08-14-2005, 13:29
Originally posted by Egyas


Were you my neighbor, and I say you on my network, I'd broadcast to your machine every virus and malicious script in my vault. After all, you are on MY network, and I have the right to do what ever I want to the machines on my network.


;g

^6

Even though my wireless network is secured (as much as it can be). If I connected to someones network and got a virus malicious script etc. The only fault would be mine.

DMcGrady
01-15-2006, 06:27
I view free wifi/broadband connections like this.

If there is a router out there that has open access and requires no use of a password to use the service, then I consider it a free hotspot. No different than watching TV and picking the channel you want to watch over open airwaves.

The act of stealing access to the web occurs when there is an access point that requires a password to logon to the network and a person foils another users effort to protect that network, then it is an obvious intention on gaining unauthorized access.

I pay for dialup at home, and use free access from 1 of three open networks that I consider a hotspot. One of those networks even asked me to sign a consent form asking me not to abuse their network by transmitting any type of criminal enterprise. So they in turn are aware that they are providing a free open network for others to use.

Am I a thief? Hell no I'm not a thief. I wouldn't take something that didn't belong to me. I will listen to radio waves transmitted through the air that I breathe though. Its what you do with the info you hear in a crimnal way, that is illegal.

I'm using a free forum right now? Am I stealing information?

Nuff Said.

Thanks

Don

Egyas
01-15-2006, 12:08
In general, I agree. If you make no attempt to secure the network, AND it can be accessed from OUTSIDE of your property, then to me it is free game. If you have to VIOLATE my property to gain access, then you have violated my rights. That's the big difference. Connection from your own home or public area to my network that is unsecured is one thing. Having to get onto my property to do it, or having to purposely bypassing security to do it is entirely another.

To me, it is analogous to an "open door". If, from the street, your property, etc, you can see into my house through the open front door, whatever you can see me doing in the house is not protected by privacy laws. But if you have to enter my property to be able to see through that door, then it is protected.

Unbridled Rage
01-16-2006, 12:09
Lots of "progressive" free-information types I know leave their internet wireless access open, but block access into the rest of their network. This is done with sharing bandwidth in mind.

If I use an open AP, it's only briefly, for legal purposes. It usually works out that other factors other than ethics make these sessions short, and I appreciate the bandwidth without abusing the access.

This is one of those things that works out if everyone is an adult. It takes one ass to screw it up for everyone else.

Too bad the asses are breeding.

Egyas
01-16-2006, 12:52
Originally posted by Unbridled Rage
This is one of those things that works out if everyone is an adult. It takes one ass to screw it up for everyone else.

Too bad the asses are breeding.


That is exactly true. If I could trust that everyone that would access my wireless connection would just web surf, pull mail, etc, I would be fine with sharing the bandwidth. But there is too much exposure to legal problems like people downloading music, child porn, or any other thing that I donít want a bunch of legal types tracking the IP back to MY router and DHCP server, and then me trying to tell the FBI that "I didn't download all that child porn you tracked. It must have been my neighbor!" Or "I wasn't the guy in that chat room soliciting kids!"

Just not a problem I want to invite into my life.

Toyman
01-16-2006, 12:57
Here's some food for thought.

If a company sets up a server, and hosts a web page on it, and you access it, are you in voilation of the law? They haven't given you permission to access it. Where is the implied permission there? and how does that differ from wireless access to someone elses computer? Hmmmmm, bet the lawyers would have fun with that one.

ngray
01-16-2006, 13:07
psaw.

Anyone who's travelled with a laptop knows that when you can find it, you use it. On the other hand, hijacking your neighbors more than once or twice is different, imo, without their consent.

I see no reason other than my ISP subscriber agreement not to share my internet with my whole block. And if I could, I would. It IS their cable content, but it sure as **** ain't their internet.

Can anyone say 'party line'?

Egyas
01-16-2006, 16:25
Originally posted by Toyman
Here's some food for thought.

If a company sets up a server, and hosts a web page on it, and you access it, are you in voilation of the law? They haven't given you permission to access it. Where is the implied permission there? and how does that differ from wireless access to someone elses computer? Hmmmmm, bet the lawyers would have fun with that one.

Actually, the "implied permission" is the very act of posting the site. The Internet is, by international consensus, a public forum. In fact, many countries, including the US IIRC, have passed laws to that extent already. This is what gives them the legal ability to police certain content, because it is in a "public" forum.

Example, the "Fair Use" clause of the copyright act allows me to make a "backup or copy" of a copyrighted work for personal use, to preserve the original. So I buy "War and Peace", scan it into a PDF, and save it on my local machine to read at will. This is a legal act. But say I post it to my webpage (with no security, open to anyone) so I can access it from anywhere for my convenience. This is now illegal because it is posted in a "public forum".

Volponi
01-16-2006, 17:46
Originally posted by Egyas
Actually, the "implied permission" is the very act of posting the site. The Internet is, by international consensus, a public forum.

A case could be made that 'implied permission' doesn't factor into it at all... When permission is explicitly granted, there's no need for any implication. In most cases, the unsecured router explicitly GRANTS permission to use the network, making 'implied consent' irrelevant.

Say, for instance, I notice an unsecured wireless connection in my area. I configure my notebook to use it.

What I'm doing, in effect, is instructing my computer to request an IP address from the DHCP server running on my neighbor's router. If it denies me permission, then game over. Otherwise....

The (hypothetical) DHCP server running on my (theoretical) neighbors wireless router has to actually be asked for an IP address before it will assign one. If it assigns an IP to a machine, it is (in point of fact) explicitly granting permission for that machine to join the network.

That's just the way the protocol is designed.

Egyas
01-16-2006, 20:21
Volponi,

The "implied permission" comment was a direct response to the question posed by Toyman. It was specifically directed at his webpage / company server scenario.

Volponi
01-17-2006, 04:49
Originally posted by Egyas
Volponi,

The "implied permission" comment was a direct response to the question posed by Toyman. It was specifically directed at his webpage / company server scenario.

Understood. In that context, it makes sense. In the context of open 'hotspots', though, I view 'consent' as a red-herring (unless of course, one is actively bypassing any security safeguards, in which case I wouldn't consider it an 'open hotspot' at all since the existence of those safeguards automatically constitutes a denial of consent).

Overall, judging from your earlier ('open door') post, It sounds like I pretty much agree with you.
If you make no attempt to secure the network, AND it can be accessed from OUTSIDE of your property, then to me it is free game. If you have to VIOLATE my property to gain access, then you have violated my rights. That's the big difference. Connection from your own home or public area to my network that is unsecured is one thing. Having to get onto my property to do it, or having to purposely bypassing security to do it is entirely another.

That's somewhat analogous to an unsecured router broadcasting it's SSID and blindly handing out IP addresses via DHCP to any machine that requests one. If I ask (albiet, electronically) for an IP and the router gives me one, then permission has been granted to use the network (with the DHCP server acting as the agent for the network). In a case like that, the router is (for all practical purposes) inviting other machines to join the network.

Now if you were to crack someone's WEP encryption or any other safeguards intended to limit access, that would be a different story altogether. That's comparable to trespassing / B&E.

The comparisons that folks have made to electricity/cable are red-herrings as well, and IMHO, not valid comparisons at all.

A better analogy for electricity:
My neighbor wants to save money on his electric bill, so he leaves the lights off in one end of his home. My security lights are on outside my house, and the light spills over through his window. He's free to open his curtains and read by the light that I'm paying for, without needing to ask permission. OTOH, if he were to reposition my lights to provide better illumination for himself he'd have to bypass my security fence to do so, which would be a different story.

Volponi
01-17-2006, 05:37
quote != edit

Egyas
01-17-2006, 08:45
Originally posted by Volponi
That's somewhat analogous to an unsecured router broadcasting it's SSID and blindly handing out IP addresses via DHCP to any machine that requests one. If I ask (albiet, electronically) for an IP and the router gives me one, then permission has been granted to use the network (with the DHCP server acting as the agent for the network). In a case like that, the router is (for all practical purposes) inviting other machines to join the network.

Now if you were to crack someone's WEP encryption or any other safeguards intended to limit access, that would be a different story altogether. That's comparable to trespassing / B&E.

The comparisons that folks have made to electricity/cable are red-herrings as well, and IMHO, not valid comparisons at all.

A better analogy for electricity:
My neighbor wants to save money on his electric bill, so he leaves the lights off in one end of his home. My security lights are on outside my house, and the light spills over through his window. He's free to open his curtains and read by the light that I'm paying for, without needing to ask permission. OTOH, if he were to reposition my lights to provide better illumination for himself he'd have to bypass my security fence to do so, which would be a different story.


Agreed.

NGWT
01-19-2006, 00:47
Originally posted by Volponi


So when my cable bill comes, are you legally obligated or morally obligated to help pay for the bandwidth you've used on my internet connection?

ngray
01-19-2006, 08:37
You know what the root of this issue is? Manufacturers shipping out routers that are, by default, as secure as a plumbing fitting. They want it to be EASY to set up.

They all recommend that users secure it, but they don't want it to be difficult to set up. The reason for that--they don't want their stuff being returned to the retailer.

All this could be mitigated with a 'default configuration warning' on the router. So that when you try to browse the web, an intermediate page pops up, saying that your wireless link is unsecure, do you wish to enable security? Read your manual, blah blah. [Ignore] [Lock Wireless link now] [Never lock wireless link]

This way, people that WANT to have an open WAP (me!) can, and those that unknowingly are doing so don't have to.

Thoughts?

10 Ring Tao
01-19-2006, 17:28
Heh, I depend on unsecured networks for internet access when I'm out and about. So long as you aren't fiddling with any of the other comps on that network, who cares?

Volponi
01-19-2006, 18:11
Originally posted by NGWT
So when my cable bill comes, are you legally obligated or morally obligated to help pay for the bandwidth you've used on my internet connection?

"A rhetorical question is one which does not require an answer..."






...Yet I'll answer anyway, for the benefit of those who may have missed the earlier part of the discussion.





In answer to your question, I say "Absolutely not":
When your cable/DSL/whatever bill comes, you're the one obligated to pay it, since you're the one who entered into a contract with your provider.

As a previous poster phrased it:
Originally posted by gwalchmai
If your horse poops on my front lawn, do I owe you the cost of fertilizer? (Thanks for that one, gwalchmai)

No, I don't (legally, morally or ethically) owe you for the fertilizer.




Let's get this part overwith right away:

< DEBUNK PREMISES &GT
Your scenario presumes that I have used bandwidth on your internet connection (which I have not).

Further, your scenario seems to ignore that cable-bills are generally "flat-rate". More than one person watching your TV doesn't cost you extra on your cable bill. For that matter, leaving your TV on around-the-clock won't cost you extra on your cable bill. It might cost extra on the electric bill, but that's why you turn it off when you're not using it (like your router).
&LT; /premises debunked&GT


Now, onto yet more scenarios which illustrate the same principle:


If you invite someone into your home and they watch your television, do you present them with a pro-rated cable bill?

When someone calls you on your land-line telephone, do you present them with a pro-rated telephone bill?

When someone (with your permission) uses your land-line telephone to make a local call (for which you're presumably paying a flat-rate), do you present them with a pro-rated phone bill? Your monthly bill for local service would be the same regardless of how much time the phome spent 'in-use', but they did cause some of your service to be used, after all...

if your lawn-sprinklers overspray and water a portion of your neighbor's lawn, do you present them with a pro-rated water bill?


If you do that's okay, provided that they were aware, understood, and agreed to those terms beforehand... You have every right to impose such a policy on your guests so long as you've made them aware of it, and they've agreed to abide by it. However, if you gave it away without making the other party aware of those conditions, then you have no right to enforce them. How can you expect to be reimbursed when you were so free about distributing it?

I don't believe it's really necessary to explain the concept (the principles involved have been pretty well detailed in previous posts), but since I'm such a nice guy, I will anyway.


...


If you're the one inviting others to use your service (broadcasting/advertising), why would it upset you if someone asked permission to use the service you've already advertised?

When someone is polite enough to request permission (DHCPREQUEST) even after you've advertised (broadcasted), and then you then proceed to grant them permission (DHCPOFFER), how on earth can you take offense when someone accepts your invitation/offer? If it upsets you, stop inviting/offering, and/or take steps to screen who you're letting in. While you're at it, get your blood-pressure checked.

As I see it, in your proposed scenario, I wouldn't be any more (or less) obligated (legally, morally or ethically) than my (theoretical) neighbor would be for having read his morning paper by the light coming from my security lights.

If I were really all that bothered by others making use of the light that I pay for (and then stream onto their property), then it would be up to me to re-position the lights, build a privacy fence to block the light, turn them off during dreaded "peak light-stealing hours", or research other methods in an attempt to find some solution that would prevent those theiving light-stealers from reading. Personally, I don't see it as a problem, so I wouldn't let myself get bothered enough to get all worked up into a frenzy about it. My lights were going to be on anyway. It costs me no extra to heve someone read by them, and it doesn't deprive me of their use. Why should I get worked up over the fact that someone else might be enjoying some benifit from something I'm doing?

Fortunately for me, I don't stress out over such silly things. I realize that even though I'm the one footing the bill for those lights (to serve my own purposes), there's no reason I should get upset over others reaping some benefit from them (provided that their use doesn't interfere with my use, and doesn't impose any further cost, obligation or other problem for me). I have no qualms with others deriving benefit from something that I am doing, and would have done in any case. (Who knows, maybe it'll help negate some of the karma I polluted during my younger days.)

Similarly, if you're so bothered by the idea of others making use of a service that you're broadcasting onto their property in an open and inviting fashion, it's up to you to stop broadcasting it, make it less inviting, or take other steps to prevent others from using it. It's not difficult. If you don't want others to derive benefit from it, don't offer it and give it away in the first place.

If you've taken no steps to prevent access while broadcasting your SSID from a DHCP-enabled wireless router, you are, in fact, inviting other machines to join your network. How can you be upset if someone accepts your invitation? I can't understand why you'd be upset by the idea of someone using a service that you've offered them.

If you don't like it, take steps to prevent it. If I were upset by the idea of others seeing by my light, I'd take steps to prevent them. I just don't think it's conducive to good mental (or physical) health to allow oneself be bothered by such trivialities. I've already got problems with cholesterol; I don't need to unneccesarily stress myself out and create blood-pressure problems as well (especially over something so inconsequential).

It's not a difficult concept. If you don't want others to benefit from what's yours, don't give it to them. If someone else does happen to gain some benefit from something you've done, and it's not harmed you in any quantifiably way, why let it bother you? Again, if it DOES bother you (for whatever unspecified reason), take action to correct it. as I said before, it isn't difficult. Your router came with a manual that tells you how to do it.

10 Ring Tao
01-19-2006, 23:30
Originally posted by Volponi
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;Y ;D ^c

NGWT
01-20-2006, 00:36
I don't care how many words you type or how many gyrations you go through to try and justify it. You're a thief.

What is particularly absurd is the argument that since my cable connection is "flat rate" it matters even less.

Here, let me put it in terms you may understand in less than 5000 words:

I can download a file at about 600k/sec. If I have two downloads going I can download about 400k/sec for one and 200/sec for another.

However, I now have some beggar mooching off my network that slows my download speed from 600k/sec to 500k/sec.

Wait, don't tell me. It's ok because you're just browsing and checking email and that would NEVER affect my bandwidth.

Gotcha.

10 Ring Tao
01-20-2006, 00:57
Originally posted by NGWT
I don't care how many words you type or how many gyrations you go through to try and justify it. You're a thief.

What is particularly absurd is the argument that since my cable connection is "flat rate" it matters even less.

Here, let me put it in terms you may understand in less than 5000 words:

I can download a file at about 600k/sec. If I have two downloads going I can download about 400k/sec for one and 200/sec for another.

However, I now have some beggar mooching off my network that slows my download speed from 600k/sec to 500k/sec.

Wait, don't tell me. It's ok because you're just browsing and checking email and that would NEVER affect my bandwidth.

Gotcha.

So then stop being lazy and complaining, and secure your damn network, if it matters to you that freakin much.

Volponi
01-20-2006, 04:28
Originally posted by NGWT
I don't care how many words you type or how many gyrations you go through to try and justify it. You're a thief.
No "gyrations" or justifications are neccessary. I simply posed (what I believe to be) a reasoned explanation of why such action might not be ethically wrong. I realize that my post was 'wordy' because of the examples and analogies presented. This was deliberate, for the benefit of those among us who might not immediately comprehend the concept without examples being presented and explained. Analogies were used to simplify the concept. Perhaps I failed in that endeavor, and I didn't quite present the concept in a manner that was simplified enough for you to grasp. If so, I extend my apologies.

If you disagree with my reasoning, then present a logical explanation as to why my reasoning is flawed, and why my examples/analogies are invalid.

Unless of course, that's too difficult for you (like, say, reading your router's manual, or determining who is responsible for bills in your name). If it's too difficult, then I suppose you could always fall back on the time-honored debating tactic of slandering the person whose viewpoint you disagree with by countering with baseless accusations of thievery.

Bear false witness much?

Originally posted by NGWT
Wait, don't tell me. It's ok because you're just browsing and checking email and that would NEVER affect my bandwidth.
OK, I won't tell you. In fact, I don't believe I told you anything of the sort... (quite the opposite).
Originally posted by Volponi
< DEBUNK PREMISES &GT
Your scenario presumes that I have used bandwidth on your internet connection (which I have not).
&LT; /premises debunked&GT
(as an aside - your profile lists your location as Florida... If you actually believe that I'm 'stealing' your bandwidth from such a distance, then you must be broadcasting a much stronger signal then the FCC allows... I'd be inclined to believe that anyone broadcasting THAT strong of a signal from an open, unencrypted, unsecured, DHCP-enabled router absolutely MUST be doing so intentionally, to actively invite other machines onto the network...)

(I'd also like to know where you found a WiFi router with that kind of range)

Again, if it bothers you so much just secure your router, build a privacy fence to prevent those light-stealing neighbors from using your light, and build a wall around your lawn to catch any sprinkler overspray so the neighbor can't reap any benefit from your water.

You might also check any trees you've got on your property, as they might be providing shade to others during certain times of the day. If others are gaining any discernable benefit from the shade they cast, perhaps they should help to pay for watering, trimming and pruning those trees. If those trees are growing fruit, and a branch or two are hanging over the neighbor's yard.... Well, that's a whole new ethical dilemma to ponder... We probably shouldn't explore that train of thought, as the complexities involved might cause one's head to explode...

If it bothers you, correct it. If not, don't sweat it. Either way, get your blood-pressure checked.

pwrtool45
01-22-2006, 09:47
Volponi: Good posts.