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General Chat Thread, is it illegal?? in General; just got this info if its genuine?? It's not illegal to use someone else's wireless network to access the internet. ...
  1. #16

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    just got this info if its genuine??

    It's not illegal to use someone else's wireless network to access the internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets the rules for use of wireless spectrum in the U.S. The radio frequencies used for 802.11a/b/g systems are not regulated - licensed to specific users. As long as the equipment used to operate on these frquencies meets FCC guidelines, anyone is free to access any system. It is up to the operator of the system to restrict users.

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    HarryMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeymike View Post
    just got this info if its genuine??

    It's not illegal to use someone else's wireless network to access the internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets the rules for use of wireless spectrum in the U.S. The radio frequencies used for 802.11a/b/g systems are not regulated - licensed to specific users. As long as the equipment used to operate on these frquencies meets FCC guidelines, anyone is free to access any system. It is up to the operator of the system to restrict users.
    The clues are all there!

  3. #18

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    That reasoning is also fundamentally flawed in that it assumes that there are no specific laws that augment the FCC regulations.

    It's like saying that the road is public property, so anyone can drive a car on it regardless of whether they have a licence or not.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    IANAL, but the spectrum rules as I always interpreted them were about who can broadcast on what frequencies at what powers. Accessing systems comes under the Computer Misuse Act and it's successor, and connection is illegal.

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    salan's Avatar
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    Interesting thing about this post is that my boss has had a letter from BT about getting people to open their home hub up to everyone ie open access!!!
    So idea being that their will be free access everywhere!
    Now how does that sit with the law as it is?

  6. #21

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    Last I heard, connection wasn't illegal. Anything beyond that is a very heavy shade of grey & could be found to be illegal based on numerous acts (but no american ones!).

    Connection isn't illegal as it can be an automatic thing and the AP will be broadcasting openly to make this happen. If you then choose to carry out an action once connected you have made the decision and have then physically carried out the process to 'trespass' on to someones system. That is then what starts infringing on the CMA.

    @ salan: That is a different matter, that is allowing people free access, in the house analogy it would be like having an open house. Generally it is assumed people aren't granting free access, hence the problem
    Last edited by TechMonkey; 5th March 2009 at 05:09 PM.

  7. #22

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salan View Post
    Interesting thing about this post is that my boss has had a letter from BT about getting people to open their home hub up to everyone ie open access!!!
    So idea being that their will be free access everywhere!
    Now how does that sit with the law as it is?
    The BT HomeHub can be used as Fon access point. You end up with 2 wireless networks, the open 'public' one and the normal one. The normal one is closed and takes priority.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salan View Post
    Interesting thing about this post is that my boss has had a letter from BT about getting people to open their home hub up to everyone ie open access!!!
    So idea being that their will be free access everywhere!
    Now how does that sit with the law as it is?
    If that's the fon programme, you've got a garbled version of it.

    It goes like this:

    - you allow the homehub to have a second SSID with no key that is totally segregated from your own network, but uses the line as a gateway
    - other BT and fon subscribers get an allowance in minutes and can buy some more to be used on other subscriber's fon gateways
    - your home traffic always gets priority, but while out and about you can still get on the net as part of your subscription

  9. #24
    salan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    @ salan: That is a different matter, that is allowing people free access, in the house analogy it would be like having an open house. Generally it is assumed people aren't granting free access, hence the problem
    But if I am wondering around with my internet device, how would I know wether the AP was open because of 'lack of security' or open because it was meant to be? As Bt open access etc?

  10. #25

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salan View Post
    But if I am wondering around with my internet device, how would I know wether the AP was open because of 'lack of security' or open because it was meant to be? As Bt open access etc?
    The Fon system still requires you to sign in and be a member.

  11. Thanks to localzuk from:

    salan (5th March 2009)

  12. #26

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    I dont know about other OS's but I have never autoconnected to any open access point in Windows. You must initialise the connection and chose the access point. The act of connecting is the same as connecting a cat 5 thus unauthorised access to a network.
    Laptops only auto connect if you tell them too so your to blame and your always reponsible for what your laptop does.
    The person with the open point is responsible for any use unless they can prove it was an unauthorised user. Then they must be able to catch said person to say avoid being held liable. It is the home users requirement to secure there hub but if its unsecured you still cant use it legally.
    FCC act is like other said, as frequency range and nothing to do with the act of connecting.
    What BT are doing is opening points for openzone customers (who are logged btw) and they sit on a different network from owners devices so they cant sniff each others packets I believe and that also protects the owner a little from liability as BT is the controlling factor in the connection. Its still early days for the BT thing and I have not heard all the details yet so this may be subject to change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The Fon system still requires you to sign in and be a member.
    And what stops someone setting up an AP which looks exactly like a FON AP, but actually just collects FON passwords?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sahmeepee View Post
    And what stops someone setting up an AP which looks exactly like a FON AP, but actually just collects FON passwords?
    Probably not very much; but in this case the crime is inverted.

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    So what happens if BT were to open up, say, your Business Hub so that anyone with an OpenZone account can access your network and internet bandwidth without your permission?

    Is that illegal? Who is actually breaking the law (BT, the wireless user, you for being an ISP)??

    The whole thing is a very grey area with clumsy laws and even clumsier implementation by non-technical people.

    IMHO, if people at daft enough not to protect their wireless properly then it is their own fault. Maybe if they had a "04:00am big knock on the door" because their IP address had been found to be accessing KP they might start to understand why security is important!

    mb

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    I always thought that the Data Protection Act stated that a data holder has to take adequate protection to their data (as that could be at risk in this situation), an unsecured wireless connection does not seem like adequate proctection to me.



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