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General Chat Thread, is it illegal?? in General; Originally Posted by originofsymmetry I always thought that the Data Protection Act stated that a data holder has to take ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by originofsymmetry View Post
    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.
    Doesn't make someone stealing your bandwidth any less illegal!

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    originofsymmetry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    Doesn't make someone stealing your bandwidth any less illegal!
    At no point did I make out it was....

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    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.
    If your network at home is called NETGEAR, and doesnt have any security, then windows will connect to any wireless network called NETGEAR which matches your home setup (ie, no security)

    There is a way to disable this, but its on as default.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Two key words here folks .. the OP said 'used' not 'connected'

    The use of a connection is indeed illegal under the communications act but use must be proved. Should a device randomly connect to a radio network it is not authorised to do then it is negotiating a connection. This is not use of a network or an internet connection.

    Once the connection is negotiated then anything else would be use. DNS traffic to the ISP (always set your DHCP to put your ISP's DNS in rather than use your home device instead. This forces anyone who connects to 'use' immediately ... go on, be nasty!), surfing the web come under communications act. Attempting to connect to devices in the home user's network would come under computer misuse act.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by originofsymmetry View Post
    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.
    This is nothing to do with the DPA; if you were storing confidential material about other people, then it would be. This is just about someone connecting up and stealing some throughput, and then protesting they are innocent because you asked for it by leaving the security off.

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    Hacksawbob's Avatar
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    Just a few legal observations,
    Yes. You are trespassing.
    Tresspass is a civil not criminal.

    In any criminal act apart from a few special cases, (as far as I'm aware the communications act does not have what is known as strict liability) there is the act (the actus reus) and the intention (the mens rea, no really!) without both parts proved beyond a reasonable doubt there is no conviction. If you unintentionally connect to a ap with the same SSID and default password as your own there would not be intent and therefore no crime has been committed.

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    bmdixon's Avatar
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    Probably would only get charged if you were using it excessively. I will admit that i have quickly googled something or checked a site on an open connection but i wouldn't ever dream of using it more than briefly. I believe that this is ok (although probably techically still illegal) and don't see the issue. If i downloaded loads of stuff or accessed illegal content then fine but a quick google doesn't hurt anyone (if they even notice!)

  8. #38

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hacksawbob View Post
    Just a few legal observations,

    Tresspass is a civil not criminal.

    In any criminal act apart from a few special cases, (as far as I'm aware the communications act does not have what is known as strict liability) there is the act (the actus reus) and the intention (the mens rea, no really!) without both parts proved beyond a reasonable doubt there is no conviction. If you unintentionally connect to a ap with the same SSID and default password as your own there would not be intent and therefore no crime has been committed.
    True. But intentionally using someone else's connection is theft, because you are depriving them of a service they pay for:

    the fraudulent taking of property belonging to another, with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property

  9. #39
    bmdixon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    True. But intentionally using someone else's connection is theft, because you are depriving them of a service they pay for:
    What exactly are you depriving them of..... they still have their connection (assuming you don't hog it all)

    (just playing devils advocate)

  10. #40
    budgester's Avatar
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    It would be so cool if everyone with a wireless access point could make a portion of the available bandwidth available to everyone, so that we could get a countrywide free wireless network or mesh.

    In fact I'm sure there was a group doing this a few years ago, can't remember the name, but it was a big deal in the open source community.

    Until then make sure you spoof your MAC address ;-)

    and start

    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warchalking]Warchalking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Not that I'm advocating breaking the law.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by budgester View Post
    In fact I'm sure there was a group doing this a few years ago, can't remember the name, but it was a big deal in the open source community.
    That would be fon, a Spanish company. BT partner with them, as far as I know that's all the relationship is.

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmdixon View Post
    What exactly are you depriving them of..... they still have their connection (assuming you don't hog it all)

    (just playing devils advocate)
    I have a capped connection: if somebody were to steals all my allowance for the rest of the month, I'd be pretty . I'm also responsible for what happens on my line, so if someone starts fetching pictures of small children through it, it's me that'll be held to account.
    Last edited by powdarrmonkey; 5th March 2009 at 11:55 PM. Reason: grammar

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    I have a capped connection: if somebody were to steals all my allowance for the rest of the month, I'd be pretty . I'm also responsible for what happens on my line, so if someone starts fetching pictures of small children through it, it's me that'll be held to account.
    Oh ok, i agree with you there. And definitely on the illegal stuff, i was just meaning small usage ie a google search and then quick browse of a site. If they download loads or access illegal sites then definitely an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmdixon View Post
    i was just meaning small usage ie a google search and then quick browse of a site. If they download loads or access illegal sites then definitely an issue.
    Small usage is just as much theft as big usage, there's no grey line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    Small usage is just as much theft as big usage, there's no grey line.
    I agree

    thats like saying i went to tescos the other day and I only stole a little chocolate bar - not like I stole a whole box of chocolate slabs or anything more then that - end of the day its still theft

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