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Using someone's Wi-Fi network without their permission could land you in jail!
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Past President
Picture of Terry White
posted
Check out this story.


----
You can never go wrong by doing the right thing.

http://terrywhite.com

There are two kinds of computer users: those who have lost data and those who are about to — backup your Mac!
 
Posts: 6152 | Location: Atlanta, GA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Kirk Tirakian
posted Hide Post
I know there is a law that whatever you can see out of the window of your house you are entitled to look at. So if the neighbor decides to undress, for instance, and forgets to pull the shades, oh well.

The same is true, as I understand it, for any unencrypted wifi signal coming into my home.

I don't think what happened in the case you point out was against the law unless not patronizing the facility offering the free wifi is a crime. Real rude probably but not against the law. Buying a cup of coffee is the permission?

So what happens if you go into a meeting at another location and pick up unencrypted wifi from the neighborhood behind the building?


I'm never "lost" cause I always know where "I" am. I just may not know where anything else is or how to get there.
 
Posts: 405 | Location: Roseville, Michigan | Registered: December 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Genius
Picture of Phyllis Evans
posted Hide Post
If you don't have permission, it's theft. State law was modified specifically to cover wifi usage.


"I really need a new tagline"
—P M Evans
 
Posts: 3773 | Location: Redford, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Dave
posted Hide Post
Any business who offers "Free Wi-Fi" to their customers, is doing so to increase business. Not to make it easier for someone to check their email from the parking lot.

Individuals who do not secure their home wireless network get what they deserve.

While you can look out the window and are entitled to view what you see... using binoculars would probably land you in jail. Since the guy in Sparta needed a device to check email, he was in the wrong. While ignorance of the law is not an excuse, this shows all of us a real reason to pay attention to laws.


Dave McGuire
President - MacGroup Detroit

"What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?"
 
Posts: 2114 | Location: Orion Twp, Michigan | Registered: July 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Jamie
posted Hide Post
In Florida, there is an Apple Store in the Falls, an open mall. Folks come after hours and use the WiFi from benches outside the store. Apple Store employees said it was fine, that is why they keep it up 24-7. It is positive PR.

Is that an Apple policy? Our Apple Stores are inside malls and not accessible after hours, so it may not be an issue. But, I was just wondering since I have used Apple WiFi a couple of times from open mall settings like Florida and one in Arizona.

If that Store owner does not press charges, shouldn't it be a non-issue? One of the schools that I frequently visit has a coffee shop across the street. It is less hassle getting on that network than the schools. Many times I get coffee there, but not always. I have even told them that I use their WiFi and they said that is why it is there.

This may be a legal question, but can the law apply even if the store/network owner has no objections?


Jamie
 
Posts: 554 | Location: West Bloomfield | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Master
Picture of Paul
posted Hide Post
I say it doesn't really matter what the Michigan Law says. I'm willing to bet that if this went to the Supreme Court (and a case like this probably will some day) that the court would see it differently.

You can't have an open network, non-encrypted and no log in and then reasonably expect that no one will just log in and use your network. In the same way, I can't cover my front lawn with $50 bills, leave for work and then expect them to all be there when I get back home in the evening.

Further more, I think the cop that wrote the ticket is a Jack-Ass. The guy freely admitted that he was using it just to check his eMail and the owners of the shop didn't seem to have much of a problem with it. But this officer seems to have nothing better to do??? I think he would have better served the community by just going inside the shop, asking the owners if they had a problem with it. If the answer is "NO", then go about your business and look for people committing REAL crimes. If the answer is "YES", then let the guy off with a warning and ask him to leave. Done!


========================
Ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds stupidity. Knowledge is the key to overcoming your fears

The only fish in a stream that just "go with the flow" are the dead ones
 
Posts: 1418 | Location: Clawson, MI USA | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Bibo (Jim Nichols)
posted Hide Post
Does windows still connect you to the "strongest signal" if can find? I recall hearing Leo Laporte on his Tech Guy podcast talking to someone whose windows computer kept connecting automatically to his neighbors WiFi instead of the WiFi in his own home and Leo complaining about Windows automatically doing this without the users knowing it was happening.
 
Posts: 2095 | Location: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
quote:
This may be a legal question, but can the law apply even if the store/network owner has no objections?


The law says you need the owner's consent. If they make a blanket statement of "we don't care who uses our WiFi", that sounds like consent to me. If they post a sign saying "for customer use only" then that's different.

Of course, if you're going to do that, then as Paul says, it seems to me you should put some controls on to make sure no one unauthorized gets in.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Past President
Picture of Terry White
posted Hide Post
If I leave my front door wide open and go away for the weekend (a pretty dumb thing to do), that doesn't make it legal or OK for you to walk in and take what you want. The law is the law. I agree with most of what's being said here, but let's not forget that just because it's EASY to break a particular law, doesn't mean that it's OK to do so or the victim's fault.


----
You can never go wrong by doing the right thing.

http://terrywhite.com

There are two kinds of computer users: those who have lost data and those who are about to — backup your Mac!
 
Posts: 6152 | Location: Atlanta, GA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of Calvin
posted Hide Post
While all of this WiFi stuff is interesting, I am on my way over to Pauls house to mow his front lawn.

And while I agree that just walking in and taking Terry's stuff when he leaves the door open for the weekend is wrong, I would just be satisfied to sit there and work with his toys ....eh tools ... all weekend. Big Grin


Calvin Carson

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


"portions of todays programming are reproduced by means of electrical transcriptions or tape recordings."

"....Mailbox!....Open.......... MailBox!"

"I was exposed to the GUI and have been stuck ever since!"

"Remember.. Under our clothes...we are all naked"
 
Posts: 1727 | Location: Detroit,MI,USA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Jedi Knight
Picture of DigiMike
posted Hide Post
Paul is right!
 
Posts: 451 | Location: Grosse Pointe | Registered: June 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Rick
posted Hide Post
If I was grilling juicy steaks in my backyard and the smoke drifted into your backyard and I caught you smelling the scent of my steaks, could I sue you, saying you had no right to smell my steaks since you hadn't purchased them? Or would you say that anything that goes thru the air is free for anyone else to use?
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Southfield | Registered: January 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Genius
Picture of Phyllis Evans
posted Hide Post
Smelling your grilling steak would not enrich me in any way. Could I sue you for my allergy attack cause by your smoke? OTOH, using someone else's wifi signal without permission is no different than siphoning a gallon or two of gas from your car and adding it to mine.
quote:
Originally posted by Rick:
If I was grilling juicy steaks in my backyard and the smoke drifted into your backyard and I caught you smelling the scent of my steaks, could I sue you, saying you had no right to smell my steaks since you hadn't purchased them? Or would you say that anything that goes thru the air is free for anyone else to use?


"I really need a new tagline"
—P M Evans
 
Posts: 3773 | Location: Redford, MI | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Master
Picture of Paul
posted Hide Post
quote:
...OTOH, using someone else's wifi signal without permission is no different than siphoning a gallon or two of gas from your car and adding it to mine.


I think that comparison is a bit silly. If you buy gas and it's in *YOUR* gas tank, I have to make quite an effort and go (sneak) over to your car, drain the gas from your tank and then put it into mine. OTOH... if you hooked up your lawn sprinkler to your car's tank and started spraying gasoline up to 50 yards into my driveway, and I was simply standing there with a bucket to catch it so I could put it into my car, would you still have the right to sue me? Would you have the right to come over to my house and say "Hey!! I paid for that!!"

As I said in a previous post, in the long run, it doesn't matter what the law says right now. The supreme court has already ruled that any radio signals you broadcast are public domain and are free for the taking. So sooner or later, a case like this will make it back to the Supreme court and I'm willing to bet that they will rule the same way.


========================
Ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds stupidity. Knowledge is the key to overcoming your fears

The only fish in a stream that just "go with the flow" are the dead ones
 
Posts: 1418 | Location: Clawson, MI USA | Registered: July 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
quote:
The supreme court has already ruled that any radio signals you broadcast are public domain and are free for the taking.


That's *receiving*. And while you can receive any radio signals, FCC regs say you can't disclose what's in them in many cases.

The problem here is not the receiving but *sending* signals on someone else's equipment, using up *their* finite resource (bandwidth).

The Michigan Legislature has no jurisdiction over the sending of signals, but they certainly can regulate using someone else's resources.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Chris Doerner-McCary
posted Hide Post
Wi Fi..... as a vehicle and transmission highway of private information is subject to access on many levels. To use a metaphor.... any highway concrete or otherwise will have egress and ingress to multiple users. Any "accidents" that may occur virtually can and will cause harm to users closest to that point of an incident based on the intent of the intruder. IN the virtual world the definition of intellectual property as an asset is tantamount to THEFT if it is stolen; the signal on it's own MERIT ..... well that is the question. I have used SLING LINK Ethernet Connection bridges .... a device that uses the electric current (utility paid for by everyone)to hook up all my systems. My immediate neighbor has admitted using and receiving my connection on her computer. Her disclosure shows no intent, however the use of SLING LINK exposes my router and broadband to another customer paying for the utility as well.

The ethical conundrum; As the installer of a device where the highway becomes a utility paid for by everyone; (in the case of SLING LINK ethernet) it is at my own peril to rely on the ethics of users in immediate range of the device; or because they are also paying for the utility (which conducts the highway for instance) does it become a legitimate vehicle for them to use in an ethical matter.

SO MANY VARIABLES......

It doesn't bother me the she is using my signal. She is a friend. My security is in tact. I use AVAST for Vista, Norton for my other PCs and usually I don't hook up the Imac unless I'm exploring Itunes or syncing the Ipod.

ANY other Sling Link stories?....... please

Thanks, Chris
Smile

THE EXPECTATION: to learn by OSMOSIS and have ESP

THE REALITY: HARD KNOCKs with enthusiasm and occasionally ESPN

May the TWAIN always meet with a SMILE


*****
If one beholds the sublime in art - one can view Mac as an artform!
 
Posts: 141 | Location: Clinton Township, MI | Registered: June 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Chris Doerner-McCary
posted Hide Post
P.S. as a postscipt to the above; Using Sling Link has one disadvantage.... the above incident not being a problem. Electric current in some geographic locations not being as stable during bad weather will and can ruin every system whether or not in use at the time. I have since removed this are my network device. My reason for posting was the question of WI FI as a vehicle in relationship to what point it is virtually deemed an act of theft.

My mac plays well with my PCs. Please accept this newbie Mac convert and all my alludings to PC's because I am very much still entrenched in the WINDOWS world in addition to OSX. I very much wish to become more prolific in MAC .. and will always probably use both platforms. UNIX diversity is a good thing. So is Linux. Will there ever be UBUNTU for OSX?

Smile
THE EXPECTATION: to learn by OSMOSIS and have ESP

THE REALITY: HARD KNOCKs with enthusiasm and occasionally ESPN

May the TWAIN always meet with a SMILE


*****
If one beholds the sublime in art - one can view Mac as an artform!
 
Posts: 141 | Location: Clinton Township, MI | Registered: June 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Chris Doerner-McCary
posted Hide Post
Maybe I forgot to mention, Sling Link uses electrical current in ones wall to transmit the broadband signals from one room to another. The Sling Link is the harware that hooks up to your cable modem and directs it to other Sling Boxes on the same electrical outlet on different floors of the house.

www.slingmedia.com

Sling Media - SlingLink Turbo


*****
If one beholds the sublime in art - one can view Mac as an artform!
 
Posts: 141 | Location: Clinton Township, MI | Registered: June 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
quote:
Will there ever be UBUNTU for OSX?


Nope, you've asked if there will ever be one OS for another OS. The real question is, will there ever be Ubuntu for PPC or Intel Macs, and the answer is yes for Intel, probably not for PPC (although there are other flavors of Linux available for PPC machines).

Look out for using broadband of electrical lines. It tends to be *very* noisy in the radio spectrum, and if you have any hams or emergency services attempting to operate in the area, you may be wiping out their signals. If so, and they complain to the FCC, you will have to shut it down and possibly face fines. Broadband over powerlines is tricky and expensive to do right.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Art P.
posted Hide Post
I have Vonage VOIP phone service and had a REAL tough time configuring a TiVo wireless adapter to work with my old Graphite Apple Airport Base Station so I choose leave my wireless signal open and unprotected for Tivo to pull programming and updates. My desktop Mac connected by ethernet to my network does have Built in Firewall active.

My goal was to buy a newer Apple Base Station sometime in the near future (That was a year ago, a Intel MacBook moved to the top of that list and now maybe an iPhone has bumped it further down).

I live in a Corner House so I really only have neighbors on one side but a single house accross the street and of course neighbors on the street behind me.

The other night I was sitting on my porch with my iBook and I wanted to see how far down the block I could walk and still get a signal. I went about 6 or 8 houses down and before I had no bars on my iBook, over a 1/3 of the block.

I was concerned if anyone was using my Network so I downloaded this:

IP Scanner 1.7.1



Since I have been using it I haven't noticed any other users connected so I feel okay with the situation.

I'm sure not too many people will come WarDriving in the "Hood" looking for open wireless networks so I am really not too concerned and if somebody wanted to connect to check email, well maybe. I have a few geek friends that know my network is open if they ever need it.

As far as me sharing my Comcast access that I pay for (yes I know it is illegal), I feel Comcast charges me the same amount as Windows Users for less service (Windows users NEED more Tech support and have other free features that are not supported on Macs). I have no problem sharing a few minutes of net access for a friend to pull up in my driveway and google a map IF he knows my network is open.

I know leaving my network open is bad but LIFE WITHOUT TiVO is worse!


- - - -
Macs make life simple... (Sometimes!)
 
Posts: 641 | Location: Detroit, MI USA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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