Use of open networks in FL can cause an arrest
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 39

Thread: Use of open networks in FL can cause an arrest

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    297

    Use of open networks in FL can cause an arrest

    Though it doesnt state what the guy was doing with the connection it says he was arrested for "theft of services" from an open wireless connection.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/04/St...a_new_br.shtml

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    748
    This isn't only illegal in Florida, it is illegal in just about all states. It is pretty much common knowledge that gaining unauthorized access to a network is illegal.

    I just think it is funny that the guy didn't immediately walk into his house and check out who was connected to his network. That would be the first thing I would have done.

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    297
    How do you prove intent that an open network wasnt meant to be used by the public?
    If it wasnt intended to be used by the public, shouldn't it have been encrypted or had some other security measure. Especially since the owner blantly stated that he understood how to set up the routers security features he just didn't see the point of it.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,192
    Please do not think that I am being critical here, or that I am blaming anyone.

    A while ago I understand that the USA had a "2600" scam on their phone systems? we had something similar over here.

    When a guy was caught over here, all they could charge him with was theft of electricity ( sorry, no pun intended..just the way the Enlish language works )

    So, your "theft of services" is the same problem? "THEY" don't actually have a proper crime on the statute books?


    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Yes
    Posts
    4,429
    The article isn't clear on what exactly the guy did with the network, but here are some considerations:

    Technically, it is not illegal to connect to someone else's wi-fi, as long as there is no protection on that network.
    In technical terms, it is not illegal to "intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public".

    An unprotected wi-fi network is exactly that: an electronic communication system, readily accessible to the general public. If the network is protected, the law doesn't apply anymore: breaking someone's WEP and connecting to the network is illegal.

    The same law (the ECPA) also mentions "intentional interception" for this act to be illegal, and the "intentional" part is important: if you're sitting outside someone's house for hours using his network, it's pretty obvious that it's intentional. Consequence: it's illegal.

    So, summarized:

    - Open network, and you connect to it unintentionally: nothing illegal about that
    - Open network, and you connect to it intentionally: illegal
    - Secured network, and you connect to it unintentionally: illegal
    - Secured network, and you connect to it intentionally: very illegal

    What this guy was doing falls into that second category: illegal...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,199
    Maybe he was pulled over looking at a mapping program and accidently logged on to the person AP

    I agree that theft is theft, but the owner needs to take responsibility for his own mistakes as well. I know that I have pulled over and grabbed some free net access when I was looking for directions and to just kill time once in a while.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

    http://think-smarter.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    748
    Originally posted here by spamdies
    How do you prove intent that an open network wasnt meant to be used by the public?


    Ask the owner of the network what the network was intended for.


    If it wasnt intended to be used by the public, shouldn't it have been encrypted or had some other security measure. Especially since the owner blantly stated that he understood how to set up the routers security features he just didn't see the point of it.
    I'll use the often used analogy of door locks. Even though I'm tired of seeing this analoyg. We need a new comparison if you ask me...

    If I leave my backdoor unlocked and you walk in you are still breaking and entering. It doesn't matter that I was not smart enough to lock the door in the first place. Nor can you blame the owner of the network as he does not control the actions of the criminal.

    I see unsecured networks all of the time. Do I ever use them, no. Why not? Because I wouldn't want somebody else poking around in my network. It's a matter of ethics. Just because you can break the law doesn't mean that you should or have a right to.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    297
    Im not fond of that analogy either. Because your unlocked door isnt on your property, its sitting in my living room.

    I do agree that it is immoral to use these networks. I also feel that not only do the poeple leaching band width need to be addressed by the law, but also anyone running an unencrypted network need to somehow be made aware they are resopsible for all traffic through the network even if it means that all wireless networks have to be encrypted by law.
    How about another anology who is resposible for the crime, the arms dealer or the arms buyer? how about a drug dealer or a drug buyer?

  9. #9
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,834
    Ask the owner of the network what the network was intended for.
    In many cases that is impossible to many users. And the door lock analogy does not easily apply. You don't know where the door lock is, expecially with open and public systems in the same area. For example. Setting in my office I see 7 open wi-fi networks. One labled bob. How the heck do I know what or where bob is? He could be a mile away or setting in a car. Another one says something like rt01cityname. What is that? Is it a free public access point? The answer is unclear. It's like someone talking over my walkie talkie uninvited. Anoying but legal. In fact you may not even know which network you are connected too even if you think you are accessing the local coffee shops free connection. As Negative pointed out there are existing laws that cover radio freqency access as long as the network controls are not compromised and other laws aren't broken then there really isn't much that can be done. And I agree with that.

    In this case the dude was caught three times hanging out in a car outside the victims domocile. He is undeniably stupid. Chances are he broke other laws as well.

    Powering up a laptop with DHCP and a wireless card enabled is not illegal. Many systems would automatically connect to the first wi-fi it could find.
    West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    30
    Originally posted here by mohaughn
    Ask the owner of the network what the network was intended for.

    I'll use the often used analogy of door locks. Even though I'm tired of seeing this analoyg. We need a new comparison if you ask me...

    If I leave my backdoor unlocked and you walk in you are still breaking and entering. It doesn't matter that I was not smart enough to lock the door in the first place. Nor can you blame the owner of the network as he does not control the actions of the criminal.

    I see unsecured networks all of the time. Do I ever use them, no. Why not? Because I wouldn't want somebody else poking around in my network. It's a matter of ethics. Just because you can break the law doesn't mean that you should or have a right to.
    Well, here's the problem: the law, if it forbids this type of activity, is pretty confused.

    Not only did the network likely advertise its presence and services (via SSID broadcast), and not only was it entirely open despite the fact that it didn't have to be, but in order to log on to the network, someone's computer had to request services and credentials (namely, an IP address through DHCP, as well as a link), and the network had to grant them to him. And worse, it would appear that the owner of the network deliberately left it that way (though I don't think this is critically important).

    A closer analogy than the one above would be that a sign is hung on the door that says "Come on in! Public welcome. Just turn the knob!"

    Now, how do you distinguish legally between this and any other, implicitly allowed network access? Beats me. But if I were the defense attorney, I'd sure make the case that this network was specificaly configured to provide services to any member of the public who wanted them, just like most open access ports out there...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 Security News

     Patches

       Security Trends

         How-To

           Buying Guides