Use of open networks in FL can cause an arrest - Page 2
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 39

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

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    748
    n 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 real simple. If you don't know whether or not you are authorized to use a network resource, any type of resource, don't use it. It is up to the user to make sure that they are authorized to do something. And if they are not, they are liable for their actions.

    How many people here think it is perfectly legal to walk into a public place of business, and hook their laptop into the rj45 connection sitting behind the water cooler? It may not get you arrested, but as soon as somebody in that office sees you sitting on the floor with your laptop hooked up to the wall they are going to ask you what you are doing. Same thing applies. There is no sign that specifically says you don't have the right to use this, but there is nothing that would give you the impression that you have the right to use it. In some cases, you probably would get arrested depending on how the office workers wanted to treat you.

    People want to make a distinction just because this is transmitted through the air, and that distinction just doesn't exist. A network device is a network device, if you are not authorized to use it, using it is illegal.

    I don't know if I totally agree with Negatives analysis of the issue as ignorance does not excuse anybody from the law. The prosecutors may not choose to prosecute you if they think you meant to connect to another machine, but the act itself it still technically illegal.

    Most people may not realize this, but plugging your laptop into a wall socket in a public place is also illegal. People were getting arrested for this frequently several years ago. It doesn't matter that there was not a sign saying you can't use it, or that there was no security measures in place to keep people from using them.

    That I'm aware of New Hampshire is the only state that has taken an official by passing a law stating that unsecured network operators cannot prosecute people who use their networks- http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legi...03/HB0495.html

    More legal items to read, written by lawyers and quoting the FBI and other federal laws-
    http://www.vjolt.net/vol9/issue3/v9i3_a07-Ryan.pdf

    Specifically it notes this memo published by the FBI. "Identifying the presence of a wireless network may not be a criminal violation, however, there may be criminal violations if the network is actually accessed including theft of services, interception of communications, misuse of computing resources, up to and including violations of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute, Theft of Trade Secrets, and other federal violations"

    Note that this journal entry draws a fine line about what is considered intent. It could be argued that by telling your wireless NIC to connect to a wireless network that you intentionally meant to connect to that network. The law is pretty clear, how it is applied is what is not clear.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,199
    How many people here think it is perfectly legal to walk into a public place of business, and hook their laptop into the rj45 connection sitting behind the water cooler? It may not get you arrested, but as soon as somebody in that office sees you sitting on the floor with your laptop hooked up to the wall they are going to ask you what you are doing. Same thing applies. There is no sign that specifically says you don't have the right to use this, but there is nothing that would give you the impression that you have the right to use it. In some cases, you probably would get arrested depending on how the office workers wanted to treat you.
    actually this would be tresspassing. And I wouldnt be so sure about people questioning what you are doing...or atleast not caring. Its amazing how far "Im here to fix the computers" will get you until somone with even a little knowledge will call your bluff.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

    http://think-smarter.blogspot.com

  3. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    30
    Originally posted here by mohaughn
    It's real simple. If you don't know whether or not you are authorized to use a network resource, any type of resource, don't use it. It is up to the user to make sure that they are authorized to do something. And if they are not, they are liable for their actions.
    Unfortunately, things aren't that simple. Do you have any idea how many networks you're going through to post on Antionline? How about the other web sites or Internet resources you visit every day? Have you been granted explicit access to each and every one, perhaps in writing or in person?

    Implied access to countless external network resources is assumed by all of us, every single day. And we assume that due, in large part, to how the networks are configured. In the case of unsecured wireless networks, it can be truthfully argued that 1) by-and-large, the networks advertise themselves as available, 2) the networks are open and available and 3) the networks provide credentials and access when they're requested using open protocols. Furthermore, virtually every wireless access point made comes with the ability to change any and all of these factors.

    So no, I don't think things are quite as simple as you indicate, and I'd be very interested in seeing how a judge ruled in a case like this if a vigorous and knowledgable defense were mounted.

  4. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    534
    WiFi network is basicaly a buncha electromagnetic waves. Charging someone for access to that is like charging one w/ access to copyrighted material because they are listening to a radio that you are blasting out of your window. I understand that many ppl don't know how to secure their network but if that's so then they have 2 choices

    1. pay someone to do it, just like paying ADT to secure your house
    2. stop using it

    What the man did is basically used some electrons in other guy's cable wire. If he didn't noticibly hinder the bandwith what are you going to blame him for? And even if he did, how are you gonna put value of damages on "that".


    I should sue *****s like the "victim" for making their network use my laptop battery and NIC's bandwidth. God when will ppl stop being so anal about eveything.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,199
    I should sue *****s like the "victim" for making their network use my laptop battery and NIC's bandwidth. God when will ppl stop being so anal about eveything.
    not a bad idea...I should sue neighboring companies becasue their insecure, high powered wireless network is interfering with my network. Or atleast I could make that claim. either that or go over an offer to fix it for them for a fee...choices choices.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

    http://think-smarter.blogspot.com

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    748
    Unfortunately, things aren't that simple. Do you have any idea how many networks you're going through to post on Antionline? How about the other web sites or Internet resources you visit every day? Have you been granted explicit access to each and every one, perhaps in writing or in person?
    Actually yeah, I do have prior knowledge that I'm ok using these resources. I have a service contract with my ISP that gives me access to the internet, they have service contracts with their network providers that give them access to the global cloud. Port scanning isn't illegal, but just banging on the door of a service is different than actually using that service. The journal I posted makes that distinction in that you can document everything about a wireless network, but you can't connect to it and send packets across it. I can't control how my tcp/ip packets are routed, atleast once it gets to the equipment owned by my ISP. Now my ISP could route their packets through something that they are not authorized to do so and they would be liable.

    The law does not make much of a distinction between wireless networks and traditional wired networks. They are all considered network resources, with the exception of NH. But you could still be held accountable for a federal crime if you were to do something that attracted the attention of the FBI over a wireless network in NH.


    It is obvious that not a lot of people on here were not around and using modems back in the late 80's and early 90's. You could get into hosts all over the place, and it was illegal. Many terminal systems back then had no security. If you could issue the right command you can run telnet or some other type of command depending on the host system to connect out to other systems. A lot of phone switches were completely open and available as well. Just because there was a lack of a security systems did not give you the right to use that system.

  7. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    30
    Originally posted here by mohaughn
    [B]Actually yeah, I do have prior knowledge that I'm ok using these resources. I have a service contract with my ISP that gives me access to the internet, they have service contracts with their network providers that give them access to the global cloud. Port scanning isn't illegal, but just banging on the door of a service is different than actually using that service. The journal I posted makes that distinction in that you can document everything about a wireless network, but you can't connect to it and send packets across it. I can't control how my tcp/ip packets are routed, atleast once it gets to the equipment owned by my ISP. Now my ISP could route their packets through something that they are not authorized to do so and they would be liable.
    Ah, but you do have some control -- at least, as far as the destination is concerned. The sites you visit are your choice. Just because someone puts up a publicly-accessible web server on TCP port 80 doesn't mean they've given explicit permission to access their network and use the computing resources of the server, does it?

    I suppose it would be an interesting test case: someone puts up an open web server, then files criminal charges against anyone who accesses it, claiming that they never intended anyone to access their network and their server. Frankly, I don't think it would go anywhere, but then, I'm not a lawyer.

    The law does not make much of a distinction between wireless networks and traditional wired networks. They are all considered network resources, with the exception of NH. But you could still be held accountable for a federal crime if you were to do something that attracted the attention of the FBI over a wireless network in NH.
    Ultimately, it's a matter for the courts, unless a law specifically forbids using an open wireless access point without the explicit permission of the human who owns it. As I noted before, I think it would be interesting to see how a good defense attorney would do against a more generic "unauthorized access of computing resources" charge.

  8. #18
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,834
    People have a hard time visualizing the wireless world versus a physical jack on the wall. There is a difference. You are broadcasting clear invitation on public frequencies that anyone can pick up. By simply saying come connect to me - in non technical terms: "Anyone want an IP? OK here you go, here is my gateway and here are my DNS servers. Let me configure it for you." In fact the gateway in effect is also violating the law and talking to my laptop. If one connects to a box that is not theirs and manipulated files, that is a defferent matter. Or any of a million other things like not broadcasting SSID etc would change the tune a bit. On the bright side, new versions of WI-FI require encryption as a standard implementation. For exactly this reasonl.
    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.

  9. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    14
    If the person doesn't even know how to secure his/her wireless they more than likely do NOT have logging turned on. So unless there is some type of proof of brute force I don't see how they could charge someone.
    50.00 Free to Play Party Poker - No Credit Card needed and no purchases required. MyGreenChip.com

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    245
    I don't have a problem with this law actually. Of course it depends on what the network is; e.g. public hot spot offered by a shop or cafe.

    If I park outside your house on the street and freeload off your network to surf hotasianbabes.com, or to download warez, you should be pissed off and you should call the cops. Even my mom, who is the most un-techie person imaginable would know what you are doing and call the cops on you. War Driving is just not an uber-31337 h4x0r secret anymore. So kiss it goodbye unless you are doing an official audit for someone who is paying you to poke at their network.

    We can get all sticky about signal ranges and such, but it is still stealing a connection from somebody who is paying for it, no matter how you slice it.

    -- spurious
    Get OpenSolaris http://www.opensolaris.org/

Posting Permissions

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