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Question: Using someones unsecured network for light traffic use and no malice/piracy/invasion: Good or Bad?
Sounds good to me.
Do, don't, it doesn't sound like people should be getting worked up.
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Author Topic: Using unsecured WiFi networks as hotspots: OK or EVEEL?  (Read 4923 times)
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Purge
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« on: August 24, 2008, 04:20:25 PM »

Born of a derail.

I have allowed users to change votes because people change minds. Who knows, maybe someone will be able to convince another.

Here was the response I wrote up to respond to Asharak:

Quote
And.... hotspots provided from people/businesses/etc on purpose are bad?

Now granted that hotspots that are there due to ignorance is taking advantage of the less capable, but if we're talking about running a query on google for an address or something, it's the equivelant of saying "can I get the time?".

Hopping into a community of people where your connection to them is tenuous at best and playing devil's advocate (not you Devil, I know you don't need advocates slywink) for the sake of making "trolls uncomfortable" doesn't seem like he's trying to get a point across.

I'm the first person who, if I found something lying around (such as a 20, a wallet, purse, etc), would try to locate the owner and return it unaltered even though it would be to my benefit to keep it.

People seem to equate bandwidth as a commodity; I see it more like a phone service. If it's paid for already and you're not using it, what's the harm in using it briefly? I'm not condoning it be used to the detriment of the owner, including using it to break the law (piracy, malicious attacks etc) just as I wouldn't borrow someone's car to rob a bank, or surf for porn on a borrowed laptop. I'm also not pulling down 5 ISO's for the latest GNU release of the Linux flavor of the week either (its much like making trans-atlantic calls on a per-minute plan and sticking them with the bill)

Given the interface is not set up to page the owner before using it and asking, connecting to an open network to check your email isn't sinking anyone. Hell, most network segments on the internet are not owned by your ISP and the very spirit of the internet is "don't ask". If you want to keep track of all your ones and zeros, calculate the cost of your visitor and send them me the bill (for perhaps .00034ths of a cent) then that's fine. I'm going to need to set up a filter so your 1's and 0's never pass my gateway; I wouldn't want your thoughts intruding on my ISP cost. Tongue

The Do Unto Others rule? It still applies on the internet.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 04:24:23 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 04:40:31 PM »

If nothing malicious or illegal is being done with someone else's wlan, I don't consider it immoral provided, as you say, it's light use.  Maybe checking email in an emergency or something.

For the record, anything heavier is not OK with me though, for cost reasons.  For example, my ISP doesn't throttle, shape traffic or anything, but I'm capped at 25 GB of downloads per month (unlimited upload).  Any more and I have to pay through the nose.  So I'd be pretty miffed if I found someone had used my wlan to download a gig or two.

All the above notwithstanding, the "if you don't secure it, it's your fault" argument doesn't wash with me.  If you forget to lock your door when you go out and then get robbed, the thief is still intentionally breaking the law.  If I was aware of an unlocked house, I wouldn't rob it.
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 05:10:20 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on August 24, 2008, 04:40:31 PM

If you forget to lock your door when you go out and then get robbed, the thief is still intentionally breaking the law.  If I was aware of an unlocked house, I wouldn't rob it.

You have to remember to lock your door every time you go out, and an unlocked door looks just like a locked one. You only have to secure your network once. Running an unsecured network is like building a house that doesn't have any locks, and putting a big sign saying "open house" on it.
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 05:10:24 PM »

I don't really see the problem as I think people should just lock their shit down.  However, whether I personally have a problem with it or not, it's now illegal in several places.  I don't see a problem with smoking pot, but it's illegal so I don't do it.  Same with this.
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 05:24:14 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on August 24, 2008, 05:10:20 PM

You have to remember to lock your door every time you go out, and an unlocked door looks just like a locked one. You only have to secure your network once. Running an unsecured network is like building a house that doesn't have any locks, and putting a big sign saying "open house" on it.

I don't agree with your analogy, but that's beside the point.  The point I was making is the perpetrator knows he's committing a crime.
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 05:40:53 PM »

You may be capped at a certain download per month, Huw, but as far as I know broadband ISPs in the US don't do that (or at least I've never had one that did or heard of one).  When that is the case I tend to think that even though it is wrong, it isn't negatively affecting person so I don't care too much. 

Just like not leaving your car windows or house door wide open, you need to take a bit of responsibility and secure your network if you don't want people hopping on it. 
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 05:57:28 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on August 24, 2008, 05:40:53 PM

You may be capped at a certain download per month, Huw, but as far as I know broadband ISPs in the US don't do that (or at least I've never had one that did or heard of one).

Really?  In those cases, then, I'd have no problem with it.  I'm surprised you don't have monthly usage limits though.  Personally I much prefer those to having to put up with throttling and the like.  I haven't come close to using up 25 GB in a month yet, and I enjoy a constant 8 Mbit/sec download speed day and night with no throttling or shaping (which is rare in the UK).
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 06:23:14 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on August 24, 2008, 04:40:31 PM

If nothing malicious or illegal is being done with someone else's wlan, I don't consider it immoral provided, as you say, it's light use.  Maybe checking email in an emergency or something.
This.
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 06:38:15 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on August 24, 2008, 05:40:53 PM

You may be capped at a certain download per month, Huw, but as far as I know broadband ISPs in the US don't do that (or at least I've never had one that did or heard of one).  When that is the case I tend to think that even though it is wrong, it isn't negatively affecting person so I don't care too much. 

Comcast in Texas is starting with the idea of capping people's download bandwith, and selling different tiers of max cap. Plus, they've debated on making a cap US wide, but making it where very few people will hit it (~250GB).

Personally, with there being SO many ways of getting 'net access nowadays (your own ISP, via a cell phone, Hotspots available at many locations, etc), I believe that it's wrong for you to borrow somebody's connection for any reason. Of course, it's partially at fault of the owner, too - most routers nowadays have idiot instructions (CD installs, big GIANT poster sheets, etc) that'll give you the most basic of wireless protection. Yeah, it won't hold up to a hacker at all, but it will protect you.
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2008, 06:46:15 PM »

It's not a big deal imho, but it is illegal in several states (it's called Theft of Service, and the thinking by the legislators who write these laws seems to be it's just the same as splitting your neighbor's cable or phone line and stealing their service).  Last time I looked, several states have all successfully prosecuted people for doing exactly this.  An example is the famous case of the guy in Michigan, who was fined for checking his e-mail every day, using a local coffee shop's wireless service.  This is a step past what you're talking about, since the coffee shop wireless access point is intentionally open to other users (presumably the paying customers...).  In some cases, the law on the books is pretty absurd.  In Florida, for example, they charged a guy with a felony.

Legislators in my state, Maryland proposed a similar rule in March of 2008, not sure where it went.  
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2008, 07:56:36 PM »

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Character does count. For too long we have gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by and the only thing wrong is to get caught. Character is doing what's right when nobody is looking...

    * Oklahoma Congressman J. C. Watts, speech at the Republican National Convention (August 13, 1996)

That being said, some actions are a matter of convenience, and I believe that illegal activity is one of them.  Millions of people break the law by speeding because it is easy, requiring the movement of millimeters. 

As far as forcing the actions on the users to make sure their resources are protected, the Dallas area has scads of signs at every apartment complex, billboards, etc. that place the onus of preventing your car from being an easy target on you.  Again, the belief being that if you are not the easiest target, you won't be the victim.  In a pinch, if someone wants your car badly enough, there's nothing you can do to stop them, but you can certainly make it inconvenient and time consuming.  There are a lot more people making bigger mistakes and may eventually be victimized over you.
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2008, 08:19:40 PM »

If I leave a pitcher of ice cold lemonade on a table at the foot of my driveway with a sign that says "Free", why would I be offended when people walking down the sidewalk take a drink?
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2008, 08:30:01 PM »

Quote from: warning on August 24, 2008, 08:19:40 PM

...that says "Free"...

Show me where it states that on a wifi network.
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2008, 08:31:53 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 24, 2008, 07:56:36 PM

As far as forcing the actions on the users to make sure their resources are protected, the Dallas area has scads of signs at every apartment complex, billboards, etc. that place the onus of preventing your car from being an easy target on you.  Again, the belief being that if you are not the easiest target, you won't be the victim.  In a pinch, if someone wants your car badly enough, there's nothing you can do to stop them, but you can certainly make it inconvenient and time consuming.  There are a lot more people making bigger istakes and may eventually be victimized over you.

But that's exactly why I use The Club on my car - yeah, I know the criminals can get my car if they wanted to, but I hope that by using it, they'll go after somebody else's vehicle because it's 'easier'. Same with WiFi - even the most basic of protection will keep the 'average' criminal out, and they'll hopefully go somewhere else.

And I found this blurb about bandwith caps (sorry, the article comes via my cell, so I don't have a source):

Quote
Frontier Communications Corp, a phone company out of New York, is instituting a 5GB per month cap. Yes, 5GB. And they did that to match a 'main cable rival' in the area (name not listed).

Time Warner Inc, in Beaumont, Texas, in also trying out a 5GB cap. Every GB beyond that costs $1. More expensive plans have higher caps - at $54.90 a month, the cap is 40GB. And no, they don't say how much it costs a month for the smaller cap.
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2008, 08:52:17 PM »

Quote from: warning on August 24, 2008, 08:19:40 PM

If I leave a pitcher of ice cold lemonade on a table at the foot of my driveway with a sign that says "Free", why would I be offended when people walking down the sidewalk take a drink?

Oh, come on.  That's not even close to being the same thing.
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2008, 09:27:09 PM »

If you didn't pay for it, you are stealing it.

Pretty straightforward to me, you are taking advantage of a service/product you didn't pay for and have no rights to.
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2008, 09:30:33 PM »

Quote from: warning on August 24, 2008, 08:19:40 PM

If I leave a pitcher of ice cold lemonade on a table at the foot of my driveway with a sign that says "Free", why would I be offended when people walking down the sidewalk take a drink?

well, seeing as it's your place it's probably drugged so I wouldn't drink from it anyways in fear of passing out and being used in some weird sexual act.
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2008, 10:02:00 PM »

i dunno i dont have a cap on my wireless - and i dont really care if anyone uses it as long as they dont do anything malicious

seriously i have more problem with spam, with cable companies instituting pay-for-bandwidth (what is this 1990 aol all over again? 1.95 a freakin' minute? come on!) but this doesnt bother me.

its not like someone coming in and sitting in my house when im not there, if anything its a hassle for the cable companies and not me (which gives me an inkling as to why its becoming illegal in certain states)

to me, its akin to complaining that someone is breathing too much of my air (which im sure i will do once an innovate company figures out how to charge) - i guess it comes from my conception of wireless access as something that doesnt "run out"  its not like electricity - its just sort of magically "there" for the taking - its not like if someone taps into my powerlines and my house suddenly uses twice as much electricity.  if i have someone on my wireless, i dont even notice and it doesnt draw anything from me - maybe i have a totally naive idea of what bandwidth is
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2008, 10:21:45 PM »

Quote from: warning on August 24, 2008, 08:19:40 PM

If I leave a pitcher of ice cold lemonade on a table at the foot of my driveway with a sign that says "Free", why would I be offended when people walking down the sidewalk take a drink?

I think the more appropriate analogy would be if you were having a big family BBQ at the park and while you weren't looking some of the people from the neighboring park site came over into your BBQ and helped themselves to some of your food.

The fact that you had more than enough food to spare and the fact that you didn't bother to put up a fence nor hire a bouncer for your BBQ - is kind of irrelevant.

In the end - it's just plain rude.

I mean come on, if you really think it's not a big deal, then it shouldn't be a big deal for you to simply go over to the network owner and ask for permission to "borrow some bandwidth" from their network. 
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2008, 10:35:33 PM »

it takes 5 mins to lock down your wireless access. there is really no reason why it should be open. if you don't want people using it, stop them simple as that. not saying one is wrong or right, but really, there is no excuse to have an open wifi if your intentions aren't allowing others to use it.

anyone, ANYONE, can setup SSID. there is no excuse for computer literacy or not.
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2008, 11:08:03 PM »

Jersoc, your post raises several points.  Firstly, I'd like to say that I believe that the majority of wlans are owned by people who don't know how to secure them, don't realise it's important, or assume they come secured in the first place.  I don't think a lot of networks are open because people are idiots, I think it's because people don't know better.  That's not necessarily their fault.  I can't help thinking of my neighbour who's retired, very old, doesn't know a thing about computers and just wanted to read his email.

No excuse for computer literacy?  I find that rather harsh.  Again, I'm reminded of my neighbour.  He has a desktop PC and a laptop that's kept right next to his desktop.  He doesn't need a wlan but was sold one by the shitty chain shop he bought the kit from.  I've spent many a patient hour with him and he can just about surf the net and get his email OK.  I don't expect him to understand the finer points of securing his network - luckily for him he has me to call on...many won't.

Finally, as for your SSID comment, sorry but I find that a bit silly.  For starters, non-broadcasting of SSID is a trivial defence against people who want to use your particular network.  And the same can be said for all other kinds of wlan security.  If some hacker absolutely has to use your wlan, sooner or later he will.
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2008, 11:43:08 PM »

That goes back to my earlier point.  It's not uncommon is residential areas for there to multiple networks.  It's sometimes enough just to not make yours the easiest to break into.
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2008, 11:46:20 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 24, 2008, 08:30:01 PM

Quote from: warning on August 24, 2008, 08:19:40 PM

...that says "Free"...

Show me where it states that on a wifi network.

If I don't have my wifi secured then I have a big sign hanging on it that says "free" whether I like it or not.

There was a time my wifi wasn't secured and I know people were leeching internet from me.  I expected it.  Now that I have it secured (I've moved the lemonade stand into my back yard behind my fence to continue my not-so-great example), if someone cracks my encryption (climbs my fence into my backyard) *then* I'll be upset.

There's no excuse for not securing it.  My wifi doesn't stop at the boundary of my property, it travels into other peoples' homes near me.  If someone wants to use my wifi signal that they can pick up inside their home and I haven't secured it, what right do I have to complain?
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« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2008, 12:20:12 AM »

Quote from: warning on August 24, 2008, 11:46:20 PM

If I don't have my wifi secured then I have a big sign hanging on it that says "free" whether I like it or not.

I just don't agree with that.  I'll say it again - there are people out there who just don't know any better.  Hanging a sign saying "free" implies consent, whereas I would bet that most people running insecure networks would be surprised to know that people can/are using their bandwidth without permission.  You can talk about whether people should know better as much as you want, but there's still no implied consent as far as I can see, and that's where the analogy fails.

The fact is, people who wilfully use other people's bandwidth are doing "wrong," at least in the eyes of the law, and they damn well know it.  Whether a law is easy to break or not, it's still being broken.
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« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2008, 12:53:07 AM »

I don't see a problem with it, depending on how you use it.

I don't see a lot of unsecured wireless networks anymore. For example - of the 7 neighbours with wireless networks around me, all seven are secured. And at a friend of mine's house in uCity (which is a heavy student part of town), there's four available nearby and all four are secured.

I think (unintentional) unsecured wireless networks are becoming a dying breed.
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« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2008, 01:17:23 AM »

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The fact is, people who wilfully use other people's bandwidth are doing "wrong," at least in the eyes of the law, and they damn well know it.  Whether a law is easy to break or not, it's still being broken.

im pretty sure this isnt the case in my area, and honestly even if i were completely and utterly against others piggybacking on my network, it would be peanuts compared to how aghast id be at the kind of monitoring required to enforce and prove this.

its the digital equivalent of contraception laws
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« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2008, 01:54:08 AM »

Oooh, I inspired a thread! smile

Quote from: Purge on August 24, 2008, 04:20:25 PM

And.... hotspots provided from people/businesses/etc on purpose are bad?

If it's provided on purpose, of course using it is fine. Companies that advertise free WiFi have factored the cost of the service into their business and expect to make more back in additional sales from having folks hanging around using the network than they paid for the bandwidth. If it's provided on purpose, you've got explicit permission to use it - which is very different than the unsecured network/running garden hose analogy you used before.

Quote
Now granted that hotspots that are there due to ignorance is taking advantage of the less capable, but if we're talking about running a query on google for an address or something, it's the equivelant of saying "can I get the time?".

I'll also grant you that point but I will add that the amount of use was never specified in the original discussion. The xkcd comic was about a pair of geeks piggybacking off a "house" network (from which I infer it is a residential, not-intended-to-be public network) for unspecified period of time (given how efficiently cable companies operate and the desperation that was the point of the comic, I think it is reasonable to assume the characters would have been happy to use that bandwidth for days if necessary).

My objection was not to someone "asking for the time" - another flawed analogy, actually, since the person asks for the time, giving me the opportunity to say "no, you cannot" if I so choose; whereas, even the minute bandwidth thief is not asking - but to someone using another person's network as a regular substitute for paying for their own connection.

Quote
Hopping into a community of people where your connection to them is tenuous at best and playing devil's advocate (not you Devil, I know you don't need advocates slywink) for the sake of making "trolls uncomfortable" doesn't seem like he's trying to get a point across.

Don't get me wrong. I was not in any way defending brett or the way in which he made his point. I think brett completely deserves what he's gotten and what he's getting.

Quote
People seem to equate bandwidth as a commodity; I see it more like a phone service. If it's paid for already and you're not using it, what's the harm in using it briefly?

Here, I think, is the heart of our disagreement. I'm going to make an assumption here, and I apologize if it is incorrect, but does your ISP provide you with unlimited bandwidth? I seem to recall a thread on OO a while back that suggested that most American ISPs do that. The thing is, mine - and, from my understanding, most of the ISPs here in Canada - do not do that. Our internet usage is metered. Depending on the company/plan we buy, we get X number of gigabytes of bandwidth, up and downstream, per month. And we get charged extra if we exceed it. Thus, if you steal my bandwidth it may not be "paid for already". You may, in fact, be costing me money. Sure, I may never come close to my cap - but maybe I'm a geek like you and I use a lot of internet and regularly brush right up against my ceiling. By taking my bandwidth without speaking to me first, you have no idea which is the case. It's that possibility that gives rise to my objection to bandwidth stealing.

Quote
If you want to keep track of all your ones and zeros, calculate the cost of your visitor and send them me the bill (for perhaps .00034ths of a cent) then that's fine.

This is another fallacy. Your post that started this tried to defend a wrong action with "but you made it so easy for me". That quote tries to defend it with "but it doesn't hurt you". Both objections are irrelevant. Bandwidth is a limited commodity - at least it is in my world - and taking it without asking, even a little of it, is depriving its purchaser of its use. That's theft, regardless of how hard I tried to stop you or how little it hurt me.

- Ash

PS> And I apologize if these points have already been made by others in this thread; since you started this by responding directly to me, I replied without reading through the other posts.
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« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2008, 02:21:54 AM »

I don't consider it a federal crime or something one will burn in Hades for (if as the poll says, it's very mild use), but to me it's just lazy. One of my bosses at work refuses  to get even basic dialup Internet because she reasons that she can just "leech" off various unsecured WiFis in her neighborhood. Leaving behind the security concerns in doing that, she and her boyfriend aren't poor, and it just seems miserly to not at least have some basic dialup access.

While you'd think people would secure their Wi-Fi's, the Wi-Fi craze has resulted in lots of noobs (more so than even me, I still don't understand lots of Wi-Fi lingo and settings) getting into Wi-Fi who don't understand a WEP from an SSID, and don't know how or why they'd want to password protect their connections. The newer routers (like the LinkSys I got today) seem to be doing a better job of spelling that stuff out and making sure you get passwords set up.

I do think it's sad that the craze a few years ago of lots of big cities promising to offer city-wide free Wi-Fi had mostly died out. It was too expensive, the benefits didn't outweigh the costs to providers, etc., etc.

Less I not admit my own hypocrisy, when I bought my new HP PC some months ago, I had trouble getting my cable modem to set up properly. I briefly, maybe for 5 minutes, piggybacked onto a neighbor's Wi-Fi connection just long enough to look up some support pages at my Internet provider; and also noticed one neighbor's Wi-Fi set up as "PORN," which was pretty amusing.  icon_razz
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« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2008, 03:52:39 AM »

Quote from: Arkon on August 24, 2008, 09:27:09 PM

If you didn't pay for it, you are stealing it.

Pretty straightforward to me, you are taking advantage of a service/product you didn't pay for and have no rights to.

Bingo, Arkon has it exactly correct, you can rationalize your theft all you want, but its still theft.   Just because someone doesnt secure something they have doesnt give you the right to use it.
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« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2008, 03:58:48 AM »

Ash, I'm Canadian. Shaw says I get 50GB/mo, I've blown well past that in the past. They say "don't do it again". I say OK, and then I go back to using it as I see fit.

The difference between your "theft" idea and the reality is that often the unsecured network is broadcasting.

It's not having a house that has no locks; it's actually, at thousands of times per second, shouting out to all within earshot that it's open and available. This isn't rape, it isn't theft. It's hopping on the back of a bus for a free ride. It is morally reprehensible and those people should burn.

Or, you know, you could try and find the signal source, knock on their door and ask. If there's no locks on the door, free stuff dude! slywink

* purge removes tongue from its firm placement in cheek

[edit]I suppose reading the front of the paper whilst someone else is reading the inside is a form of piracy. Repeating someone else without indicating quotes isn't just regurgitation, it's blatant plagiarism.[/edit]
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 04:01:38 AM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2008, 04:14:19 AM »

Quote from: brettmcd on August 25, 2008, 03:52:39 AM

Quote from: Arkon on August 24, 2008, 09:27:09 PM

If you didn't pay for it, you are stealing it.

Pretty straightforward to me, you are taking advantage of a service/product you didn't pay for and have no rights to.

Bingo, Arkon has it exactly correct, you can rationalize your theft all you want, but its still theft.   Just because someone doesnt secure something they have doesnt give you the right to use it.

Well I wouldn't go onto someone elses property and go into their house and I wouldn't go onto someone elses property and use their WiFi, but if their wifi comes onto MY property, and they haven't taken the 30 seconds to put a password on it (basically saying, "Don't use") then I would use the hell out of it!  Hell if it was a nice good signal I would cancel my own ISP!  If you don't want me using it then keep it off of my property.

Also if someone drove their Mercedes onto my driveway and left the keys in it, then damn right I would take it to buy my groceries! smile
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 04:16:08 AM by Canuck » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2008, 04:16:49 AM »

In my eyes, it's akin to checking out a hot chick who left her window open.  Should you be doing it?  Probably not.  Is it illegal?  Not likely.  Will do you do it every now and then?  Almost definitely.  In the grand scheme of things, is it a huge deal?  No.

I'm a bit surprised at the strong opinions on the subject.

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« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2008, 04:20:20 AM »

Just because someone doesn't lock his door doesn't mean you can come in and use his stuff.
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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2008, 05:31:17 AM »

Quote from: gellar on August 25, 2008, 04:16:49 AM

In my eyes, it's akin to checking out a hot chick who left her window open.  Should you be doing it?  Probably not.  Is it illegal?  Not likely.  Will do you do it every now and then?  Almost definitely.  In the grand scheme of things, is it a huge deal?  No.

I'm a bit surprised at the strong opinions on the subject.

gellar
This is one of those issues where ultimately I feel the most fun to be had is figuring out a good analogy; I like your usage of voyeurism here with its expectation of privacy, but the degree is wrong.  I think it's more like peeking at your neighbors hot wife as she changes into her bathing suit in the downstairs halfbath in your house, maybe for a swim.  Why did she leave the door wide open?  Do I cough to make sure she knows I'm here?
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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2008, 05:52:20 AM »

And it can be a crime too.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6958429.stm

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9722006-7.html
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« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2008, 06:02:08 AM »

It's more akin to someone announcing their lawnmower isn't being used and that it's open for use to anyone, and then two days later finding grass clippings in said dormant machine and calling the cops. Tongue
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« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2008, 07:40:45 AM »

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on August 25, 2008, 05:52:20 AM


Both of those instances are in regard to someone going out of their way to stand outside the residence of someone else that they know has internet.  Slightly different situation in my opinion as you are actively taking advantage of it.  I stand by my position that any signal that is in my house is MY signal and therefore mine to use.
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« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2008, 07:48:58 AM »

Quote from: Canuck on August 25, 2008, 07:40:45 AM

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on August 25, 2008, 05:52:20 AM


Both of those instances are in regard to someone going out of their way to stand outside the residence of someone else that they know has internet.  Slightly different situation in my opinion as you are actively taking advantage of it.  I stand by my position that any signal that is in my house is MY signal and therefore mine to use.

Wifi signal is two ways, so by that logic, your transmit signal that is in the wifi's owner's house is HIS signal so it is not yours to use.smile

While both those instances are in regard to someone going out of their way, the law there is clear using other's wifi without authorization are illegal. That doesn't mean you'll get arrested for it, but it is still a crime. It is just like downloading warez games, you're unlikely to get arrested for it, but it is still a crime.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 07:51:06 AM by Victoria Raverna » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2008, 08:05:13 AM »

As long as you're not doing something illegal or costing somebody extra money, this law is about the equivalent to speeding, except it doesn't even have the possibility of hurting anyone.

I know no one here speeds of course, bunch of goody two shoes. Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2008, 01:01:21 PM »

Quote from: DragonFyre on August 25, 2008, 12:53:07 AM

I don't see a problem with it, depending on how you use it.

I don't see a lot of unsecured wireless networks anymore. For example - of the 7 neighbours with wireless networks around me, all seven are secured. And at a friend of mine's house in uCity (which is a heavy student part of town), there's four available nearby and all four are secured.

I think (unintentional) unsecured wireless networks are becoming a dying breed.

Consider your examples; student-heavy means a younger generation, people more apt to be tech-saavy.  Older generations (I'm talking 40 on up) don't tend to understand that wireless isn't encrypted out of the box.  They probably don't even know it has to be encrypted.

Quote from: gellar
Is it illegal?  Not likely. 

Did you read my post above?  It's illegal in several states, including California, where they've successfully prosecuted someone for doing exactly this.

Like I said before, in the grand scheme of things, this is really a non-issue imho, but it is illegal in several places.
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