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  • Steeling "free" wifi

    http://www.emailthis.clickability.co...oID=1179276583

    How can you steal "free" wifi? If it is free it is free. What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by iMarkVideo; 05-23-2007, 10:56 PM. Reason: misspelled

  • #2
    I couldn't see the video but I'll give my thoughts on this based on what I assume is the case.

    If the person is "stealing" wifi access from a cybercafe (Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, etc) that requires a purchase or something before a password is given to them then I do believe that qualifies as stealing. The wifi is technically not free. It requires a business interaction.

    If a person is signing on to a totally open access point they could be doing this purely through ignorance and no action of their own. There are settings on Windows computers that automatically connect to open networks and people could wrongly and innocently assume that it is free wifi.

    I'm of the thinking that people need to make a reasonable attempt to secure their wifi connections. The modems and routers that offer this technology come with all the instructions needed to do this. Where stealing comes into play is when a person makes an effort with the intent to bypass security to use the internet. Some FBI agents did this at a lecture I went to. Very impressive and really proves that your wifi AP is not secure even with some of the most heavy duty security precautions.
    -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

    --ArkansasRed24

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    • #3
      In this case, I can see charges, but certainly not felony charges. The coffeeshop was offering wifi access in exchange for patronage. By circumventing the terms of use, this guy was committing a theft. I'd consider it more along the lines of a retail theft. I think they'll have trouble with the Michigan law simply because the intent of the law was to prevent people from making unwanted intrusions into your computer system with mal-intent, i.e. hackers. This guy clearly wasn't trying to bring down a system, but he was trying to get around the patronage clause.
      Originally posted by kontemplerande
      Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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      • #4
        Oh I see.

        Did they say felony charges could be filed? That's rough. Nice spook for the offender though.

        Punishment should match the crime. He was trying to get out of buying something from their business and using their paid-for internet. I wonder how they would determine how much of that bill he owes for illegally using it. Depending on how long he used it at whatever rate they found reasonable, I wouldn't be surprised if it rose to grand theft.
        -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

        --ArkansasRed24

        Comment


        • #5
          The sign in the window says "free wifi for customers". If I bought a coffee only once, a year ago, can I be considered a customer?

          I believe, if you have wireless internet access that is unsecured, it's like a radio or TV station broadcast. Satellite and Cable TV encrypt thier signal. If it's broadcast over the free airwaves and not secured then recieveing it is not a crime. Now if it is encrypted, and secure and someone makes an effort to break the encryption then it is a crime. I have turned on my laptop at a hotel and my wireless has pickedup several unsecured networks. If I am not computer savy or if a computer is set from the factory to connect to the strongest signal in the background (undetectable from the user) then this can be a bad thing according to what jsut happened.

          That is just my opinion.

          Is it really worth it that a prosecuter will apply felony charges to this? A guy just checking his email?

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          • #6
            oh christ....is this the same dude who cried after a cop gave him a ticket for following him with a camera?
            When reality becomes too unbearable.............When he can't give an intelligent answer to the comment made instead of the comment he wish were made....... he predictably............. slips into ........The Fantasy Zone.
            -JPR

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            • #7
              Originally posted by oshphopeful View Post
              oh christ....is this the same dude who cried after a cop gave him a ticket for following him with a camera?
              No. And how do you come to this conclusion?

              Just because I have "video" in my name does not qualify me to be "maxima lover". You are way off.

              I am a professional videographer and editor who owns a $95000 CAMERA and close to the same in editing equipment. Maxima owned a $300 consumer camera. I have shot video for the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police many times. And they like me. I was also a news photographer (videographer).
              I also have been hired to shoot many popular types. Dixie Carter, Hal Holbrook etc., I shot everyone at the Academy awards in 2004, I shot a lot of NASCAR, hired by Miller brewing (Bobby Allison, Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield etc.). I am the main videographer for my County www.jccegov.com and shot the last Williamsburg State of the city address for broadcast. I SHOT THE QWEEN OF ENGLAND when she was in Williamsburg 3 weeka ago. I am legit. Check it out.

              thanks

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oshphopeful View Post
                oh christ....is this the same dude who cried after a cop gave him a ticket for following him with a camera?
                Different person.....as that idiot was a kid from Missouri (and yes....I cringe that my State produces morons like him).....

                This dude is from VA.....older.....and doesn't post stupid crap......

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                  Different person.....as that idiot was a kid from Missouri (and yes....I cringe that my State produces morons like him).....

                  This dude is from VA.....older.....and doesn't post stupid crap......
                  Thanks Bear.

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                  • #10
                    bear,
                    I lived in Chesterfied MO, for a short while. Pretty area.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by iMarkVideo View Post
                      bear,
                      I lived in Chesterfied MO, for a short while. Pretty area.
                      Wrong side of the State for me.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!! I do this all the time, I sit outside Panera's, hotels, colleges, all that offer FREE WIFI. Most of the time I buy a sandwich from Panera before sitting in my air conditioned car listening to the radio to check my e-mail, but give me a break! If it says FREE, then it is FREE, unless he has to click an authorization page saying he bought something, there is no crime committed. A monkey in a lawyers suit could get this case thrown out. I used to get questioned by the cops in my town for sitting in my car across the street from their station using a cafes internet, all they did was ask me what I was doing, I told them and they said "heh" and never bothered me again. For me it is a matter of convenience, for a while I did not have broadband at my house and this was the only way to get it. Does this mean if I go into a coffee shop and sit down at a table but don't buy a cup of coffee I am stealing too???


                        Looks like he wasn't charged, but was fined 400 dollars? Why?? The cafe owner didn't even seem to care!
                        Last edited by michiganDT; 05-24-2007, 05:12 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I guess in TN, it would fall under theft of services. Hotels, internet cafes, etc require some sort of purchase (coffee, hotel room) in exchange to use their wireless internet services. Of course they can't stop people from using it in their parking lots, which I know of several that do.

                          That would be an interesting case to see when played out in court.
                          I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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                          • #14
                            Stealing Free "Wi-Fi"

                            Saw the video, and read everyone's replies. I'm not criticising anyone who posted either. All valid points, good thoughts. I feel that at least a little "case law" will come out of this situation. Michigan's statute looks a little tough. I'll offer the following analogy . You go to the self service gas station. You see the sign"Free car wash with fill-up" Okay, that "free" carwash is predicated on you filling your tank with gas, each and every time you want a free car wash. I see the same premise with the "free Wi-Fi" site. You purchase a cup of coffee, or donut, etc. As a result of your purchase, you now have "free" Wi-Fi access. Maybe some signs need to make that condition more plain. . In answer to one previous question. I don't think that if you purchase a cup of coffee, that you get "free" Wi-Fi access for a year.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by michiganDT
                              If it says FREE, then it is FREE, unless he has to click an authorization page saying he bought something, there is no crime committed.
                              Free for customers. He was not a customer so it was not free for him.

                              I cannot watch the video from this computer, but it sounds like he bypassed the wireless network's WEP/WPA security, which takes a lot more effort than clicking an authorization page. It would be considered hacking.

                              Originally posted by michiganDT
                              Does this mean if I go into a coffee shop and sit down at a table but don't buy a cup of coffee I am stealing too???
                              If you were already informed that the table is for paying customers only, you would be trespassing.

                              Comment

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