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Old 06-11-2007, 09:29 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by wheel interested
The only thing is is that it is different with stacking up on napkins and crackers and packets of sauce. Each of those items cost the shop, for unlimited internet each user does not add to the cost, or am I incorrect in this? ....But I do bring the crackers back to the Airstream, it is perfect serving size for the middle of the night with a little pb!
That's a yes and no thing. The shop owner pays for band width. Each user takes up a certain amount of that bandwidth. The more users, the less space is available for additional users. It's kind of like if the shop had 10 phone lines and advertised free dial up connections. If this guy came into the shop and used one of the lines, then there would only be nine available for paying customers. What happens if 10 customers come in and want to use the dial ups while this guy is using one?

Now having said that, it is impossible to say how much band width the shop owner was paying for or how many users could be on-line at any given time or how many averaged at the time this man was showing up to use it. I agree that this was a senseless waste of resources to prosecute this guy without the owner filing a complaint unless there are details we don't know. If he received the letter and it was a warning to cease and desist and he didn't, then that is different, but to arrest him without warning is way too harsh in my opinion.

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Originally Posted by wheel interested
...But I do bring the crackers back to the Airstream, it is perfect serving size for the middle of the night with a little pb!
Oooo, you're going to have to watch out for the cracker police now!
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:40 PM   #44
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Oooo, you're going to have to watch out for the cracker police now!
Oh Geesch, I am still on probation from the fashion police. I wonder how fast I could dispose of the evidence and then whistle for the police? I have always been notorious for being a cracker case though.
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:51 PM   #45
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So someone in a beauty shop (with apparently no customers) gets concerned about a guy parked at a place of business. The guy (according to the article) had parked his car there during his half-hour lunch for less than two weeks to access “free” internet (no password required). The beauty shop calls the police.

What’s with that? If my routine lunch habits are grounds for profiling, I’m screwed! Is the guy an ex-boyfriend or something? Did they dislike his beard? Did he look like Bid Laden? It seems to me the “attractive local hairdresser” either has a problem that needs addressed or is one fry short of a “Happy Meal”, if you know what I mean.

The police go to the guy’s car to investigate. The officer finds out the guy is not hurting anyone, or posing a threat, just accessing the internet. The laptop was not inspected for inappropriate content, so the cop couldn’t assume the guy was accessing something illegal: and no apparent laws have been violated - at least so it seems to either of the parties involved.

But then the cop goes and spends how much time digging through law books looking for something that he can use to charge the guy? He even involved the prosecutor’s office? Did the cop talk to the owner of the wireless service to find out if the “free wireless” had any kind of restrictions? Did the business owner get charged with providing unmonitored internet access? Hum . . . this seems wrong.

On the other hand, we in the computer industry have a name for a particular activity that victimizes the wireless connection owner: it involves driving through a neighborhood with a laptop looking for someone who did not secure their wireless router – allowing anyone to connect to the internet – it’s called ‘war driving’.

Now let’s say I don’t secure my wireless router (using WEP, etc.) and a pedophile parks outside my house, connects to the internet via my unsecured wireless internet connection, and surfs child porn.

Guess who’s going to show up at my doorstep with a search warrant? I will be taken to jail until (and if) they realize I was an ignorant router user, and the victim of ‘war driving’. I will be told that it was my responsibility to secure my wireless router, and may even be charged with some vague law hidden under layers of dust, in hopes that I become an example to the world . . . a warning or deterrent to other unsecured wireless users.

But that’s not the story: I am not a business, nor am I advertising free wireless access. My house is not build on commercial property where customers are expected to frequent! And yes, the business owner provided the UNSECURED access.

I think he would have an easier time explaining the access of child porn, and probably has security cameras in place to help the cops track the guy down, if needed.

Both sides of this story scream “BEWARE”. It just goes to show how things have changed. We have quickly become a nation of paranoia.

In an attempt to keep from being a victim of either side, we really do need to be expending some effort, at a personal level, to educate and protect ourselves. Responsibility comes with ownership; be it wireless internet access, safety equipment, vehicle maintenance, or anything else that can cause ill repercussion to us or others . . .

Cal
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:13 PM   #46
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Spiffy Gem, I would not have thought of the child porn issue with a home wireless network. I'm glad you pointed that out in your example. However, I have no desire to set up a wireless network in my home for one reason...my security. There are so many hackers out there that try to break into unprotected home computers on the internet that I have anti-spy ware protection, fire walls, anti-virus, and every thing else that Norton offers to protect my home computer. If I ever decide to network more than one computer at home I will go the old fashioned route and hard wire it. Your example just gave me one more reason why I should forgo the inexpensive wireless route and have my next house hard wired for a computer network with CAT-5 cables or whatever the appropriate cabling is for an Ethernet.
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:18 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I have no desire to set up a wireless network in my home for one reason...my security.


In order to maximize security, both software and hardware are required. Most internet users don't realize the amount of energy, intellect, and time required to stay ahead of the security wave. Simply setting the security settings of a router or security software and forgetting about it, is not enough! Norton, for example, releases corporate updates almost daily, and sometimes twice a day, depending on the timing of new threats.

I would definitely suggest that if a person is not mentally determined to tackle the security issue and commit the necessary resources, including time, that they not take-on undue burdens of security responsibilities.

That’s what is so hard to understand about this guy taking all the blame for using "FREE" wireless: if the connection was not intended for him to use, then why aren’t they holding the business owner responsible for the guy being able to access the internet through it (they wouldn't let me off the hook so easy in the example I gave earlier)? Conversely, if it was free, then how can they make the law about piggybacking stick? If the guy is charged for access, then the owner should be charged for lack of security. Businesses should have to show that they make a reasonable effort to keep the unwanted out - I don’t get it. . .
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:41 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Spiffy Gem
I would definitely suggest that if a person is not mentally determined to tackle the security issue and commit the necessary resources, including time, that they not take-on undue burdens of security responsibilities.
I have my Norton set up to do updates every morning at 4:00 AM. Is that sufficient? Am I taking enough precautions? I am really serious about my security.

One evening while surfing I happen to notice an alert in the lower right corner of my task bar and opened it. It was from my Norton fire wall and it said in an 11 minutes period my computer had had 16 attempted attacks by back door Trojans. This is why I have set my Norton Suite to update on a daily basis and I keep the subscription up to date every year.

While I don't keep files of national security on my home computer, I do keep certain personal financial records and banking information on it and my wife and I do use it to pay bills on-line and use passwords, etc. that I wouldn't want anyone to steal. I also wouldn't want some malicious prankster to place a virus on my computer that would cause it to crash or cause any other type of general annoyance.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:39 PM   #49
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Tom,

You seem to have the software side of things going.

How do you connect to the internet?

If you have broadband, do you have a router? If so, is it password protected? When was the last time the password was changed? Is the password at least 8 characters long and include numbers? Have you looked for software updates for the router from the manufactures website?

If you have a wireless router (I understand you don't - but for readership and a relation to the tread), have you utilized the built in security features that help keep unwanted people from connecting to the router for network access?

The router should be the first wall an intruder hits. Then, if they get past that, they should hit a software (like Norton) firewall. A two tier system is more difficult for the bad hacker (or cracker) to overcome. Most would give up unless they think you have something that makes it worth their time.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:37 PM   #50
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Keeping Network Safe

Good information. The kind of thing that we all should be aware of. Is there an Airstream Computer User forum? We just completed a two week trip (sadly Motels not AS) and noted that some motels have free wi-fi that has password protection, some are unsecured and some have a service that you pay to sign on to. At home we use the standard MSoft firewall and a password protected 2wire wireless connection with SBC/AT&T or whatever they call it this week. It seems like that may not be enough. We also use AGM(?) freeware virus protection, but I don't think that helps with keeping people off my router. I have been working with couputers since '82 and a it seems to be a never ending problem.
Although they cause relatively few problems it you don't plug them in.:-)
thanks, bill b.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:53 AM   #51
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I'm at work right now...don't tell my boss I'm taking a break right now. Anyway, I have DSL at home and I have the standard DSL modem that BellSouth sold me when I subscribed. I'm not sure of the manufacturer; I'll have to check when I get home. I can have a password, but I think I set it up to automatically sign me in when I restart the computer, or I didn't set it up to use one, I can't remember for sure...that was over two years ago. I'll have to check it out when I get home. Since I got the Norton Firewall alert initially when I first got DSL, I tend to believe that I don't have it password protected. I made a few changes to the set up then, but I don't think adding the password was it. I think I increased the security level and put greater restrictions on who could access my computer (Norton, Microsoft, Quicken and that is all, I believe). Thanks for the info on what I should be doing. I'll have to do some head scratching and manual reading tonight when I get home to make sure I'm up to date on the passwords for my DSL.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:56 AM   #52
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Thumbs down Stuff...

And what's the point here?

I don't think our laptop has ever even been turned on in any of our vehicles.

Pretty sad when we get so addicted to this stuff that it follows us around everywhere.

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Old 12-14-2008, 12:37 PM   #53
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Not that long ago, my neighbour told me her desktop died, and it would take a few days to get things up and running again. She's not very computer literate, so I imagined it would take a bit longer than that to get her stuff back together again. She's got a couple foreign exchange students living with her who need to go online for their studies and whatnot, so she subtly started asking me about my wireless system, and is there a password?

Well. I've never been asked something like that, and really never expected someone would ask to piggyback off my signal.

I'm ashamed to say that I took advantage of her techno illiteracy and told her that my router was in the basement and the signal can't penetrate through the earth, so even if I did give her my password she wouldn't be able to really use it. I think it also helped that I've named my network something odd, not like others I've seen (Smith Family Network for instance).

Now, I could have helped her out I guess by letting her use it for a short bit of time and then changing the password when she was up and running again, but her students each have laptops which they could have directly plugged into the modem for access. It's a sticky situation that you don't want to get involved with in the first place (imho).

I don't know if she believed me, but hey - I think that asking for someone's network password is akin to asking for someone's house key. Ya just don't do it unless you're really close friends.
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:49 PM   #54
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Not that long ago, my neighbour told me her desktop died, and it would take a few days to get things up and running again. She's not very computer literate, so I imagined it would take a bit longer than that to get her stuff back together again. She's got a couple foreign exchange students living with her who need to go online for their studies and whatnot, so she subtly started asking me about my wireless system, and is there a password?

Well. I've never been asked something like that, and really never expected someone would ask to piggyback off my signal.

I'm ashamed to say that I took advantage of her techno illiteracy and told her that my router was in the basement and the signal can't penetrate through the earth, so even if I did give her my password she wouldn't be able to really use it. I think it also helped that I've named my network something odd, not like others I've seen (Smith Family Network for instance).

Now, I could have helped her out I guess by letting her use it for a short bit of time and then changing the password when she was up and running again, but her students each have laptops which they could have directly plugged into the modem for access. It's a sticky situation that you don't want to get involved with in the first place (imho).

I don't know if she believed me, but hey - I think that asking for someone's network password is akin to asking for someone's house key. Ya just don't do it unless you're really close friends.
A big concern in today's environment is if the foreign exchange students have file sharing programs on their computers. If you let them use your network, it is conceivable you could get an unwelcome visit from attorneys from the RIAA wanting to know why you shouldn't pay hundreds of thousands of $$$ in fines for sharing stuff that your neighbors were really the ones sharing.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #55
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Using Free WiFi - Legal?

We've seen this discussion for some time. States interpret it differently, but here's how some courts have finally resolved the situation.

First, a bit of contract overview. A "contract" requires "Request/Offer," "Consideration," and "Acceptance" That's important for this discussion

When your computer connects to an Open WiFi connection, it actually does a thing called a DHCP REQUEST. The access point, managed by the location that owns it, CONSIDERS your request, and decides if it should ACKNOWLEDGE it, and ACCEPT you onto the network. The owner has lots of ways to lock down whom it accepts onto the network, (keys, mac filtering, etc) Since there was full request, consideration, and acceptance, it does qualify as a full contract between the two entities, and defense lawyers have won on those facts.

The interesting part of this is that they actually reviewed logs from the access point, and the logs actually used the words above during the connection process.

However, the safe thing to do is to just insure you are authorized to use it with best judgement. Buy some coffee, stay at the park, get a bagel, etc. Any more, WiFi is so prevalent, that it would be hard to prove what signal you are connected to anyway, much less your 3G phone, etc.

I wouldn't worry about the exceptions much. There's always some story about someone getting in trouble for using WiFi, and I bet the officers were probably more interested in other aspects than the actual WiFi use.

of course, thats IMHO.....
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:44 AM   #56
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Thanks for the summary for legality of use.

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