Why not take the high road and not be an asshole.
18 years ago
Why not take the high road and not be an asshole.
Is it legal to turn on your FM radio? Of course it is. If they don't want you there you will be blocked.
Are there any good documents on the net that answer this question? Why should I pay for my own internet access if there are access points available for the taking?
I'd appreciate your comments.
Legal? Yes.. Ethical? No...
Read about it at
If you are referring to wi-fi sites that are offerred as FREE then help yourself.
If you are talking about people who have failed to secure their access then you shouldnt be taking it. After all, I someone left their front door open, would you walk in and help yourself to their TV?
I don't think it is so much a legal issue as a question of what is appropriate. Your neighbor may intend to share his wireless network -- and may not. Absent a clear indication that he wants to share, you should presume that he doesn't. Many people do not understand how to secure their networks. The fact that they are ignorant of security measures does not imply that they have intentionally opened their network.
Since it is as simple as using an SSID of 'FreeAccess' to indicate the intention to share, the lack of a welcome implies that you are not welcome to share.
If your neighbor posts a sign 'Free Tomatoes -- pick your own', you can be sure its OK to pick his tomatoes. Would you raid your neighbor's garden without such an invitation?
Yes! Fill your boots! Download all kinds of p*rn, send out rude and threatening emails and forward all kinds of virus/worms/trojans thru the unsecure wireless AP! That will teach them to enable WEP, WPA and MAC filtering.
Not even a valid comparison.
is it legal to take the train without a ticket and they dont check anyway.
is it legal to copy music or dvd's as it is so easy and nobody will charge you anyway.
where i come from, cases undefined by law are judged to comparable situations. thus, where i come from, i guess you better ask your neighbour before taking a joyride on his costs.
it is a legal issue
who owns the airwaves?
this goes back to captain midnight and the inception of satellite tv scrambling
nice new niche area for new attorneys to exploit...
Only for those without ethics.
I would think that any unsecured Wi-Fi access point boasting a vanity ID could be construed as a welcome sign. Is 'FreeAccess' the only one you'd accept?
If your neighbor's vines are hanging in your yard, would you not help yourself to what's being clearly offered you?
I would accept 'Im Free', 'Please Connect to Me', 'For Everyone' I would not accept 'Home Network', 'Bobs', 'Home Setup'
No I wouldnt, I would check its OK with him to take some. I would assume that it would be OK but I would ask just the same. Its called being polite.
"Wintercreek open" at my house seems obvious enough. Many of the commercial establishments that are listed on various hotspot finders as free have their name, and no "free" indication. On the other hand, the SSID for HotSpotZZ is "default", and that's a pay connection.
It would have been handy if WAPs were secure by default. Then open ones might be more obviously free, but still not certainly.
So, I am left with the possibility that connecting to any free hotspot without first seeing some written notice that it is free is illeagal and will land me in jail, or making judicious decisions about what is right.
if you clarify what you mean perhaps some can understand what you're trying to say...
Is there no grey line? Does one have to imply 'free' in some manner? I would think a vanity moniker implies that the owner knows enough to configure his network. And if he left the door open, I would think he meant to.
You'd really take the time to ask? How polite is it that your neighbor lets his garden grow onto your property?
If my neighbor let his dog run free and it wandered onto my property, absent a sign around its neck saying to return to the owner immediately, I'd probably play with it. I like dogs. If someone's Wi-Fi signal happens to come into my home, absent a lock-down, why shouldn't I "play" with it (not abuse it)?
Why are the default Wi-Fi setting on all laptops designed to alert you to any available unsecured network? Manufacturers would not want to encourage unethical/unlawful for fear of reprisal in a class action lawsuit. Since no lawsuits have ever been filed on this accord, one can deduce that the behavior is neither unlawful nor unethical.
Under UK law you're not allowed to do so. Chris
I would agree that if he had changed his description he would probably know how to setup security as he would want.
Assume he put a door mat outside his house saying "welcome". He was in the garden and had left his front door open. If we were walking past we could help ourselves to his bathroom in order to freshen up, couldnt we?
Sometimes a draping vine is a welcome addition to a garden. If I was unhappy about it being there, I would chat with me neighbour and offer to help him trim it back.
Having a WiFi signal in your house is one thing. Firing your data at his wireless router is another. Yo are invading his network without permission. I wouldnt stand at my neighbours window to watch his television.
"I would check its OK with him to take some. I would assume that it would be OK but I would ask just the same."
I'm sitting in a marina with 2 or 3 wi-fi AP's available to me. One has an SSID of "SSID". Another has an SSID of "linksys". I have NO IDEA where these wi-fi networks are physically located. Who do I see about asking for permission? Except in a few Gestapo States, if a cop is checking my speed with a "detection device", I have the legal right to detect that detection device with my radar detector. I am not allowed to jam his radar gun with a jammer. I say use it? Yes. Abuse it? No.
Just a specific comment on your above statement/question. I have a WAP in both my boat and another in my RV. Whenever I disconnect from shore power (it's called shore power for RV's too), my WAP's (older ones that are power sensitive, newer ones that dont reset stay in my home and office) reset to the default settings when power is dropped (like when unhooking shore power to travel). I always wondered about asking permission, what happens when the system resets (only some, from a power loss), or the owner changes the SSID or hits the reset button when playing with it?), Who can you even ask? In the RV world, a large number of people have sat systems, and the WAP defaults when hooking up..
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