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  • WARNING WARDRIVERS: Get an Alternate!

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...m-his-car.html

    A Michigan man is being prosecuted for using a cafe's free WiFi... from his car. Sam Peterson was arrested under a Michigan law barring access to anyone else's network without authorization, according to Michigan TV station WOOD. Since the cafe's WiFi network was reserved for customers, and Peterson never came into the cafe, he was essentially piggybacking off of the open network without authorization....More
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  • #2
    Police officer must have been awful bored that day. If a cafe is advertising free wifi access how can you be prosecuted for using it? What if you went in, bought a coffee, then went to your car, drinking the coffee and starting surfing? I can see if he was trying to hack the connection but just connecting to check his email does no one any harm. I hate cops that try to make examples out of people, the guy had no idea, the shop owner didn't seem to care yet the officer had to make his point by arresting the poor sap. On another note I would never have told the cop what he did. A simple "Im programming my nav, parked to avoid a collision" is all I would have said. Then again I never use net in the car anyway, my stripped XP iso has no networking capability.
    Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

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    • #3
      Awww phooey and fiddlesticks
      "A rose by any other name is still a flower"

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      • #4
        already done. think it was in 2005 guy in tampa area was busted for borrowing a cup of broadband. When that happened, I asked some of the cops here and they say it is considered "theft of utilities".
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        • #5
          it's true, cops & even people in general look very suspiciously at a car parked with a laptop in the car... when it's built into the dash no one looks twice really, but a laptop brings suspicion, I had a cop once screw with me when I had my laptop out parked in a residential neighborhood, rolled up on me , I didn't even notice him till the chirp of his siren... scared the sht outta me for a second, one of the first things he asked me was "are you tapping into peoples networks" or something like that, once I showed him I had my own verizon evdo connection he was disinterested in anything else & just left... I thought it was strange...

          I wouldn't expect anything like this with a screen built into the dash though... much less conspicuous
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          • #6
            Originally posted by blk02si View Post
            If a cafe is advertising free wifi access how can you be prosecuted for using it? What if you went in, bought a coffee, then went to your car, drinking the coffee and starting surfing?

            That was the problem... he didnīt purchase anything. On Headline News the coffe house manager said that it would have been no problem if he had just gone in and bought a cup of coffee before going to his car to surf the net.

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            • #7
              I was pretty sure that the FCC made war driving legal. It isn't illegal to discover open wireless networks.

              Using them is a different story apparently. But hey if you have a sign that said free wifi. I mean. I don't want people using my wireless network at home, so i have it under WEP encryption, i can only connect from a set MAC address, and well my network SSID is not being broadcast.

              If the network is unsecured how can you make laws not to use it?
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              • #8
                Wifi Freeloader

                Check this out,

                http://www.cnn.com/video/player/play...reeloader.wood

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                • #9
                  This has been brought up alread.
                  In the future, please make use of the search function to avoid duplicating threads.

                  I've merged the two.
                  Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                  How about the Wiki?



                  Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rationalpi View Post
                    If the network is unsecured how can you make laws not to use it?
                    It's actually pretty simple, actually.
                    The coffee shop owns the network. As such, they have every right to control who they allow access to the network and who they deny access.
                    By accessing the wifi network from the parking lot, he cojmmitted a form of digital tresspassing, which is illegal.

                    Now, we all know that the guy had absolutely no impact on the network if he was "just checking his email" as he claims. However, the proprieter of the coffee shop wants the wifi for customers only. He could easily have avoided the problem by going inside, biying a cup of coffee or a muffin, then taking that outside to his car. That would make him a "customer".

                    I see the coffeeshop owner having two options:
                    1 - Secure the wireless network. This is a big hassle, as someone would have to help customers connect to the network. More trouble than its worth.
                    2 - Shield the exterior of the building to prevent the wifi signal from reaching to the parking lot. This could be costly and would probably be impractical.
                    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                    How about the Wiki?



                    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DarquePervert View Post
                      I see the coffeeshop owner having two options:
                      1 - Secure the wireless network. This is a big hassle, as someone would have to help customers connect to the network. More trouble than its worth.
                      2 - Shield the exterior of the building to prevent the wifi signal from reaching to the parking lot. This could be costly and would probably be impractical.
                      Actually, the shop's owner has a 3rd choice: Advertise free WIFI, no purchase necessary. This will bring more people to his shop, and eventually they will buy coffee, etc.

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                      • #12
                        You got a love EVDO

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                        Originally posted by bgoodman
                        We're an international forum, post in whatever langauge you like.

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                        • #13
                          I've seen a mcdonalds have wifi, they give customers a code & change it daily.. when you connect you come to a page asking for the code... pretty simple really...

                          I think some of the concerns & issues are not just theft of services but ip theft, like illegal activity won't be tracable or will be traced to an inocent ip, when the cop questioned me he specificly said the words "theft of ip"...
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                          • #14
                            so question, our local star bucks has a sign outside "Free Wifi" to the masses does that read "free wifi for customers" or what it says "free wifi"

                            how is this to be interpreted?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rationalpi View Post
                              I was pretty sure that the FCC made war driving legal. It isn't illegal to discover open wireless networks.

                              Using them is a different story apparently. But hey if you have a sign that said free wifi. I mean. I don't want people using my wireless network at home, so i have it under WEP encryption, i can only connect from a set MAC address, and well my network SSID is not being broadcast.

                              If the network is unsecured how can you make laws not to use it?
                              Cool, so the next time your house is unlocked can I come in? If your garden hose isn't locked in a cage can I come use it?
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