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Thread: The legalities of wardriving.

  1. #11
    FLAC Jahntassa's Avatar
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    I don't think Wardriving in and out of itself is really illegal. Let's think of what you're doing.

    You're walking around with a computer, or driving around, and making a log of the signals you're picking up.

    This, to me, is the same as walking around and marking down the color of each house or building you walk past, and including the address of that house (say if you're logging GPS coordinates for the WiFi)

    You're simply making a log of what's in the air. It's out there, there's nothing wrong with that. You can even listen to satellite signals legally, as long as you don't break the encryption. (If it's an encrypted signal)

    Now.. if you ACCESS the networks that you find, THAT, is where you become illegal. Theft of service.

    Just because you're noting what service is where, doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. It doesn't really analogize with the 'Using a scanner to listen in to conversations' because you're not 'listening in' on sessions that're occuring on those people's access points.

    At least that's my opinion.

  2. #12
    Constant Bitrate
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    Just because your all tight bastards that dont want people using their wireless internet, doesnt mean everyone is like that.

    Are you gonna miss a few mb traffic?

    Who cares? Just do it, your not gonna get caught.

  3. #13
    Maximum Bitrate grepzen's Avatar
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    RE: tight bastards: I've shared my AP access info with trusted friends and neighbors w/o any mention of compensation. No, I won't miss a few MB's of traffic.. but I wouldn't miss the TVshows you could watch if you stepped into my home and sat on the couch w/ the remote. but damn sure.. ain' gona let that happen w/o a response.

    RE: not gona get caught: http://digg.com/security/Illinois_Ma...or_War_Driving

    RE: Who cares: I do .. but then.. I've encrypted my network so I'll likely never have to sweat folks borrowing a few mb's.
    •Micke

  4. #14
    FLAC Jahntassa's Avatar
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    Y'know..the topic is 'Legalities of Wardriving'

    NOT

    'Legalities of using the APs that you find while Wardriving'

    At least so I thought. The whole thing still seems to be some sort of proof of concept issue. I don't want people attaching to my network, so I encrypt it and make it as secure as I can (which will only keep random people out, not people really trying to get in, I know)

    Hopping on an AP to check email or do a few minor browser things is one thing, but what about all-out abuse of that connection? Settling nearby and doing massive downloads just for the bandwidth? There's no way to say the one use is any better than the other in terms of legalities.

  5. #15
    FLAC PURDooM's Avatar
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    One of the legal issues of wardriving involves how you use the information you gathered. The data in question usually leads to connecting to and using someones network that you found. I bet you couldn't find any other usefull application for collecting the locations of AP's if you weren't going to use them

    With that being said, I think accessing networks found from wardriving is valid topic involing "the legalities of wardriving". This thread isn't to debate usage of a word, its to discuss ethical and legal responsibilities of obtaining wireless internet through wifi for our cars. Is there a better term than wardriving to describe "detection and unauthorized use of unsecured access points for non-malicious purposes"? Yeah, I can't think of one. So please quit *****ing about grammer kthx.

    Sorry enforcer.

    Nobody cares argument:
    I invited my friend over to use my cable over my wifi, and my neighbor came out and chased him down with his car, accusing him of stealing credit card numbers and 'violating fcc regulations'. He then called the cops and later I was called in to make a statment that I allowed my friend to use my internet (rather than my neighbors). The cop then asked "if I knew anyone else who did any wardriving".

    People do care...
    Current projects: iGmod reloaded (Latest release) (put on hiatus indefinatly)

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  6. #16
    Confusion Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by PURDooM
    With that being said, I think accessing networks found from wardriving is valid topic involing "the legalities of wardriving". This thread isn't to debate usage of a word, its to discuss ethical and legal responsibilities of obtaining wireless internet through wifi for our cars. Is there a better term than wardriving to describe "detection and unauthorized use of unsecured access points for non-malicious purposes"? Yeah, I can't think of one. So please quit *****ing about grammer kthx.
    NO.

    if you are going to debate the legalities of a subject, the minimum requirement about the initial question and statement is to get the correct terminology. Otherwise any discussion after wards is invalid as you already have uncertainty about the subject you are debating.

    Wardriving and accessing open AP's are seperate subjects, although they can be combined and used together. Similar to someone going around canvassing houses as part of a consensus and someone breaking into a house.

    there is nothing wrong with going round canvassing houses, however if you then decide to break in because you know the house is empty.


    Although again that would involve physically tresspassing onto some one property as opposed to using something which is available on public land (airwaves)

  7. #17
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
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    @ Enforcer: I disagree that they are seperate subjects. war driving shows the intent to use other people's service. And canvassing AP's is like wandering down the street looking into people's windows and marking their house on a map. There may not be a law against it specifically, but the cops will get you for something.

  8. #18
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freelander
    but the cops will get you for something.

    HA!...Yea right. I know cops (State and Local) personally and have used their in car systems. Most have WiFi and many use netstumbler to find an open network to check email.

    I'm a consultant and a computer guy too...I've found open networks and have actually talked with their owners and showed them how they can be increase their network security.

    But on the flip side I also know people (myself included) who want people to connect to my network if they are out and about. There are easy ways to set up a DMZ on your network for just this very thing.

    -WarDriver-
    Malicous WarDrivers give us all a bad name

  9. #19
    FLAC Jahntassa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freelander
    And canvassing AP's is like wandering down the street looking into people's windows and marking their house on a map.
    No, because by your example, if you're looking into their windows, you're on their property and seeing what they have.

    If you're going down the street just marking down "Red house, metal door, deadbolt", then you're not infringing on their privacy, you're just looking at the outside.

    Same with Netstumbler. You aren't looking on their network (looking in the window), you aren't attaching to their network (stepping on their lawn), you're simply seeing what their house looks like. (Red house = AP, Metal door = Encrypted / Open, Deadbolt = WEP/WPA)

    Just for fun, let's see if this is an accepted definition of 'Wardriving'. From dictionary.com:

    wardriving

    <security> (From wardialer in the "carrier scanner" sense of
    that word) To drive around with a laptop with a wireless
    card, and an antenna, looking for accessible wireless
    networks.

    (2003-06-24)

    Source: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, &#169; 1993-2005 Denis Howe

    Okay, if we use THAT definition, then my analogy stands. There's NOTHING illegal about it. You aren't invading privacy, you aren't infringing on rights, you're simply making note of what's publicly viewable.

  10. #20
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
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    @wardriver: i see cops roll through red lights and stop signs all the time. that doesn't mean they won't bust you for doing it. a police officer doing it has nothing to do with it's legality.

    @jahntassa: you found a general, short definition of war driving.

    am I missing something here? what is the point of ONLY war driving?

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