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Using "unlocked" Access Points may be a Felony
Authored by: Tummy on Jul 12, '07 08:01:44AM
Under some states I believe using an open access point without permissions could be a felony and land you in prision. I wouldn't advise people to do it.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070522-michigan-man-arrested-for-using-cafes-free-wifi-from-his-car.html

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Slightly alarmist reaction, given the hint?
Authored by: BadgerUMD on Jul 12, '07 08:13:57AM

I believe your comment is slightly off topic. If "wifi" comes up in a search on Google maps, and they have an open wifi network to connect to, then you're not accessing someone else's network without permission. On the searches I've done, it's almost always a coffee shop trying to get people to come in and stay for a while. Of course, people should use common sense when connecting to networks they don't own, but in general I think your point, while valid, is a little alarmist and knee-jerk.

Just my $0.02



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Using "unlocked" Access Points may be a Felony
Authored by: rameeti on Jul 12, '07 09:16:37AM

Using the internet to find news articles will most always allow us to find somewhere that something is supposedly illegal. With this out of control policeman looking for something to do, perhaps he found someone that he could cause trouble for. But before the foil hats get all worked up, just ask your local policeman if he thinks it is illegal. He probably doesn't think so because it is probably not. Use common sense and we'll all be ok. Let's not get all paranoid over this stuff.



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Not so alarmist, but prison unlikely
Authored by: wheeles on Jul 12, '07 09:27:01AM
In the UK a man was fined for repeatedly hijacking other people's wireless networks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4721723.stm


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Still think it's alarmist (given context of hint)
Authored by: BadgerUMD on Jul 12, '07 10:56:49AM

But the hint implies that you're using a businesses public wifi network the way it's supposed to be used. So, by commenting that it may be a felony, I could see scaring people off from a legitimate use of a business' wifi network.

I'm not saying it's something to be ignored. Just something that most consumers need not be overly concerned about. Especially if you're explicitly searching for a business from which to access a wifi network from your iPhone, as this hint suggests.



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Using "unlocked" Access Points may be a Felony
Authored by: kevans on Jul 12, '07 11:20:48AM

Some people seem to have misunderstood. Of course it is all right to use a free, public wifi. However, the additional hint that if you can't find one, you can probably park near a large condo and find several PRIVATE wifi ports that are not locked down does raise questions. Using one of them raises both ethical and legal questions. It is unethical because it represents the use of someone else's bandwidth without permission (and possibly at some cost to them, depending on their ISP contract). Although the risk of being charged is slim, in many jurisdictions trespassing on someone elses wifi is a telecommunications crime.



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Using "unlocked" Access Points may be a Felony
Authored by: jimhoyt on Jul 12, '07 01:34:56PM

Seems to me that using open wifi access can't really be a crime. One doesn't steal the IP address. Your iPhone requests an IP address and the open system gives one away. You asked first.

Heh, heh, heh...

And no, I'm not advocating this.



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Using "unlocked" Access Points may be a Felony
Authored by: nicka on Jul 14, '07 08:13:54AM
Perhaps it shouldn't be a crime, but it is, at least in some countries. As long as that information is made clear, then everyone can make his own choice, as usual.

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