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Boston College Says Using WiFi Is a Sign of Infringement

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the get-your-cords-out dept.

Piracy 168

An anonymous reader writes "Boston College has a funny idea of what constitutes copyright infringement. It has a list of what might be called 'you might be a copyright infringer if...' with the sort of things you might expect, such as using file sharing programs or sending mp3s to friends. But some have noticed something odd. Included on the list is using a wireless router in your dorm. Yes, just using a wireless router. Not using it for anything. But just using such a router is considered a sign of infringement. Nice to see our top colleges and universities teaching students completely made up things."

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Ridiculous Reporting (5, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676634)

As far as I can see, all Boston College is doing is making sure people are aware that others using their wap can make them look responsible for any infringement as the owner of the wap. This basically reads as "secure your router from others" or as "don't say we didn't warn you if that defense fails", not as "don't use wireless routers at all".

i suppose journalism just isn't fun these days without ignoring context.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (4, Insightful)

jhigh (657789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676684)

I read this the same way that you did, and I think that Boston College is being very responsible. Downstream liability is something that far too few people are familiar and, particularly on a college campus, many times the desire to help out your friends by leaving your wireless wide open trumps common sense. I find it laudable that the college is trying to draw attention to the fact that this could lead to potential legal trouble for the individual sharing wireless access, should other users engage in copyright infringement using it. Journalism? I heard that died years ago...

You've got it backwards (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677216)

"many times the desire to help out your friends by leaving your wireless wide open trumps common sense."

I think you've got it backwards, the desire to help out your friends by sharing your wifi IS common sense. The paranoia and fear that large corporations and their lawyers will descend on you and destroy you for helping your friends is antisocial. Fear of antisocial litigation is the disease that is traumatizing our society.
I am not saying that it is unjustified fear but look at it this way, if you are a decent social person and share your wifi with your friends/neighbors and you get a takedown notice or worse for it, the corporations have exerted their power over you. If you never share because you fear such repercussions, you have already lost, you have no power of your own and the corporations have complete control of your life, and your thoughts.

Re:You've got it backwards (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677602)

The problem there is that your "friends" will gladly use your WAP to infringe copyright and won't even say, "sorry dude" when you get hit with an infringement suit. If your "friends" could be trusted to not cause problems for you then having open wireless (or at least wireless with the password shared among your "friends" would be a lot safer. Today it isn't.

Re:You've got it backwards (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677858)

The paranoia and fear that large corporations and their lawyers will descend on you and destroy you for helping your friends is antisocial.

If you let every stranger borrow your gun, you are likely to get in a heap of trouble. If you let every stranger drive your car, you are likely to get a heap of tickets. If you sublet your appartment to strangers, dont act suprised when you get the bill for their property damage.

Why do you expect it to be so different for wifi?

Re:You've got it backwards (4, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678344)

Lending out firearms vs. allowing people to use an internet connection are not parallel scenarios. Are Starbucks or public libraries criminally liable for what people do on their wireless networks? Hell no. If somebody walked into a hotel, picked up a courtesy phone and made a death threat, would the hotel be liable for having a courtesy phone? Of course not. Public access does not always equate to public liability, especially when it comes to communications.

Re:You've got it backwards (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678396)

Because, with a little finagling, I can claim common carrier status for wifi, even as a college student?

The problem here isn't lose of life or property damage. The problem here, aside from the usual "unauthorized users, who may not be a part of the college" excuse, is that they are looking for someone to sue, and subpenaing a student's router is an extra legal expense.

Wouldn't it all just be easier if everyone had static IPs, and they could just send SWAT to pick you up at the address of that registered IP? Why are you trying to make the investigator's / lawyer's jobs harder than they need to be? Who needs DHCP, it's obviously a hacker's protocol, being able to easily change addresses!

Re:You've got it backwards (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678668)

Wouldn't it all just be easier if everyone had static IPs, and they could just send SWAT to pick you up at the address of that registered IP?

It's called ipv6, and we'll have it pretty soon. Should make life easier in a number of ways, sadly will also give the IPP (Imaginary Property Parasites) a leg up.

Re:You've got it backwards (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678412)

And yet, if you let strangers borrow a screwdriver, a cup of sugar, your lawnmower, a paintbrush, a book, a pencil, or any of a million other things, there's absolutely zero chance that you'll ever have any problems at all (other than maybe getting the item back, or the lawnmower being out of gas when you next want to use it). Selectively picking 1) a weapon, and 2) an extremely expensive licensed item, and 3) a dwelling that you pay a deposit on as examples is going to skew expectations. You'd need to demonstrate that it's common sense for someone to equate wireless with any of those things, rather than with a common tool, or a basic utility like electric or water, except for most people it's not even metered like electric and water are.

Re:You've got it backwards (1)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678476)

Why do you expect it to be so different for wifi?

It's different for wifi because there is no opportunity for physical damage. A car or a gun can actually kill someone or cause damage to a person or physical property. A wifi connection cannot be used to cause any physical harm.

If I sublet my apartment, I am taking into account a risk of damage. And believe it or not, some people would be willing to accept the risk of property damage in order to help a fellow human being. If I want to help out my neighbours by sharing my wi-fi, why shouldn't I be able to do that without taking the full blame for anything they do.

As another example, let's say someone walks into my front yard and beats up another person. Should I be blamed for that because I didn't put a fence around my yard to keep them out? I don't have a problem with people walking through my front yard (to a certain extent), but I also don't think I should be blamed for their actions.

Re:You've got it backwards (2)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678564)

Do you really mean to draw an analogy between access to information and access to a deadly weapon?

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (5, Insightful)

dachshund (300733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677358)

many times the desire to help out your friends by leaving your wireless wide open trumps common sense

It's amazing to me that, as a society, we've reached the point where statements like this seem reasonable.

I spent the other day visiting a well-known Ivy-league University that offers 'free' Wifi for guests --- provided the guests are willing to enter a complicated password that changes every day and click through some enormous ToS screen.

It occurred to me that this University was one of the first to stand up for the ideals of free speech, press and religion --- within a mile of where I stood, people had been imprisoned and shot defending these ideals. You would think that a place with such a storied history would understand that the massive /benefits/ of open (even anonymous) communication and that these benefits would trump whatever minimal edge-case risks there are due to copyright infringement, malware, etc.

(At least, these principles should trump the actual benefits of locking down everyone's Wifi network, a policy that seems to have a negligible effect on copyright infringement, malware, and the occurrence of bad things on the Internet.)

But that's not the society we live in, and this is certainly not the University it once was. More to the point, once you start saying things like 'unsecured Wifi access points are terrible' you need to start giving reasons. Is there really a security threat here that can't be dealt with using modern network isolation techniques. And to the same point, does locking down the residential network really stop the bad guys? Can't this mostly be worked around by someone who's willing to plug into a Cat5 jack located in a public place?

Or is all of this hyperventilating really all about protecting yourself from being wrongly accused of some not-very-important crime related to the transference of bits?

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677598)

is all of this hyperventilating really all about protecting yourself from being wrongly accused of some not-very-important crime related to the transference of bits?

There are worse things that can be downloaded through open networks, and I don't know about you, but I don't want any of that stigma attached to me. Accusations of such things have ruined peoples' lives.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't trust your friends, but why not just give them the password to your properly secured network rather than risk a war driver downloading stuff on your connection?

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678172)

is all of this hyperventilating really all about protecting yourself from being wrongly accused of some not-very-important crime related to the transference of bits?

There are worse things that can be downloaded through open networks

LOL, you can download worse things than bits? Please give an example of something you can download other than 'bits'.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (4, Funny)

yoghurt (2090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678362)

There are bits and then there are naughty bits. It's especially bad if these naughty bits belong to someone underage.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678616)

is all of this hyperventilating really all about protecting yourself from being wrongly accused of some not-very-important crime related to the transference of bits?

There are worse things that can be downloaded through open networks

LOL, you can download worse things than bits? Please give an example of something you can download other than 'bits'.

LOL, you can pick up worse things in the real world than atoms? Please give an example of something you can pick up in the real world other than 'atoms'.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678846)

The subject is not bits, the subject is clearly downloading copyrighted files and being charged with copyright infringement.

For the given subject at hand (compared to the one you made up for no reason), yes, there are much worse things to download than copyrighted files.

Since you clearly have no reading comprehension skills, I'll even point that out to you.
The worse thing to download is child pornography.

Because then it is not a simple copyright infringement charge, but a possession and trafficking of child pornography charge.
One is a case that could even be thrown out on a technicality. The other is a case where you are basically guilty until proven innocent, and generally guilty after that too.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678238)

So, kiddie porn used to not be illegal, being, you know, a fucking piece of paper.

Then, it was decided that anyone who possessed a kiddie pornograph either had to have molested a child themself or paid someone else to.

That was already a crime, and providing material support for or conspiracy to commit a crime was also already a crime. But the people demanded a new law anyway.

Fast forward to 16 year olds getting charged with possession of kiddie porn, one person in England got caught trying to put kiddie porn on someone else's computer and call the cops on them, AND YET MICHAEL JACKSON GOT AWAY WITH MOLESTING CHILDREN.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678560)

I think the idea that mere "Accusations of such things have ruined peoples' lives." is nothing but a reinforcement of GP's point: our society has gone to hell in a handbasket.

History has clearly shown that without free and anonymous speech, you won't long have a free society.

I keep my wifi router open, on purpose, for that very reason. An illusion of "security" is not worth real loss of freedom.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678948)

I don't think it's just modern society that works this way. If for example 300 years ago people got wind that you might be a pedo or homo (and assuming their society was against these things), you'd probably end up having to move. These days though, with the internet and sensationalist media, there's a good chance that you will be harassed whatever you do.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677780)

You need to start explaining what in the hell this has to do with free speech? You slashdots are idiots, remember its all about the evil corporations.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (-1, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677894)

Oh for goodness sake using wifi internet has nothing to do with free speech-- and anonymity doesnt require public wifi.

The internet is basically all private entities; you do realize that the first amendment holds precious little sway there, when blogspot or blogger or facebook can just say "you cant post that" and you have essentially no recourse, right? And good luck hosting your own server on the library's free public wifi...

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678618)

The internet has everything to do with free speech. It is the main source of information today.

Facebook does not control the Internet. It only controls Facebook. You can "communicate" or "speak" on your own blog, open for anybody to see. Nobody controls that but you, and you don't need "your own server" to do that.

And yes, open access does have a lot to do with it. If you could only access your information through private parties that censored your speech (as you implied already happens), then free speech would already be dead. You can't have that both ways.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678878)

Sadly, there's a quite large difference between anonymous speech and speech that gets pinned on the wrong man. If I put an anonymous note in everyone's mailbox most likely no one will be blamed. But if I use someone's WiFi, that person is likely to be blamed. The University is no better off, if they shield their users they catch the whole shit storm. Perhaps if most people wanted it, but reality is that most people want there to be some shade of gray where people are so mostly anonymous and left alone, but those that are nasty criminal whatever they can be tracked down. Today that layer is the IP layer, the average Joe can't map an IP to a person but an ISP can and the police can request it from the ISP. Or at least to the subscriber, who you can investigate further if it's a household member/tenant/open wifi/hacked pc or whatever.

Totally open networks or anonymous networks are too absolute for them, you can't have a system of law if you can't catch any criminals. This is probably going to be a BSD vs GPL-style flamewar but total freedom is anarchy. Nobody has to give a fuck what everyone else thinks, it doesn't matter if a law has 99.99% support if it doesn't have support with the 0.01% that actually break it. And for those who go all "sticks and stones may break my bones, but bits and bytes will never hurt me" I'll just Godwin this thread to say Hitler didn't kill many with his own two hands. Death threats don't get any less real just because they're over the Internet. There are things that are and should be crimes, even online. But that won't matter much if all investigations stop at a dead end.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677378)

Downstream liability is something that far too few people are familiar and, particularly on a college campus, many times the desire to help out your friends by leaving your wireless wide open trumps common sense.

Isn't interesting that ISPs are excluded from downstream liability. Colleges appear to be mostly excluded from downstream liability. Yet if you run an open access point to freely share bandwidth you have paid for, you risk losing the shirt off your back in lawsuits.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (2)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677474)

That is the difference between practice and theory. In theory you are not liable for actions of others, and in theory you are assumed innocent until proven guilty. In practice you might be liable for the actions of others, precisely because you are assumed guilty until proven innocent.

*) this of course only applies in countries with a rotten legal system

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677954)

precisely because you are assumed guilty until proven innocent.

Thats not quite accurate; if they are pointing the finger at you, it is because they have evidence that A) illegal activity occurred at your [dorm | library station | house], and B) you were at said location.

You can argue that thats not enough, but to imply that there isnt some evidence is just incorrect. RIAA has had evidence; its just been bad evidence. And you will note the difficulty in actually getting a conviction with such bad evidence; all of the RIAAs wins have basically been either people who were guilty and perjured themselves into a corner (Tenenbaum), or people who were guilty and also... perjured themselves into a corner (Rasset). Nothing prevents you from falsly accusing your neighbor of something with tenuous evidence; youll simply lose your case and likely be liable for defense's costs (and possibly a countersuing).

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678336)

You can argue that thats not enough, but to imply that there isnt some evidence is just incorrect. RIAA has had evidence; its just been bad evidence. And you will note the difficulty in actually getting a conviction with such bad evidence; all of the RIAAs wins have basically been either people who were guilty and perjured themselves into a corner (Tenenbaum), or people who were guilty and also... perjured themselves into a corner (Rasset). Nothing prevents you from falsly accusing your neighbor of something with tenuous evidence; youll simply lose your case and likely be liable for defense's costs (and possibly a countersuing).

Does that distinction make a difference if a third party intervenes and enforces rules based on the RISK of getting sued?

Anyway I am glad to hear RIAA are losing many of these cases, I was starting to really worry about the state of US justice. Maybe I should be more optimistic? I have recently regained the faith in my local legal system because the danish equivalent to RIAA dropped all piracy cases after the danish supreme court ruled that an open WiFi does constitute a valid defense, and even in the one or two cases a conviction was achieved (by confession) the damages was set at cost-price per album shared which totaled only a few hundred dollars.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678702)

"... if they are pointing the finger at you, it is because they have evidence that A) illegal activity occurred at your [dorm | library station | house], and B) you were at said location."

You are proving to everybody that you have no idea what is really going on.

Have you followed any of the lawsuits over copyright infringement? The only "evidence" that they have had has often been only an IP address, and they have used very questionable methods to even get those. And IP addresses have nothing to do with "you", at all. It is only the address of a machine. And address that can change or even be spoofed by others.

And yes, the "recording industry" has, by and large, been losing their cases over these issues. In fact most of them have been thrown out. But that hasn't stopped them from trying, and intimidating people and extorting many thousands of dollars from them over exactly such "tenuous evidence".

I strongly suggest you get off your high horse about this issue, until such time as you get a clue about what has really been happening.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677614)

No, it is not interesting. You can get the same protections by following the same laws as the ISPs (Section 512 of USC 17):

(i) Conditions for Eligibility.—

(1) Accommodation of technology. — The limitations on liability established by this section shall apply to a service provider only if the service provider —

(A) has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network who are repeat infringers; and

(B) accommodates and does not interfere with standard technical measures.

Now, if you you can show how you notify and cut off users of your open wifi network, you get the same protections.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677466)

They should put a line stating "owning a computer connected our network may allow others to own your machine and share illegal material through it, giving the appearance that you are the guilty party."

Altruism considered harmful (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678092)

This is the sort of mentality that makes Richard Stallman turn in his grave, and he isn't even dead!

The desire to help your neighbour is a virtue, not a vice. Start thinking about the problematic aspect of file-sharing being not users' 'piracy' but the War on Sharing, in which greedy industries interfere ever more insidiously with people's natural desire to share things with those around them, including in this case network access.

I admire people who make a deliberate point of leaving their routers open, and am only stopped from doing so myself by the fear that I'll be extorted out of money by lawyers I don't have the resources to fight, for things I haven't done and which may not be unethical anyway.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (3, Insightful)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676718)

The reporter does a fine job of pointing out the actual context. Slashdot is the group making accusations of absurdity. BC has edited the page to remove the point about wifi already.

What I really want to know is why universities think they need to be involved in a discussion about copyright protection anyway. I know they are targets of the predatory RIAA and this is a CYA move, but one might think Boston College would be above the fracas, have a clear and accurate understanding of the law, and inform people appropriately. This sounds like off the hip advice from an older systems admin with no understanding of what copyright really means in an online context.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (2)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676770)

The reporter uses the exact quotation of

So why is Boston College telling students that simply using a wireless router is a sign of infringement?

in the article itself. The submitter merely latched onto it blindly.

As to your other point i entirely agree.

They're involved because of the HEOA. (4, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676950)

What I really want to know is why universities think they need to be involved in a discussion about copyright protection anyway.

Probably because due to intense lobbying by the MPAA et al., in the Higher Education Opportunity Act the federal government included stipulations that schools receiving federal money adopt certain procedures regarding copyright infringement and file-sharing. See, e.g., http://www.educause.edu/Resources/Browse/HEOA/34600 [educause.edu] .

Re:They're involved because of the HEOA. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677140)

Or it could be because they are an institution of learning and copyright is law.

Do you complain about their rape awareness programs?

Re:They're involved because of the HEOA. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677418)

Do you complain about their rape awareness programs?

Godwin is impressed.

Re:They're involved because of the HEOA. (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677456)

Universities choose to create rape awareness programs. There's even a limited amount of government mandate encouraging universities to create rape awareness programs (Some of them have gotten government grant funding for such programs). But there's no private organisation demanding such programs under penalty of law. N.O.W. isn't demanding that universities not get federal money unless they implement rape awareness programs. No rape victims have filed any class action lawsuits to enjoin any university from receiving federal funds until they have their rape awareness program in place or tried to dictate the exact contents of one.
      People are complaining that this should not be a matter of law - that's the point you seem to have missed in your straw man attack.

Re:They're involved because of the HEOA. (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678438)

Marijuana prohibition is law too, but in biopsychology classes on the effects of drugs they don't set out to specifically pimp marijuana prohibition; they study it impartially and academically.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677368)

Even if the "using wifi" is misreported in tfs, I think the "sending mp3s" is just as stupid, or more so. MP3s are how indie artists get their work heard; unlike MAFIAA bands, who have radio. Maybe things have changed since I was in school (I'm a geezer), but if not, there are a LOT of students who are musicians,

Hopefully, any kid smart enough to go to college is smart enough to know it's all rank bullshit from the MAFIAA, who are pulling this evil shit as a move against their competition -- the indies.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677870)

In the techdirt article and their current page example, they clearly specify copyrighted / unauthorized in all instances. The original page ALSO warns that having unprotected wireless can land you in hot water - since if you own the connection you tend to be held accountable here.

I don't like them as much as the next tech person, but pull your head out of your ass and actually RTFA and notice nowhere does it umbrella label ALL mp3s as being copyright infringement ( or even suggest it! ).

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676744)

You're right in that it's a failure in proper journalism, though I think Techdirt or Slashdot make that their mission.

Also, the example in the screen shot doesn't even tell the student to secure their router in any plain terms. If that's what they meant, then they failed in clarity. The BC page has been cleansed of that line entirely, it seems to me that they could have re-written it better instead, because it is a potential liability, whether or not we like it.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677812)

Most colleges don't want personal wifi equipment anywhere on campus anyway. Too easy for them to be misconfigured and interfere with the wireless channel used for their own wifi. Being vague just prevents them from saying no twice.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676756)

So what you are really saying is that "Boston College is making sure your router is responsible for any infringement"....well those words are all in your post...they may not be in the right order and they may be taken out of context, but still. ;-)

No story here. Move along. (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676876)

This is just a badly laid out webpage, so that the section about the risks of having an open wireless router is listed alongside examples of what may be copyright infringement. Anyone with half a brain would realise this. But I guess stirring up a fuss about absolutely nothing is a surer way of getting your story on Slashdot.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676902)

It isn't just that - the university I attended allowed direct access to a number of expensive journals from their network - opening this up via a wifi router would not only infringe copyright, but also compromise the security of the university network.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678444)

The university that I'm at (research I state school) allows a similar thing, but also allows such direct access from their public campus wifi.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676938)

i suppose journalism just isn't fun these days without ignoring context.

I read this as "...without ignoring facts.".
Coincidentally equally true.

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677168)

Here's a link to the college site, so that you don't have to look at a screenshot of the college site embedded in a ad-whoring blog.

http://www.bc.edu/offices/help/security/copyright/illegalexamples.html

Re:Ridiculous Reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678950)

Context is ignored completely by both "journalists" and real journalists. There is no news anymore - it's all entertainment to get advertising money. Period.

Case and point is reporting regarding Fukushima. IAEA reports,

After taking soil samples at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese authorities today confirmed finding traces of plutonium that most likely resulted from the nuclear accident there....Traces of plutonium are not uncommon in soil because they were deposited worldwide during the atmospheric nuclear testing era. the quantity of plutonium found does not exceed background levels tracked by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology over the past 30 years

http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2011/fukushima280311.html

Next day they write that they are investigating if the measurements are valid at all (because noise floor is almost consistent with data).

BBC reports and others reports,

Plutonium: Found at five locations in soil - levels said to represent no danger to human health

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12889541

Meanwhile, the crisis seems to worsen at Fukushima nuclear plant. The ground around the plant and on the floors of the building was found to contain plutonium, only used in reactor 3 (out of six in the plant). Tetsuo Iguchi, a professor of isotope analysis at the University of Nagoya, said that "if the plutonium enters the bloodstream, it can damage our cells leading to cancer of the bones or liver."

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Maximum-alert-in-Fukushima:-plutonium-in-soil,-water-tests-radioactive-21155.html

I haven't found ONE article from credible "news" organizations explaining the amount of plutonium found immediately next to the reactor, in context of how much there is worldwide from all the nuclear tests. But I sure found lots of speculation about end of the world and 3 arm babies from the plutonium.

So please, go easy on slashdot - this is all entertainment to get you to view/click on ads.

Ears or Eyes open is a sign of infringement too ! (1)

ami.one (897193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676642)

Ears or Eyes open is a sign of infringement too. All college staff to keep 'em closed from now on. Students can keep them open 'cause they're already infringing due to presence of router etc

It's a sin (1, Offtopic)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676650)

But all will be forgiven if you go to confession.

Re:It's a sin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676672)

Yeah, you are right

new even older new bible; christianity shrugs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676654)

that's not what they said yesterday? going on it's ear? starting over? no applause?

texted from jc, the last days? epic? books, movies, pageants, maybe even some flashier thou shalts for a change? couldn't cover what's happened since then, as the savior would have gone remodel the first time one of the chosen ones even touched one of us less chosen 'funny''? he's got a pension for showing up in a timeless manner? in an endless/always almost the end of time sort of way? isn't there a chapter where we're granted more time to learn to suffer in gratitude/tithe better (nail biting/), get ready to die, again, stuff like that? this is absolutely unbelievable? our reward?

right on yahoo news. forget it. we're all on our knees all night tonight. as for the increasing holycost? it's likely profitsized in the new/older/newer word of the cave dweller so as to be a definite shalt.

"British archaeologists are seeking to authenticate what could be a landmark discovery in the documentation of early Christianity: a trove of 70 lead codices that appear to date from the 1st century CE, which may include key clues to the last days of Jesus' life. As UK Daily Mail reporter Fiona Macrae writes, some researchers are suggesting this could be the most significant find in Christian archeology since the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947.
The codices turned up five years ago in a remote cave in eastern Jordan—a region where early Christian believers may have fled after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. The codices are made up of wirebound individual pages, each roughly the size of a credit card. They contain a number of images and textual allusions to the Messiah, as well as some possible references to the crucifixion and resurrection. Some of the codices were sealed, prompting yet more breathless speculation that they could include the sealed book, shown only to the Messiah, mentioned in the Book of Revelation. One of the few sentences translated thus far from the texts, according to the BBC, reads, "I shall walk uprightly"--a phrase that also appears in Revelation. "While it could be simply a sentiment common in Judaism," BBC writer Robert Pigott notes, "it could here be designed to refer to the resurrection."
But the field of biblical archaeology is also prey to plenty of hoaxes and enterprising fraudsters, so investigators are proceeding with due empirical caution. Initial metallurgical research indicates that the codices are about 2,000 years old--based on the manner of corrosion they have undergone, which, as Macrae writes, "experts believe would be impossible to achieve artificially."

Re:new even older new bible; christianity shrugs (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676792)

I am sure the BIAA (the religious version of the RIAA) is all over this to prevent unauthorized copies. Codices are notoriously easy to copy and distribute amongst various followings and there's going to be a need for new laws to prevent religion from undergoing the same thing we saw wih the music industry.

Codex sharing is just plain wrong, it costs people jobs and we need to take action against it before it gets out of hand.

Re:new even older new bible; christianity shrugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677002)

::applause:: we're all very proud of you for knowing and using the word codex/codices. Thanks for showing us your brilliance.

does it have codec for choirs_of_angels.mpme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676816)

perhaps we'll know after the inquisitions. it plays out chapter & verse to the letter, as it was written, & rewritten, it might be in there somewhere.

right at the very end there's always sick yuk exploding doom & gloom everywhere, as if by magic, until only the chosen ones remain. then the sequel?

And, it's gone now (3, Interesting)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676690)

http://www.bc.edu/offices/help/security/copyright/illegalexamples.html [bc.edu]

I love how websites fall over backwards to wipe out things like this, as if it never happened. If it weren't for the screenshot in the linked article, I'd have thought that whoever submitted this was an idiot.

Re:And, it's gone now (4, Insightful)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676782)

Also, there's Google's cached version [googleusercontent.com] .

But regardless, I'd probably remove it, too, since there's a huge, unreasonable, internet shitstorm over nothing. Yes, their example is oversimplified, but it's intended for the average college freshman (not always the brightest tool in the shed). It's also an example of things they would be wise to avoid, not a rule. If you don't know how to secure your router, it's probably best not to set one up in your dorm room.

Re:And, it's gone now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677556)

If you don't know how to secure your router, it's probably best not to set one up in your dorm room.

I can completely see where they are coming from on this - since even if you do know how to secure your router, its not going to take me or anyone else with the slightest degree of competence more than 3 days to crack into it with a modern desktop (gauged on the scale of a nerd's machine).

Re:And, it's gone now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678512)

"(not always the brightest tool in the shed)"

The idiom should be... (not always the SHARPEST tool in the shed)

Re:And, it's gone now (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676786)

Nah, the submitter is still an idiot. The original screenshot shows the original text, where it's obvious they're talking about sharing your Internet connection with others being risky because those users might commit copyright infringement with it appearing to be coming from your system.

"* Using a wireless router in your room; others may share illegal material through your router, giving the appearance that you are the guilty party."

Basically this story ought to be pulled. The wording could be better, but the college's advice is actually good advice.

Re:And, it's gone now (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677714)

Why is the campus allowing students to put their own WiFi routers on the school network, anyway? I mean, I might be biased because part of my job is to work on a product designed to detect that and alert administrators so they can shut it down (complete with pretty maps of where the device is).

But I was under the impression that unauthorized wireless on your network was Widely Considered a Bad Thing. (What, do the students have a third-party internet connection or something??)

Re:And, it's gone now (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677848)

That's my assumption of why it didn't give instructions on securing your router. They wanted to present it as just another reason not to have one at all.

Re:And, it's gone now (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678608)

Campus networks and corporate networks are really, really different animals. I used to work in a major university's IT dept. In the first place, the network is always considered compromised. Perimeter security (which has been an outmoded paradigm for at least a decade anyway) isn't even bothered with as theater. Unlike a corporate network, there is no standard build/image for the students' systems, no OS standards, no patching standards, no guaranty of access or efficacy of group policy, etc. It's a hodge-podge of a hundred different brands/configs running a hundred different OSes, and most of them are laptops that walk in and out the door everyday to go off and pick up amazing malware from friends, family, and public access.

Now granted I only have experience with the way one institution handled things, but I wager that a lot of them are similar. Pretty much the only thing we did on the security side was make sure that one or two systems weren't using up huge portions of the available bandwidth. When that happened they were tracked down and given a talking-to. Otherwise it's herding cats, and there were so many usability issues every day we didn't have the time/manpower to worry about zoomj what if somebody has an open access point?!

Re:And, it's gone now (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678880)

Why is the campus allowing students to put their own WiFi routers on the school network, anyway?

When I was in college, you weren't permitted to install any router or hub in your room, wireless or wired. Only one computer per room access port. Of course it happened anyway. You'd only get caught if the RA noticed and ratted you out. Actual audits of IP-MAC associations only occurred at the end of the year unless a problem was detected.

Surprisingly, when the RIAA came knocking, they disavowed having logged any such information, though it was quite possible they had stopped and deleted the previous records since the last time I worked there. Odd though, considering they were monitoring traffic usage by protocol and considering throttling or completely blocking bittorrent and p2p activity when I left.

Re:And, it's gone now (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676918)

I still find this one funny.

Burning CD copies of music you have downloaded and then giving them to all your friends.

So is it ok if I give them to some of my friends? Or maybe just my family?

Re:And, it's gone now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676976)

The Ministry of Truth is alive and well.

Edited already (0)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676696)

From what I can tell, it looks like Boston College has noticed that they're on Slashdot. The bullet point example of using a wireless router has been removed already. Though the third point (Emailing copies of a copyrighted song to all of your friends) is still bogus. Who the heck emails copyrighted songs these days? For that matter, who still uses email?

Re:Edited already (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677030)

I email songs to myself all the time. Usually I embed them in images. This way I'm not plugging in a USB device to my work machine, and not looking like I'm emailing music to myself. High resolution pictures of the earth are great for burying data in.

removed (1)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676700)

It seems the wireless router item was removed from the site. Guess it's not such a sign, after all....

Redacted (0)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676702)

Boston College has redacted that text now. It's fairly obvious what they actually meant was that having an UNSECURED wifi network could make it easier for OTHERS to infringe and leave you looking guilty. But the way they wrote it was ambiguous.

Re:Redacted (2)

himself (66589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676758)

The IT staff at B.C. (disclosure: my alma mater) is very clueful. For example, I was up there two weeks ago for a regional higher-ed event called Security Camp that they hosted, and their speaker was as current and savvy as the other speakers (who included a Senior Auditor from UMass, a guy from Harvard, and someone from Children's Hospital).

I have no doubt that they redacted the page because, as was pointed out, the language was awkward -- and not because they "got caught" doing something.

Sensational but wrong headline is sensational (0)

chiark (36404) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676724)

...but wrong.

They say file sharing is bad, mmmkay? Don't do it. They provide examples of what may land you in hot water. One of those was running an unsecured wireless network, which you will be on the hook for: the cheerleader defence does not work!

It's actually good advice. They're not saying "using wifi is a sign of infringement", and no-one with half a clue would dream it said that.

But hey, sensationalist journalism is obviously more important than accuracy or a sound understanding of the basic message that they're trying to get across, and in my view succeeding in. Quite how someone can misinterpret the advice, then get it picked up by slashdot, is beyond me. And no, I'm not new here!

And besides, BC has changed the list - even though I think it's good advice.

Is it just me going crazy? (0)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676728)

I've looked at both the pages linked in TFA (Yes, I know - nobody actually reads TFA anymore), and the actual BC.edu site does NOT state anything about using a wireless router being a copyright infringement. The screenshot on the techdirt site looks genuine enough, so either somebody has modified the screenshot to try and make the college look bad, or Boston College has already realised that it was a bit silly and modified it. Either way... they are quite right to warn students as they (the college) will almost be held accountable legally for anything undertaken by students on campus. It would hardly be the first time - anyone remember this;-
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/03/17/0350211/US-Ed-Dept-Demanding-Principals-Censor-More [slashdot.org]

really? (0, Flamebait)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676730)

Last I heard being a boston college administrator is proof you are a member of Al-Qua-idea and support the murder of children...

What? Rich snobby self propitious jerks can make wild false comparisons and I cant?

Honestly, people need to stand up and smack these jerks in the face.

Re:really? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678484)

people need to stand up and SHOOT these jerks in the face.

FTFY.

Maybe it's right (1, Redundant)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676752)

Included on the list is using a wireless router in your dorm.

It actually says....

Using a wireless router in your room; others may share illegal material through your router, giving the appearance that you are the guilty party.

Think about this for a moment. For the average person who does not take reasonable measures to secure their wireless AP against unauthorized access, this is true.

The average newbie/non-geek who just buys an Wireless AP+Router combination device and plugs it in, will be operating in open wireless mode.... that means other students can connect and use their internet connection.

This has a potential to result in claims of contributory infringement, when other students connect to the open AP and upload MP3s to peer to peer networks or perform other infringing activities.

Re:Maybe it's right (1, Redundant)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676880)

This has a potential to result in claims of contributory infringement, when other students connect to the open AP and upload MP3s to peer to peer networks or perform other infringing activities.

It is more like: It will look as if you _are_ the infringer. It's not true if others did the infringing, but you _look_ like the guilty party and may get into trouble.

Re:Maybe it's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677860)

FTFpicture:

giving the appearance that you are the guilty party.

I think that is what they said.

Re:Maybe it's right (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677108)

Even factoring the IP infringement out of the equation, a wireless router gives an unscrupulous person leeway to do a lot of things, all of which would be blamed on the router's owner. Some routers might log MAC addresses, but these are trivial to forge, and if they are not, one can get a USB wireless dongle to do the dirty work, then throw it away.

A couple examples:

1: A launch point for hacking the resident network. Dorm networks tend to be pretty low in security, so someone would be able to get something unless the college's IT department is up to snuff.

2: Spam. If a university admin is clued, outgoing port 25 is locked down tightly, and all mail either uses the proper port, or goes through the university's SMTP server.

3: Internal phishing attacks. A thorough hit on the university's mail server by phishers likely would get some compromised accounts, which could be used for anything from fraud, to a better base for spamming, or if the user uses the same password university wide, access to decent boxes (and possibly root access if the admins don't keep up on exploits). Since the address would be coming in from the university, people would tend to trust it more.

Obviously it was misworded, and with all the outrageous stuff going on about IP law, people would get peeved about the statement that a wireless router would contribute to it. However, getting students to lock down their wireless access is a good thing. Other colleges just admin their own wireless network segments and prohibit wireless routers altogether in the dorm rooms (due to bandwidth saturation), and use direction finding hardware to detect and deal with students breaking that rule.

Boston College is not... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676760)

... one of our "Top Colleges" (so sez a guy from the other side of the river ;)

*ducks*

Sorry, but the summary is inaccurate (0)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676764)

This is a bit misstated. The notice says that the student could be at greater risk of liability if using a wireless router because others might use it to download copyrighted material. In fact, this has been used successfully as a defense, making the statement a lie (the student would actually be less liable if using a wireless router).

None the less, the statement doesn't say using a wireless router is a indicator of copyright infringement.

Re:Sorry, but the summary is inaccurate (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677470)

Where does it say the student will be a greater risk of liability? The screen shot says 'others may share illegal material through your router giving the appearance that you are the guilty party'. This is 100% true. If you get to the point where you have to use an open router as a defense it is because it did, in fact, appear that you were the guilty party, and you are now going through the expense and hassle of defending yourself in court. If you didn't have the open wifi you wouldn't BE in court defending yourself (unless you were the one doing the sharing). Advising anyone that running an open wifi in any way reduces their liability is just plain stupid.

Re:Sorry, but the summary is inaccurate (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677902)

If you ARE the infringer, you could buy an open wireless router to help you cast some reasonable doubt...

Infringement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676774)

If you are listening to music, watching a movie or reading a book etc you might be infringing on copyright.

Ever listened to the radio? at work?! ever borrowed a book? sold it second hand? Had guests/strangers over that watched a movie on your TV?

When does it become infringement & when is it just a nonsesical accusation? You cannot even give your neighbour's free WiFi access for fear they might infringe on something!

"File sharing" has not become almost synonymous with "piracy". Sharing profits not major music/movie label, it's bad, honest. You are stealing! stealing jobs, food from our children's mouths!! (Or so they would love for you to believe)

The content MAFIAA has caused & is still causing paranoia. Let's just do everything we can in out own individual way to not make these greedy bastards any richer so they cannot buy more legislation and continue to be a source of irritation.

What's so bad about file sharing? look at COD- Black Ops, the most pirated game ever, also the most profitable. No lost sales BS.

Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676888)

Notice how the RIAA controls the copyright discussion to the point where students get given examples of copyright that only include music?

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677024)

Notice how all libraries have copiers?

GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676894)

Actually some of the cheap WiFi vendors are violating GPL by not providing the sources to the firmware running on the device.
And they're mostly Linux based.

So yes - if you use such router then you're probably violating (or help in the violation) of some copiryghts.

This just in... (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677128)

Submitter is an idiot

It's anonymous, it's idiotic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677138)

... it's Florian Mueller!

WAPs in dorms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677170)

Many universities I know of prohibit students from using personal WAPs or 2.4 GHz cordless phones in dorms. Cordless phones aren't really an issue anymore (my alma mater doesn't provide phone lines in the dorms anymore), and they provide wi-fi for the residents so they don't have to bring their own WAPs. Probably something about not having 25 WAPs named "Linksys".

Re:WAPs in dorms (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678492)

The problem with campus-provided wifi is that, too often, it sucks dick.

Wireless Infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677390)

It may not necessarily be an infringement unless of course you are using a hotspot that you are not authorised to use (i.e. your neighbor, room next door, house next door, etc.) You using wireless on your own network or a network you have permission to use is no infringement.

Story Understates Boston College Gaffe (1)

skywire (469351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35677432)

The story characterizes the Boston College webpage content as providing "a list of what might be called 'you might be a copyright infringer if...'. But that is being far, far too kind. If you actually look at the content as displayed in the article, you will see that what is being offered is a list of examples of actual infringing activities, labeled as such ("Common Examples of Copyright Infringement"). Thus the inclusion of possession of a wireless router in the list is not just an error regarding what correlates with infringement (analogous to including "having more than one drink at a party" in a "You might be an alcoholic if..." list). It is flat-out, inexcusably, wrong.

Re:Story Understates Boston College Gaffe (1)

JohnM4 (1709336) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678576)

The complete sentence continues "others may share illegal material through your router, giving the appearance that you are the guilty party." You cannot take the part of a sentence before a semicolon and ignore the rest that qualifies the situation and then call the whole thing "flat-out, inexcusably, wrong." If others share illegal material through your router, that in fact would be an example of copyright infringement. Your interpretation is "flat-out, inexcusably, wrong."

Not false... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35677770)

Boston college is not false here, after all 'you might be a copyright infringer if...' you have between 1 and 3 legs. After all, both government and the *IAA consider you an infringer unless proven otherwise (and even then probably not).

Not only Boston College (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678464)

This is not that unusual, my school, (University of Nevada, Reno) did something similar; when my wireless router was detected on network they sent a snail-mail letter to my parents informing them that I am 'hacking'.

If you swallow a horse, you can swallow a fly (1)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35678858)

Once the idea of intellectual "property" is accepted, and the idea that Prohibition 3: The Final Chapter is the solution to the "crime" of "stealing" non-existent objects (along with the completely locked down police state to enforce it), then what's the big deal about making up thousands more little lies to bolster the idiocy? We gave up the right to intellectual honesty once we gave in on the big lies. Prepare for a century of madness and armored police kicking your door in, shooting your dogs, and feeling up your womenfolk after they handcuff your prostrate household. We accept the madness for our drug war, we will accept it for the new war against idea thieves.

When does the possession of a song in your head become a crime? Not an idle notion. fMRI will continue evolving, and sensing a pilfered tune in your grey matter may become possible. What's next, filters on the auditory nerves? Licenses for holding x number of songs in your head for y number of years? Why not? Stealing is stealing.

completely made up things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35678882)

You should see what they teach in Economics ! You think Bernake and Geitner got it that wrong on their own ?

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