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Police Investigate Offensive Wi-Fi Network Name

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the sounds-like-a-rough-neighborhood dept.

Wireless Networking 890

An anonymous reader writes "Police in Teaneck, New Jersey, with apparently too much time on their hands, are investigating an offensive wireless network name. Although the police didn't reveal the name, the New York Daily News reports that it was anti-Semitic and racist in nature. The incident is being investigated as a possible 'bias crime.' It's definitely not what proper people do, but a 'bias crime?'"

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890 comments

Name revealed (1, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760288)

Apparently the SSID of the WAP was "IHaveSomeConcernsAboutIsraeliGovernmentPolicy" [salon.com]

It's a shame the word "anti-semitic" has been rendered virtually meaningless lately. It used to mean something about hating or discriminating against Jews.

Re:Name revealed (5, Informative)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760312)

That's not what TFA says.

Re:Name revealed (5, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760410)

Bastard. you actually made me go read TFA.

After reading it, I'm about 99% sure that what they've got there isn't a real racist. What they've got is some /btard or the like who named the router that for amusement value, and succeeded in trolling the public beyond his wildest dreams.

Re:Name revealed (5, Funny)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760502)

No one is safe from the constant bombardment of visciously named SSID's

I saw one this morning, "festivus". A term from a sitcom that belittles the celebration of the birth of our baby lord Jesus Christ.

But I didn't call the police.

Re:Name revealed (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760588)

Best one I've seen is "paracetemoxyfrusobendroneomycin" (a ficticious drug which cures almost everything, and causes most side-effects)

Re:Name revealed (-1, Troll)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760758)

Your use of the word "our" is rather arrogant and pompous. Perhaps this is why your faith is such a target of comedians - the arrogant and pompous has long been a staple of the comedy diet.

Re:Name revealed (3, Funny)

telekon (185072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760508)

I'm so glad my router's SSID is 'serious business'. Because apparently that's what the internet is.

Re:Name revealed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760596)

SSID = Your fucking is too loud

Re:Name revealed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760646)

That lucky btard! I've been trying this for some time, but I don't think anyone has ever noticed or commented on mine. And now this guy makes it on /.

Re:Name revealed (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760826)

My Neighbor's SSID is "Go Fuck Yourself". I don't think anybody has ever complained. I find it amusing.

Re:Name revealed (5, Funny)

lazarus (2879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760762)

I changed the bluetooth ID of my car's hands-free unit to "POLICE" and whenever I'm stopped in rush-hour traffic I try connecting my "car" to people I see nearby who are (illegally here) holding their cell phones to their ears. Fun times. The reactions I get are priceless.

Probably I should stop doing that...

Re:Name revealed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760418)

I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a joke.

Re:Name revealed (4, Interesting)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760390)

It's a shame the word "anti-semitic" has been rendered virtually meaningless lately. It used to mean something about hating or discriminating against Jews.

Which in itself is a shame because being Jewish, on it's own, doesn't make one Semitic, and the Hebrew people aren't the only Semitic peoples who get hated and discriminated against. But don't tell an Israeli that. You'll be called anti-semitic.

Re:Name revealed (3, Insightful)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760664)

It's also possible to be anti-Zionist (i.e. disagreeing with the legality of the state of Israel) without being anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic - even though any argument against Israel is immediately branded as such.

Re:Name revealed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760412)

It's a shame the word "anti-semitic" has been rendered virtually meaningless lately. It used to mean something about hating or discriminating against Jews.

Only after it has been rendered rather meaningless for the first time, since it originally used to mean something about hating or discriminating against Semitic people (which, besides Jews, includes a lot of other groups).

Re:Name revealed (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760592)

(which, besides Jews, includes a lot of other groups

Including, ironically, many of the same Arabs who Israelis are so fond of calling anti-Semitic.

Re:Name revealed (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760694)

Also it is apparently better to keep the fact one is racist private, vs. letting them be public about it, so everyone knows that they are racists.

Granted if a minority can see that there are more people with the same idea the concept grows and puts more weight behind it. However in the same breath if you try to censor people for having an unpopular belief it just gives them extra reason to be angrier, and get more hateful.

If a person is a bad person, I would like to know that they are bad, and they should feel free to discuss their evils. That way I know to avoid them.

What I find more threatening is there are so many people with these thoughts and feeling but are keeping quite about it allowing to increase the chances to put them and some other innocent victim together where it could get out of hand.
 

You're not allowed to hate in America (5, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760316)

Its now illegal to dislike anything in America.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760334)

Why do you think Facebook only has a Like button? It's government mandated.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (3, Insightful)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760336)

Except Republicans, conservatives, Christians, people who respect the constitution. They're all free game.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (4, Insightful)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760608)

Except Republicans, conservatives, Christians, people who respect the constitution. They're all free game.

You almost had a point there until you got around to trolling with the "people who respect the constitution" part.

And yeah, a lot of people hate a lot of the so-called values that many Republicans, conservatives and Christians have been pushing these days. But that coin has two ugly sides to it, so let's not pretend like there's anything unique going on here.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (4, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760818)

You almost had a point there until you got around to trolling with the "people who respect the constitution" part.

No, he's right on that bit too.

Most people look at the Constitution, pick out the bits they like, and then hate on anyone who disagrees with the parts they like.

This applies to both sides of the political spectrum, mind you.

But there are very few who will say "yep, the Supremes ruled that Constitutional (or not), and even though I don't like it, they're right"...mostly it's "I don't like guns, so any ruling in favor of the Second Amendment is WRONG!!!" or "I don't think that States should be able to exercise eminent domain on your property then give it to someone else to make a mall, so it's WRONG!!!!".

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (0, Flamebait)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760630)

I hate to break it to you, but those groups are all mutually exclusive.

My comment probably deserves to be modded flamebait, but it's still accurate to my observations of the world.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760668)

You can thank the counterculture (revolution) of the 60's for that. It's pure rebellion that goes out of its way to counter anything known as American values. None of this happens to be by chance.

Athiests (and the left) have endured far more (5, Informative)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760710)

Except Republicans, conservatives, Christians, people who respect the constitution. They're all free game.

Oh, cry me a river. If you think the last 6 or 8 years have been bad for the right, try the last 30 as a liberal, socialist, or (the group most discriminated against of all) an athiest. Republicans and evangelists got a free ride for 20+ years spewing hate but receiving mostly reason and thoughtful discussion in return. Eventually they abused their position too much, and triggered a small taste back of what they've been dishing out since the early 80s, if not earlier.

Hating anyone on the basis of their religion, ethnicity, political stance, etc. is wrong, but for you to wax self-righteous over the backlash against the group most responsible for delivering such hatred (c.f. just about any talk radio, not to mention fox or the politicians themselves, e.g. Mr Frothy Mix Santorum).

In short, Republicans, conservative, and Christians like to dish it out in droves, but can't take the heat when they get even a tiny percentage of it back. As for your disingenous "respect the constitution" crap, they only respect their one narrow interpretation of the constitution, no one else's. Not unlike certain organizations who interpreted the bible one narrow way, and fought a hundred-year war to burn everyone else as heretics.

You're allowed to Hate Whitey (3, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760368)

You're still allowed to hate whitey, especially if whitey has any wealth to speak of. That's perfectly okay, because wealthy whitey is the source of all of the world's ills.

Re:You're allowed to Hate Whitey (4, Insightful)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760712)

It has to be a male whitey though...

Re:You're allowed to Hate Whitey (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760726)

Yeah, there's nothing worse than a rich whitey [talkingpointsmemo.com]

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (5, Insightful)

NetTripper (2557374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760416)

America is slowly sliding into the abyss of dictatorship. This is utterly pathetic. Granted the name may have been offensive, but shouldn't we as citizens be allowed to name property we own and use anything we choose? It's like if you had a nick name for X item in your life. And the police found out that name and some how considered it offensive and criminal. I do not think it should be criminal in nature. I feel it should be more civil related, regarding court proceedings. Yes again the American police state rearing it's ugly head!

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760600)

Tell me about it...exactly WHEN did it become against the law to be offensive?

Freedom of speech, pretty much by definition trumps freedom from being offended.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760424)

Hate Speech is rightfully restricted as infringing on the right of a minority to live unharassed, read TFA, pretty awful message to broadcast

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (0)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760464)

Mod parent up. Currently at troll status, should be at "insightful".

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760514)

Your freedoms end where other people begin. I mean, there's an incredibly obvious distinction to be made between me feeling that your post is sophomoric and inane, and me broadcasting the notion with a megaphone.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (5, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760634)

I mean, there's an incredibly obvious distinction to be made between me feeling that your post is sophomoric and inane, and me broadcasting the notion with a megaphone.

Yes, there is.

And BOTH are constitutionally protected in the USA.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760672)

there's an incredibly obvious distinction to be made between me feeling that your post is sophomoric and inane, and me broadcasting the notion with a megaphone.

Yes, but unless you are violating a local noise ordnance, it is still not illegal for you to do so, nor does it violate anyone's rights. There is no such thing as a right to not be offended.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760516)

The real issue with "hate speech" is that it's hard as hell to figure out the line between someone exercising their right for free speech and someone inciting violence, I guess?

Actually, what *is* the issue with hate speech? Other than the potentially inciting violence part which, I have a feeling that inciting violence is in and of itself is illegal. (except at sports matches)

Is it the hurt feeling or what?

I guess I'm not sure if it's a crime to speak about hating any race/gender/sexual orientation/religion, or if the only risk is the civil suit that you might get handed to you. And if it IS a crime to simply talk about how you hate them, why the fuck is that so?

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760678)

Fsck American...and I'm a damn citizen...I don't have to like my country, especially right now

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760680)

It's about time. You're pretty much the only country left that allows people to shoot each other and spout disgusting hate speech to make more people shoot each other. You disgust me, capitalist scum.

Re:You're not allowed to hate in America (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760744)

Except that you are in fact completely wrong.

It's legal for neo-Nazis to march through a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, according to the US Supreme Court [wikipedia.org] . It's legal for the KKK to exist. It's legal to stand around at funerals holding signs that say "God Hates Fags".

It's legal to hate things, or hate people, or hate groups of people, and to voice those opinions. What's not legal is committing a crime based on those opinions.

What's also quite possible is that the police have overstepped their bounds.

SSID (2)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760322)

Another reason to have a closed network. Not so much a security issue, but avoids snooping authorities. Sure they could wardrive, but at least one has a possible affermative defense.

As it stands, this type of thing is clearly indicates immature people who crave attention, much like people who put huge subwoofers in their car, or loud exhausts on their bikes, or over the top and distracting decorations on their lawns. I support the police giving them the attention they desire.

You're talking about the police, aye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760382)

The police are being immature people here. And (if that's separate), the one whining that when they look at someone's wireless network, they're offended.

Re:You're talking about the police, aye? (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760556)

Although I am not an iPhone user, the article makes it sound like the SSID just "popped up on the person's iPhone" as if to imply that they weren't scanning for a WiFi connection at the time. If this is truly the case, then Apple should be the one charged with exposing this poor victim to this hateful speech. They should either not display SSIDs as they do or they should pass the names through a "politically correct" filter before it reaches the user's eyes.

Re:You're talking about the police, aye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760626)

Settings > WiFi > Ask to Join Networks = OFF

Re:You're talking about the police, aye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760670)

Actually, the default setting *is* to pop up and ask to join an unknown wireless network on an iPhone.

Re:You're talking about the police, aye? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760714)

Ah, so it's *Apple's* fault.

Of course, if they actually did as you suggested then they'd be demonised for "sanitising and curating the experience".

Alternatively the user can just switch off auto-joining networks in the preferences.

Re:You're talking about the police, aye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760752)

iPhones are scanning for WiFi connections all the time if you're not currently connected, they agreed to it when accepting the Apple EULA. Apple can't be held responsible for what is broadcast by wireless network operators. I wonder what the FCC would have to say about it though..

Re:SSID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760432)

Because feeding trolls is a worthwhile endeavor and a good use of public resources...

Re:SSID (1)

lpp (115405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760490)

Granted, the guy who set the wifi up in the first place likely wasn't pursuing the loftiest of goals, but I'd rather see the trolls rooted out and exposed for who and what they are when they reside within positions of power within our government institutions. So troll on I say.

Re:SSID (5, Insightful)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760448)

Another reason to have a closed network. Not so much a security issue, but avoids snooping authorities. Sure they could wardrive, but at least one has a possible affermative defense.

As it stands, this type of thing is clearly indicates immature people who crave attention, much like people who put huge subwoofers in their car, or loud exhausts on their bikes, or over the top and distracting decorations on their lawns. I support the police giving them the attention they desire.

Who says that it was the government snooping? TFA says it was a passer by who caught it in her phone. Please do not invent thinks out of thin air.

As if it is worth investigating, well... The test should be "If someone would write the same thing on his own property, would we punish him?" If it is yes, then it should investigating because he is painting it every time his WiFi broadcast. If it is not, then what would you when you find him? Tell him to please change the SSID?

So, mostly it should be a question of it falls under free speech or not, and act in consequence. The fact that the data is not transmitted with visible light but with higher frequencies is irrelevant.

Also, is it too much asking to The Fine Editor to put less emotional summary. If he has already decided that it is a waste of time, no sense in us being allowed to comment. Just put the text and disable the commenting, if that is what he/she wants. This site quality is going down fast.

Re:SSID (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760620)

Or, ask if it's worse than any sign held up in protest by Westboro Baptist Church. When were they last convicted with a crime of hate speech? You can get away with pretty much anything if you don't single out one person.

Re:SSID (4, Informative)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760708)

The fact that the data is not transmitted with visible light but with higher frequencies is irrelevant.

What is this, WiFi over Gamma Rays or something?

Last time I checked, radio frequencies were well BELOW the visible spectrum...

Re:SSID (5, Informative)

mike10027 (1475975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760470)

It's important to note that this isn't somebody's home wifi SSID, this was the SSID of the public recreation center's wifi network. As in, there's a sign outside that says "Free WiFi" and it's funded by the town. These "snooping authorities" are policing public resources, not people's home networks.

Re:SSID (4, Informative)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760716)

I think almost everyone commenting in here missed that very important fact.

So, here it is repeated directly from the article:
The offending signal was coming from a router connected in the Richard Rodda Community Center in the the township, located 10 miles outside New York City.

Re:SSID (3)

rhombic (140326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760720)

Gosh, a router in a public rec center (surrounded by teenagers all day) probably set up by volunteer IT support without the knowledge of how to properly secure it ends up with an SSID straight off of Xbox live? What a shocker.

Re:SSID (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760798)

Another way of putting it: A private citizen putting a sign reading "Romanes ite domum" on their front lawn is perfectly fine. The mayor putting "Romanes ite domum" on the lawn of the town hall in a town that's in the middle of a zoning dispute involving the Catholic Church, not so much.

Re:SSID (1, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760532)

As it stands, this type of thing is clearly indicates immature people who crave attention

Agreed. Anyone who would report someone to the police for the content of their SSID string is an immature attention whore.

Re:SSID (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760590)

As it stands, this type of thing is clearly indicates immature people who crave attention,

Hah.

My SSID is: "I fucked your wife!", but that's because I actually fucked my neighbor's wife.

Re:SSID (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760674)

This isn't really news, it has been happening since the early days of wifi. There is a network near me with an offensive name that has been up for several years now, but the cops around here don't like to get into that sort of thing because it generates a lot of work and isn't much fun.

WPS=fail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760354)

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-features/31664-waiting-for-the-wps-fix?tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default

Wonder if that router is WPS enabled....

Ya know.. (0)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760358)

I have a hard time getting worked up over stuff like this.

I mean, I'm all for free speach and I get that this means having to hear things you don't want to hear (otherwise who decides where the line is).. however racism in this day and age is just astounding and I have a hard time defending a jackass.

Re:Ya know.. (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760414)

I have a hard time getting worked up over stuff like this.

I mean, I'm all for free speach and I get that this means having to hear things you don't want to hear (otherwise who decides where the line is).. however racism in this day and age is just astounding and I have a hard time defending a jackass.

So, even though you say you're for "free speach", you're really only for the free speech of people with whom you agree? Unpopular opinions are precisely the ones you should be fighting for. That's the whole and the entirety of the point of having free speech.

Re:Ya know.. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760782)

My point was that while I understand free speech can't be a selective thing, in practice it's still hard for me to get too upset over stuff like this.

Re:Ya know.. (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760422)

So basically you've decided that that line is somewhere on this side of racism?

Re:Ya know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760512)

Obviously you aren't really seeing the precedent being set here.

If you made some off color joke about blacks, gays, whites, jews, etc. Would you want that to be "investigated" as a "bias crime"? Obviously you've *never* made an offensive joke about anyone or any group of people, even in total jest as a teenager?

I'll use what free speech I have left: fuck you.

Re:Ya know.. (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760550)

Everyone's a jackass to someone. If the First Amendment doesn't protect jackasses, it won't protect you.

Re:Ya know.. (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760578)

The guy who used that name (F all people of two particular categories) is an asshole. But what's the crime here? It's not criminal to be a racist. It's not criminal to have racist opinions, nor to express those opinions.

The problem is more or less one you described though, of "who decides where the line is". Jerks like this are the price we have to pay. But if you don't defend guys like this, then sooner or later someone DOES decide where the line is, and the line will keep moving.

Re:Ya know.. (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760614)

Well, in an ideal society, everybody would realize that the jackass was truly a jackass and ignore the jackass's ass-jacked opinions. Thus, the jackass would be legally and socially free to make a jackass out of hirself.... :D

Re:Ya know.. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760640)

Not to be picky, but this would be bigotry, not racism. Jewish isn't a race. Of course, neither is Hispanic, but people still treat that like it's a race too.

Bias Crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760360)

So as not to offend Orwelians, we've renamed "thought crime" to be politically correct.

Re:Bias Crime (1)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760494)

Don't forget its bastard child "hate crime". This is a good example of Richelieu's

Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.

Except in this case all that's needed is an SSID.

Let the sharing begin... (2)

Vehstijul (85085) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760394)

My WiFi is called "I_peed_in_the_hall"

Re:Let the sharing begin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760488)

Ok my SSID is "8==D~~~ (.|.) Horny!" it's good to advertise, it may pay off one day!

I do this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760406)

I usr an offensive-to-sensitive-people, yet light-hearted SSID. Even my issue.net for my ssh login attempts reads "Unauthorized access makes baby Jesus cry", and I'm sure that's quite offensive to someone.

I'm not really out to make a statement - more to give a few people a laugh, and it usually works.

Article contains a pretty big clue. (5, Interesting)

Radak (126696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760458)

FTFA: 'Police received similar complaints about the signal Friday during a "teen night" event at the center, the woman said she was told.'

So, rec-center-owned wifi access point is found on teen night to have an offensive SSID. The likely scenario is that, with a bunch of teens there, many of whom are carrying wifi-enabled devices, one kid noticed that the AP was not password-protected (or possibly had an obvious default password) and decided to log into it and, well, be a dumb kid by changing the SSID to something that made his friends laugh.

Password protect the AP. Lesson learned. Everybody move on.

Re:Article contains a pretty big clue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760788)

Password protect the AP. Lesson learned. Everybody move on.

While the rest of your post was probably true, on this point - if the AP is secure then the same kid will probably come back and download kiddy porn, then the owners go to jail - because it was via a secured AP.

Protected under the First Amendment? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760468)

Whilst this example is crass and boorish, in the USA, shouldn't you be able to name your Wi-Fi SSID anything you want and it be protected (as free speech) under the First Amendment ??

Re:Protected under the First Amendment? (2)

MikeyO (99577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760756)

Whilst this example is crass and boorish, in the USA, shouldn't you be able to name your Wi-Fi SSID anything you want and it be protected (as free speech) under the First Amendment ??

Are you just now realizing that some of our first amendment rights have eroded in the US?

First amendment hasn't meant "You can say whatever you want no matter what" for a long time. Do you think it would be OK for me to write "Death to all " on the side of my house, and expect not to have legal problems? How about painting "I am planning to kill Obama" on the side of your car and driving around? Expect to have problems? What about walking around with a sign that said "Ask me for instructions on manufacturing bio-terror weapons"?

Is setting your WiFi SSID to something considered "illegal speech" different than painting it on the side of your house?

Rats in your Soup? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760482)

Lived with a couple of Students a few years back in a block of houses which included a restaurant on one side of us.

We had password protected Wifi and the like, but still lots of connection attempts from people trying to hack into it, guess the password etc. It was our belief that this was actually the owners / staff because it seemed to occuring even when the place was apparently empty. In the end we changed the name of the WiFi to 'Rat Soup?'

Oddly the Restaurant owners had nothing to say about this ;-)

It happens all over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760506)

There is a Mobile Home business in the small town of Crossville TN who's SSID on their wifi is "Gay Nigger". When confronted about this they demand to know how we guessed their "password"....

someone you know is one of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760778)

shit, GNAA really is everwhere...

The only way I can see this being a "crime"... (5, Interesting)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760518)

...is if there was a target. Like if the WiFi signal was near a Jewish family's home, and let's say the family was named "Cohen". If the WiFi signal overlapped their home and was broadcasting an idea with a threat such as "CohensRKikes" or "DieJewScum" or similar, I can see a crime being involved. But just something like "JewsSuck" or whatever? I'm Jewish. Everyone hates us. It's just part of life. :)

Re:The only way I can see this being a "crime"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760618)

But how is that not freedom of speech? We may not like it, but unless I commit some other crime it seems like it has to be freedom of speech (I could easily be wrong)

My understanding from the article is they changed some one else's SSID which would be some unauthorized access charge although I'm not convinced the police should be investigating. How about they come over to my neighborhood and arrest the drug dealers or even just the heroinatic who drives without a license and does heroin at a gas station with her kid in the back seat (yes, the local police caught her doing that, and all they did was make sure some one else came to drive the car away). I realize they aren't serious crimes, but she's endangering her child, she's commited identify theft numerous times and get slaps on the wrist (ankle monitor for 2 years, which she didn't show up to get, so when they caught her a year and a half later, they made her wear it for 4 monthes). Or at least the cops could search the property of people arrested, ours are giving back purses with heroin balloons in them.

Re:The only way I can see this being a "crime"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760802)

I don't hate you, my Jewish friend.

Not related (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760534)

This made me rembember the compatibility problems I had some years ago when I decided to use "NULL" as my home SSID. And now I'm glad I didn't decided to go for a more (Rage Against the Machine or Body Count inspired) expressions.

context (2)

GMCaesar (2557376) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760536)

There has been a rash of temple and mosque firebombings in suburban NJ. This may explain the sensitivity. The reporter should have put this story in its context.

DejaVu (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760562)

This could be in the same lines as the Passive-Aggressive Wi-Fi Hotspots [slashdot.org] that were popular last year.

Fire the net admin for being stupid (1)

PerlPunk (548551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760586)

OK, after reading TFA, I think it would be appropriate to fire the network admin who set up the router with that ID, not arrest him. A public recreation center does have to answer to public and therefore political opinion, and doing something like this is just plain stupid. That said, I do think that we may start to see more of this thing and having laws against it may be unavoidable (but hopefully not as severe as jail time).

I Like To Name Mine (5, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760602)

I like to name my mobile hotspot "FBI Surveillance Van" and drive around. Clears out the local coffee house in a jiffy!

Re:I Like To Name Mine (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760812)

Yeah, I do something similar, "FBI Van 1337". Geeks will get it, others will wonder what's going on....

He is lucky not to be in Europe (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760632)

He would already be fined. When there is no freedom of speech in traditional media, why do you expect it to exist elsewhere?

Re:He is lucky not to be in Europe (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760814)

Thats total bollocks.
You know not of which you speak sir.

If you wouldn't put it on a sign in your yard, (3, Insightful)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760642)

Don't make it your SSID.

[John]

What about Blue Tooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760690)

Wow does this mean I can be arrested for Blue Jacking??

Getting closer to Europe ? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760698)

Since when being anti-semite is a crime in US ?

Why the "religion" tag? (4, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760718)

Why the "religion" tag? Is everything that slashdotters don't like "religion" now?

How is this different than graffiti on wall? (3, Informative)

hellfire (86129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760774)

I swear I need to grow up and remove Slashdot from my RSS feeds, just one slanted post after another that invites the most vitriolic discussions and the first posters are such morons for acting like this is a free speech issue, which it isn't.

1) The network name was, as listed in the fine article: "F--- All Jews and N----" (sic). That should silence you assholes posting like it's no big deal or something.
2) The router was connected in a public township building, therefore on public property. And the police found the router, but it doesn't seem like they found the culprit. So either someone plugged in a brand new router in the building, or, more likely, someone messed with an improperly secured router. You can't make a case of private property because it wasn't private property.
3) In terms of harassment, this is no different than someone spray painting the same words on the front door. Sure it's easier to fix, but it's no less offensive.
4) You have a right to think the way you do, however wrong it is, but you do not have a right to put a sign out on your lawn preaching hate speech just because a bunch of people in your neighborhood are different than you. Everyone else has the right not to feel harassed by hate speech.

This is a case of vandalism and harassment, i.e a bias crime. If it was some stupid troll who thought it would be funny, he should be rousted by the police and dealt with in a stern but reasonable manner. The courts will decide if the perpetrator was a stupid troll trying to make a joke (which was not funny) or a serial bigot trying to scare people. But how can you determine which if you don't investigate?

Android wifi tethering (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760806)

I love using my Android wifi tethering at sporting events.
I create names offensive to the opposing team.

Why "anti-Semitic and racist"? (3, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760808)

Why "anti-Semitic and racist"?

Why not only racist? Are _they_ racist? Are some forms of racism worse?

Whose jurisdiction is it? (3, Interesting)

Kiralan (765796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760832)

Would this fall under the FCC's control of 'hate' speech in a broadcast, as they are 'broadcasting' the name to anyone with a receiver (aka a wi-fi adapter), or does it fall under the local municipalities' laws about public speech?
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