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Busted For Using Library Wi-Fi Outside The Library

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the salt-lake-city-burger-king dept.

Wireless Networking 746

sevej writes "Keith Shaw, in his weekly column "Wireless Computing Devices" (Network World Fusion), reported on a recent entry in AKMA's Random Thoughts where AKMA was using a public WiFi network outside of a library. A policeman approached him and asked that he only access the Internet from within the Library and hinted that Federal Laws against "signal theft" were applicable. Oh, and btw, we're not talking about a person that looked like your stereotypical 'hacker'; AKMA is an ordained priest."

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746 comments

How did they know? (5, Interesting)

freitasm (444970) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126521)

I wonder how the police officee knew the priest was using wi-fi? A wi-fi sniffer or something like this?

Re:How did they know? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126571)

The key point isn't how they knew. The question is, how are YOU supposed to know if the access point owner does not want you to use the signal where it is technically available? After all there are lots of hotspots where the owner wants to provide internet access to public areas outside of buildings.

Re:How did they know? (-1, Offtopic)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126655)

You assume they dont want you to use it, just as you assume that the tables outside a restaraunt are only for the shops patrons, or the fruit outside a grocers store isnt being given away for free. Just because somethings there doesnt mean you have an automatic right to usage, if in doubt - dont.

Re:How did they know? (1)

CodeMaster (28069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126605)

Until they come up with a real law and real measures to enfore it - I call bullshit.

I can't see a way in hell that this could pass muster in court, or even get properly arrested for this. "Sir - you are being charged of stealing bandwith, place your hands away from the laptop"...

A more complex situation would be in airports with multiple WiFi access points, including the airports own network. I have seen multiple airports where there is a pretty strong signalled network with SSID of "airport" or "mobileunits" that is wep protected. Can't think of the number of times I fired up kismet and started to save WEP packets for cracking (hey - curiosity killed the cat right?). Can't think of a way I would get busted for doing so (quickly switch over to another SSID, change MAC address...)

Just my 2c

get a free ipod! [freeipods.com] This really works [iamit.org]. (Free gmail invite to the ones using this referal and completing the offer!)

Re:How did they know? (5, Funny)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126634)

RTFA, fool. The policeman had a wireless laptop which was logged into CIA spy satellites through the library.

signal theft ? (4, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126531)

The signal itself was not stolen, it was the receiver's bandwidth.
Now, had they secured their Airport, they would not had it vampirized.
And I am not sure the inside/outside concept applies to a radio signal...

Re:signal theft ? (5, Informative)

Xenna (37238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126547)

I'm sure Apple marketing would rather have it differently, but 'Airport' is not a generic name for Wireless Access Points.

Re:signal theft ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126577)

Um... no, if "Airport" were a generic name for Wireless Access Points, then Apple would be screwed, because they would have failed to defend their trademark, and thus any company that felt like it could call their product Airport for free.

Congratulations, Mr Anti-Apple nit picker, you just helped Apple defend their trademark.

Re:signal theft ? (1)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126659)

No, I'm sure they wouldn't. If Airport *did* become the generic name for Wireless Access Points then Apple would lose their trademark and *anyone* would be able to produce Airport badged WAPs.

Re:signal theft ? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126566)

And I am not sure the inside/outside concept applies to a radio signal...

I think you could make a reasonable analogy with the visible light spectrum. Lets say it was a broadway performance going on inside a theatre. If the theatre has a window in which you could see the stage, would it be illegal to "intercept" (i.e. view) the performance from this window (assuming you're far enough away from the window to not be tresspassing, i.e. using binoculars).

Re:signal theft ? (1)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126602)

This isn't a good analogy because the performers aren't losing anything from bystanders watching them. A material asset is being used by someone outside in this case, bandwidth.

A better analogy would be if you were watching a movie through an open door, as you are avoiding the cost paid by the people sitting inside.

Re:signal theft ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126647)

A better analogy would be if you were watching a movie through an open door, as you are avoiding the cost paid by the people sitting inside.

Um, didn't realize that broadway musicals were free. Plus in my example, the library isn't losing anything assuming the person hasen't forced them to go over their bandwidth quota since that would be the only real incurred cost (i.e. no lose of revenue since it's a free service anyway).

Re:signal theft ? (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126623)

Except you can't use that window to access child pornography.

This guy was a priest after all.

no protection ? (-1, Offtopic)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126536)

You mean to say the network wasnt protected with a access key?

Re:no protection ? (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126543)

Why would a public access point at a public library need an access key? If they had one he could have just gone inside and got it and gone back outside and wound up in the same situation.

Re:no protection ? (5, Insightful)

raikje (806968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126555)

It's a public, wireless network. It's nothing to do with being protected - what's to stop you connecting inside, then walking outside to enjoy the sunshine? The point was that you're only allowed to use the public, wireless network within a defined area - like suggesting you can't listen to an AM radio signal from another country because they haven't paid licencing fees in your area.

Re:no protection ? (5, Insightful)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126580)

Or watching the Olympic coverage on the internet because NBC paid millions and don't want people to watch it without ads?

Public Rights (5, Interesting)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126538)

He should have replied that since it was a public access point that he was in his rights to use it in a public area (namely outside the library)

"A policeman approached him and asked that he only access the Internet from within the Library"
What if the guy wasn't using the Internet but was editing his site and was looking at the preview? (this was not the case but what if)

Re:Public Rights (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126550)

The guy *did* turn his airport off when asked, and was not even online when the officer returned and asked him to
"Why don't you just close that up, sir, or use your computer elsewhere?"

this stinks!

Re:Public Rights (1)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126607)

What if the guy wasn't using the Internet but was editing his site and was looking at the preview? (this was not the case but what if)

What if the guy WAS using the Internet but was connected via bluetooth to a cell phone in his pocket? How can a policeman tell the difference without a wireless network sniffer? So much for presumed innocence?

Re:Public Rights (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126652)

What if's do not count. What was is the only concern. Had he shown the cop he was not using the library's system, no thing.

One cannot just take a book out of the library without asking, I see no problem with having "patrons" use the wifi inside where the librarians can oversee as is their job.

Don't like the oversight? Don't use the free system.

Re:Public Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126651)

I am not familar with the US law. But, I think the greatest problem is the police officer can charge that guy with "obstruction to the officer" or "disobedinence in a public place" if he stands by his point.

tss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126540)

watch the screen savers sept 7 at 7pm

Re:tss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126564)

which time zone?

Priest? So? (-1, Flamebait)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126544)

Sorry, but while I might agree that this is hardly a crime, the fact he is a priest does not absolve him of the willingness to commit crime; from The Times this morning:

A ROMAN CATHOLIC priest who was allowed by the Church to carry on working after he admitted assaulting a teenage boy was sentenced to four years yesterday for a catalogue of sex offences against two young brothers.

William Hofton, 49, became obsessed with the brothers, aged in their early teens, and groomed them for sexual abuse, taking them on trips and heaping personal praise upon them, Middlesex Guildhall Crown court was told.

It was a Priest who screwed up the Olympic Marathon:

A DEFROCKED priest who disrupted the men's Olympic marathon by grabbing the lead runner was given a 12-month suspended sentence yesterday. Cornelius Horan, 57, a former Roman Catholic priest who lives in London but is from Co Kerry, dashed out of the crowd dressed in a kilt and red beret, and dragged the marathon leader to the ground.

Re:Priest? So? (2, Insightful)

eric.t.f.bat (102290) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126563)

Actually, that's a good point. We're thinking "jerk policeman picking on innocent geek", but it might have undercurrents of "jerk policemen who hates priests picking on innocent geek who is a priest". We probably need to get over the idea that certain occupations are automatically respected (priests, doctors, COBOL programmers, etc).

In fact in this case I'm disinclined to think it was a factor; Occam's razor and all that. But it's a viewpoint to consider. Doesn't make the cop any less of a jerk, of course.

Re:Priest? So? (2, Insightful)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126573)

I don't think it was a factor either, it just bothers me that people are jumping up and down and screaming about civil liberties, and adding the fact that he was a priest to it as disclaimer; the law applies to everyone, (possible not the COBOL programmers..) and even if he was Mother bl**dy Teresa, I'd expect Police to question if an illegal activity was taking place.

Re:Priest? So? (1)

crazyaxemaniac (219708) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126642)

I think the point in mentioning that he's a priest isn't to say the law doesn't apply to him but that he probably has a good moral character and isn't likely to be doing something malicious. That's not to say that he does have good morals but it's expected of him just because of the position he holds.

He really doesn't seem to be doing anything illegal. If he is then this story just points out that the law is flawed and needs to be changed.

Re:Priest? So? (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126643)

I'd be especially worried if Mother Teresa was doing it. I'm sure there's a law about dead people operating laptops.

Re:Priest? So? (2, Insightful)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126631)

It doesn't sound to me like the policeman was being a jerk. From the description on the site, he was polite, if rather clueless about technology.

well... (5, Insightful)

Heem (448667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126545)

The big thing here is that he wasn't "busted" he was simply "asked" not to. If he were actually busted we'd get a chance for this to come across a judge and have a ruling.

light and bandwidth ! (5, Insightful)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126549)

From the article: I responded, "But this is a radio signal thing -- it's not like a cable connection, it's like someone has a porch light on and I'm sitting on the bench, reading a book by their light. I'm not stealing their light."
These are nowhere analogous,you are stealing bandwidth when u use WiFi this way,but its not the same with light which anyway is gonna illuminate the bench without an added effort to the wattage.

Re:light and bandwidth ! (2, Interesting)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126575)

I agree. Radio signals, light, are things you use but not consume (for lack of a better word, excuse my english). I know that over here in Holland there's indeed a law for this. If something is published in the ether, everyone able to receive it is allowed to do so.

However, if you use bandwidth you're not simply using it as you would use a radio signal. Your intrusion (because that's what it is) is causing other users' bandwidth to decrease. Not only that, but you're active on a network that you shouldn't have access to, which could be considered illegal. I'm not familiar with US laws.

Re:light and bandwidth ! (3, Informative)

Dutchie (450420) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126622)

I know that over here in Holland there's indeed a law for this. If something is published in the ether, everyone able to receive it is allowed to do so.
--

Ehr, 'Holland, the country' ? Coz I live there and I'm quite certain that's not the case. If you have a TV antenna here and you're receiving TV signals, you will be asked to pay 'kijk en luistergeld'.

Re:light and bandwidth ! (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126671)

Yes, Holland the country. I know you have to pay for TV (and commercial radio), but i'm talking about non-encrypted non-commercial radio signals, like the amateur/HAM radio people use. I would assume the same goes for WiFi signals.

Re:light and bandwidth ! (2, Informative)

Alex_Ionescu (199153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126581)

It's perfectly analogous, since if he'd be in the library (notice he has a valid library card, and this is a public signal) he'd be using the exact same bandwidth.

Best regards,
Alex Ionescu
Kernel Developer, ReactOS
http://www.relsoft.net/ [relsoft.net]

Re:light and bandwidth ! (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126595)

except if the library's policy specificly states that you can use (wireless) internet from within the building.

Re:light and bandwidth ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126585)

These are nowhere analogous,you are stealing bandwidth when u use WiFi this way,but its not the same with light which anyway is gonna illuminate the bench without an added effort to the wattage.

Actually, "stealing bandwidth" is not quite correct. Say the library pays a flat rate for it's bandwidth. If the user does not cause the library to go over it's bandwidth quota, then there is nothing "stolen", just like your light example. However if it did, i.e. if by blocking the light, the person prevented something that was intended to be illuminated to not be (e.g. a sign), then isn't that "stealing" as much as forcing the library to pay more for bandwidth?

Re:light and bandwidth ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126624)

Just like the porch light, where you're sitting on the bench reading, someone else can't sit too reading another book. Sure they can sit next to you, but if you're a large person, sitting next to you on the bench might not be an option and by the time you find that out, everyone else has found a spot sitting just plain on the porch (not specifically a bench).

Your using the bandwidth, but if it wasn't in use earlier, than there's not really any hinderance. Now if you're using a lot of bandwidth, you may well be reducing the bandwidth someone else was using.

Re:light and bandwidth ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126650)

Could you elaborate on how this is different? I don't see the difference in a qualitative way especially since this wasn't analogous to someone's porch light. This was a community funded light at a public library.
The better analogy to me seems to be that a professor takes his class out onto a lawn on a Spring afternoon and a campus cop comes along and says you're killing the grass. You have to go back into the classroom. How in the fuck is this a cop's business?

Look?? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126552)

Oh, and btw, we're not talking about a person that looked like your stereotypical 'hacker'; AKMA is an ordained priest.

What are you advocating here exactly? That police officers are more justified to harrass some because of their look? Or that the law is less applicable to some people because of their job? With ignorant, prejudicial comments like this who needs rights eh? Let's just roundup all those who look like they may cause trouble and be done with it...

Looks, job, race, gender, etc should have nothing to do with the law and law enforcement. Laws and rights apply to everyone equally.

Re:Look?? (5, Insightful)

808140 (808140) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126587)

While this sort of feel good about our country not profiling people stuff is all well and good, the submitter was making a pragmatic rather than ideal point.

The truth is, if you are scruffy looking, not white, dressed in drag, or in some other way deviant from the norm, police are more likely to harrass you. Often, they do so simply because you look deviant, rather than because there is any enforcable law being broken.

While I appreciate your point, try to appreciate the submitter's: what he's saying is, because AKMA is supposedly very wholesome looking, the cop's motivation in telling him to use the library's wifi inside the library only could not possibly have been because he was a "hacker type". In other words, this wasn't simple harrassment. It was "for real".

We all hate the fact that people get harrassed unfairly, but they do. The submitter is recognizing this, not advocating it. If he had said, "I got asked to move on, and I was Arab and wearing a turban", we would naturally be outraged by the cop's mistreatment of an arab man, rather than by him being told to move on, because we would assume, understanding our rights, that the only motivation the cop could possibly have had for asking the turbaned man to move on was the fact that he was wearing a turban.

The point here is that this isn't simple harassment: it's an erosion of our rights. I think I've beaten this point to death already, I hope you understand it now.

Re:Look?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126637)

While this sort of feel good about our country ...

WTF?? I don't know what country you're in and I don't care. There is no "our country" on the internet, I was talking about rights and prejudice in general. Or are you so self-centered that you think this website is only for your countrymen? Sheesh, some of you people are absolute cancer to today's society, and now you're spreading your prejudice on the internet!

Re:Look?? (2, Interesting)

caino59 (313096) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126611)

This is insightful? Yea...police officers NEVER profile people.

I've never been harassed for having a Phish sticker on my car...oh wait, I have...while broken down on the side of the road - waiting for a tow truck, I wasn't even asked if I needed help. Instead I was badgered and berated, as well as illegally searched for about a half hour about how they knew I was in possession of marijuana. Once they finally realized I didn't have any illegal substances, they sped off in their car, leaving me still stranded and still never offered assistance.

Oh yea - I'm an Eagle Scout as well as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

Re:Look?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126636)

Heh? What does this have to do with the price of rice in China?

The person you were responding to was saying that we SHOULDNT be profiling like that. That everyone SHOULD be considered equal under the law. He was saying (paraphrasing) you shouldn't be profiled for having a Phish sticker.

Why does your story have any relevance?

Re:Look?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126646)

Oh yea - I'm an Eagle Scout as well as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

Another child abuser then. Probably picked on for the same reason as those priests.

Re:Look?? (1)

ricotest (807136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126615)

I think he meant that police officers are more likely to "harrass" someone because of their look. If an officer finds a newly spraypainted graffiti over some wall, and there's both a teenage kid and an elderly woman standing by it, who do you think will be assumed the criminal? It's called profiling, and it happens. Get over it.

Re:Look?? (4, Funny)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126629)

From the summary:
AKMA is an ordained priest.

From the article:
"It's a law, sir; if someone comes along and downloads child photography (that wasn't the exact word the officer used) and it goes through their [sc., the access point owner's] connection, that's a violation and we've had cases of that. That's a felony."

No profiling, my ass.

Re:Look?? (1)

piquadratCH (749309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126654)

Looks, job, race, gender, etc should have nothing to do with the law and law enforcement. Laws and rights apply to everyone equally.

Not in the real world...a while ago, I had a little longer hair than the average guy. I got controlled by the police almost on a weekly basis, searching me for drugs and stuff (of course, they never found anything ;) ). Since I've cut my hair, they let me alone...

Re:Look?? (5, Insightful)

Epistax (544591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126676)

Laws and rights apply to everyone equally.

Except politicians...
and other policemen...
and celebrities...
and foreign nationals.

I'm probably missing a few groups. Then again I've been awake for about 5 minutes.

Re:Look?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126679)

no, that police officers have nothing better to do than harass innocent citizens cince we eliminated crime, the drivers are all obeying the traffic laws and it is 100% safe to walk on any of the city streets.

Personally, the media needs to crack down so hard on the police that the cops are afraid 24/7.

they are PAID to Protect and Serve... Why was this Officer screwing around and not patrolling in an area that needs him? why was he not ensuring that the complete morons that don't know what SCHOOL ZONE means when they blast through at 55mph in their audi? Why is he paying attention to someone sitting there peacefully instead of looking for criminals??

Cops get ZERO respect from me. I see them turn a blind eye to crime every day because they do not want to be bothered to get out of their car.

I say take away their car's and FORCE them to walk the streets in our neighborhoods and actually do their jobs.

can you tell that I am slightly jaded?

Worrying (5, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126554)

I held up my TiBook, pointing to the zero lines in the Airport icon, and showed the officer that my card was off.
"Why don't you just close that up, sir, or use your computer elsewhere?'

Quite apart from the signal stealing part, isn't the fact that the cop asks him to move on a bit worrying? He's demonstrably not breaking the law and is sitting on public land. Are they just going to ban using laptops with wifi cards near any wireless point?

Re:Worrying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126584)

What the cop was thinking at this point was, "this computer user thinks he's clever by turning off his connection whenever he sees me." I blame whoever explained the law to the cop (secret service?!) not the cop.

Re:Worrying (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126678)

Yeah cops hate people who try to be smart. It comes from the fact that the majority of them were enlisted at one point and went right from the military to the police.

Re:Worrying (2, Informative)

drawfour (791912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126662)

Loitering is also a crime in most localities. Not that I'm defending the officer's actions. He just has other ways to cause issues.

Not Signal Theft (2, Interesting)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126558)

IIRC there have been many lawsuits upheld on the basis of if the signal enters your property it's public domain. Otherwise people could say that company was liable to pay them to access their airspace and such. That's why decoders were technically legal for so long.

Now the DMCA makes it illegal to decode those signals.

Now I dont understand why some landowner who owns huge tracts have not sued the satilite broadcasters for using their airspace as a transmission medium again and ask for royalties and why cities have not charged tarriffs since they're essentially getting a free ride over the airwaves. If it was fiber optics buried in the ground they'd pay.

Re:Not Signal Theft (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126582)

The DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent encryption for the purpose of obtaining intellectual property that does not belong to you.

It does not make it illegal to use someone else's WiFi. If someone puts up an open access point, the fact that they did not secure it is tacit authorization to use it, even if they do so out of ignorance.

Re:Not Signal Theft (2, Interesting)

LousyPhreak (550591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126600)

Now the DMCA makes it illegal to decode those signals.

well im surely not an expert here (and neither do i live in the states), but ist the dmca about breaking encryption?

so if the signal was protected by a lame 64 bit wep, it would be applicable (like css and friends) but not if its unencrypted, as you are still allowed to copy unprotected (i.e not css'ed) dvds.

Re:Not Signal Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126610)

Now I dont understand why ... cities have not charged tarriffs since they're essentially getting a free ride over the airwaves. If it was fiber optics buried in the ground they'd pay.

States and localities cannot make laws interfering with interstate commerce. Only the feds can. It's in the constitution.

Priest (0, Redundant)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126559)

Being an ordained priest does not put you above the law - as Catholics are beginning to discover...

Re:Priest (-1, Redundant)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126616)

Being an ordained priest does not put you above the law


What law was he breaking?

Re:Priest (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126644)

Why do I suddenly get the rather disturbing image of a priest in a super hero costume with underpants outside his clothes?

*shudder*

Re:Priest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126661)

Father O'Reilly played with your ding-a-ling did he?

Oh great... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126567)

Now that's just great, now we're slashdotting a priest....

He still looks like a hacker (3, Funny)

TheCyko1 (568452) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126569)

Oh, and btw, we're not talking about a person that looked like your stereotypical 'hacker'; AKMA is an ordained priest."


He's still got glasses and wears all black. Sounds like probable cause to me.

I'm joking, in case you can't tell.

Tell the cop to get bent! (5, Interesting)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126576)

Seriously...where was this at? I read his site and didn't see where he's from.

I smell something very fishy here BTW. He showed the cop the second time that he wasn't connecting to anywhere and yet the cop told him to move along. Move along? He was on a bench on public land just looking at his computer! The cop had no right to tell him to move along!

Two sides to every story I suppose, but would be interesting to call the police station and get their take on it...if only I knew where this was all taking place.

Also, where is this story reported from? The submitter of the story said "Keith Shaw, in his weekly column" yet the link just goes to an index where I can't find anything on AKMA...nor does it even show up on a search of the site!

Re:Tell the cop to get bent! (3, Informative)

Alex_Ionescu (199153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126591)

Nantucket, which is an island off the coast of Cape Cod. It's mentionned once or twice.

Best regards,
Alex Ionescu
Kernel Developer, ReactOS
http://www.relsoft.net/ [relsoft.net]

Re:Tell the cop to get bent! (1)

CA_Jim (786327) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126657)

The question asked ins't, "Where is NANTUCKET?" The question is "Where does Keith Shaw in one of his columns reference AKMA's random thoughts?"

I couldn't find any Keith Shaw original posting.

you _can_ tell the cops to get bent. (2, Informative)

tuxter (809927) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126664)

here is the link to the nantucket police department. http://www.nantucket-ma.gov/departments/police.htm l [nantucket-ma.gov] Now you, yes you, can ring the Nantucket PD and spew your very own, real life, Wi-Fi related verbal flamebait at a policeman close to you. He'll be even closer once they trace your call, and bust _your_ ass for hacking into their phones by dialling them. Don't miss out on this exciting new opportunity!

my own wi-fi story (2, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126588)


I was at a party last week and a guy is talking to my friend

guy : "... we noticed someone was sucking our bandwidth via the wifi, cut him off, looked outside and saw a red BWM with a laptop on the passenger seat drive away"

friend : "hehe that's him," points at me.

busted !

ah, the perils of wardriving.

I thought wardriving was going to be an interesting hobby, got all the kit - wifi-card, laptop, inverter, usb gps.

I drove 2 miles from my house to my friends and on the way discovered 30 access points along the main road !

Turns out urban wardriving is just too easy here in the UK.

Re:my own wi-fi story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126628)

To be honest, securing a wi-fi connection is an utter no-brainer.

Not doing it is just plain stupid.

too easy! (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126666)

in the UK, NTL cable broadband's shipping Actiontec wireless routers to punters with new broadband installs. No security by default, either on the wifi connection or on the router setup page. This particular type of router also logs all URLs you look at: hence by just sitting in my garden I can see what a naughty boy some guy called \\MIKE who lives nearby is - point a browser at his router's IP and away you go.

Theft analogies (4, Insightful)

siliconjunkie (413706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126596)

I'm really getting tired of these "it's like stealing..." analogies. Between the MPAA and The Airwave NAZIs, I'm beginning to wonder if people REALLY understand technology at all...

The Airwave Nazis will say something similar to the cop in blog posting listed in the article above. Something along the lines of "It's like stealing somebodies cable or walking up and plugging in your hairdryer to the electrical outlet on the outside of their home"

NO, it's NOT.

The priest in the article likened it to reading off their porchlight,which is a pretty good analogy. I prefer to say that it is more along the lines of tossing your empty bottle into someones trashcan they have set to the curb without a lid (it may not be "polite" and *some* people might not appreciate it too much....but you're not "stealing" their trash service by doing so). If someone gets so upset at the idea that someone passing by might throw their empty coke bottle into their beloved garbage can, they can simply put a lid on it (which would discourage most would be bottle-throwers) or, in the analogy, the WiFi AP owner could simply turn on WEP (which would discourage most would be bandwidth users).

Regardless of the analogy, it simply is not "stealing", no matter what some judge decided.

Theft of service, my ass.

Re:Theft analogies (1, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126675)

Bull. He's adding load to their service without recompense. They have to pay for that, not him. What do you call that?

What is the libraries TOS? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10126599)

Isn't the bigger issue here what the TOS of the library is for their internet use? If the TOS says that you have to use it within their facility, then that's that. Just because it's a public resource doesn't mean that it's a free for all and you can do whatever you want. Not that it has to make any sense obviously.

Minister (1)

gabriel (2115) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126603)

It's not that strange that he was *asked* not to use the service outside the library, they probably wan't to keep better track of who's using it (even just for statistics).

Encrypting wouldn't help much as they would have to give out the key anyway it being a public access point and I suspect possible solutions would be complicated in technical and financial terms.

I don't think that being a minister means he can do whatever he pleases as it'll always be for the "good". Actually ministers can be very dangerous persons with far worst effects than many (h|cr)ackers.

As for being an officially ordained minister, well anyone can be such a creature, just pop over to http://www.cafepress.com/subgen.8403744 [cafepress.com] and fork out $30 to the Church of the SubGenius! :)

Re:Minister (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126633)

But it's a library, which I would presume would mean that they want it to be a public service. What do they care if someone is or is not using it inside or out?

Don't take it! (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126606)

Be careful with the police. Often, their presence is enough to simply scare people into complying.

Often, police are right, and where they are doing their jobs within the letter and spirit, I'll support them. But sometimes, they can just end up taking a position. The bit where he was told to "move along", I'd have asked the officer for his badge number, name and the law that I was infringing.

Busted? (2, Insightful)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126612)

Come on guys, lets try to have titles that are at least close to being accurate. He wasn't busted, he was asked politely by an officer (who didn't even stay to make sure he remained offline) to only access the signal inside the library. Minor difference between the two.

Disquiet (0, Troll)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126627)

What was a priest doing with the Internet in the back alley that he couldn't do in the open in the public library? I have a vague sense of disquiet when I see seemingly reputable people like teachers and priests take too much interest in dangerous technology like the Internet. Perhaps it's simply prejudice on my part, but as a father of two small boys, I am a bit overprotective when it comes to things like this.

but it was closed (2, Informative)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126641)

"The library was closed at the time, or else I'd have gone ahead in to finish my surfing."

Just a thought: if the library puts up a sign (inside ofcourse) that you can use the internet. Does it mean you can keep on using it, outside the building, after that library closes?

Re:but it was closed (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126673)

If they provide a public access point with the intention of letting anyone use it for free, I don't see why it matters if I'm inside or outside. If they want to keep track of who uses it, they should secure it; at least push people through a portal on their first connect from their MAC address. If they don't want it used after hours, they should shut if off. Heck, cheap Linksys routers will even let you set availability hours so you don't even have to remember to do it.

If they were showing a movie inside and there was a huge glass window, I should be able to sit on a bench outside and watch the movie through the window.

Bad Cops (3, Insightful)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126656)

Please remember the percentage of bad cops is proportionate to the percentage of bad citizens- perhaps a little higher. With little pay and very little respect from the general public, the only incentive beyond pure altruism I can see for becoming a cop is the power trip.

The real story here is that.. (3, Insightful)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#10126677)

Stupid cop gets the law wrong, picks on priest, gets his own Slashdot story to himself. Obviously there is no law pertaining to laptop use in public, the priest was moved on anyway. The cop got it wrong, and instead of realising and apologising, he did what every authority figure does and simply insist he is right, period, and wait for the other person to back down.

It probably happens all around the world every second, its the nature of law enforcement.
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