[Tfug] OT: Cox cable

Harry McGregor micros at osef.org
Fri Jan 26 16:44:43 MST 2007



keith smith wrote:
> Isn't that illegal and comes with a nice prison term?
Yes, and no.  It is like the difference between breaking and entering,
and just entering (trespassing).

If your neighbor did anything to protect their network, such as WEP
(tiny $0.50 padlock), WPA (larger padlock, good quality), or WPA2
(Medeco grade bump proof, high security copy protected lock), then you
would be breaking quite a number of laws.
> Since you would be gaining access w/o permission?
Who grants the permission and when.  Electronically, the DHCP server on
the router is granting permission (an address and a route) to enter the

Do you need to get written permission?  Verbal permission?  Is
permission expressed by the fact that the system is setup to
electronically grant access to anyone?

Would your neighbor be in violation of their TOS from their provider if
they knew you were using their connection?

Who is liable if someone uses an open wireless network for well known
illegal activities?

If you have an open wireless network, can you use that as a defense if
the RIAA/MPAA think you did something naughty with your internet
connection, as they can't prove it was YOU that did it?

Is it less of a liability to risk getting your door broken down by the
secret service for a threat on the president, sent by someone sitting
outside your house (open network), or to make it easier for the
RIAA/MPAA to sue your pants off due to one of your kids friends
downloading an MP3 with bittorrent (secured network)

Of course all of this leads to spyware/malware, and rooted boxes.  If
you are responsible for a computer, are you legally responsible for what
people other than you do with the computer, other than cleaning up the
mess, and trying to keep them out of the system.

If you look at this article (probably old news to most around here), a
Teacher was found guilty of displaying indecent content to her class,
due to what appears to be a major spyware/malware infestation, and the
schools internet access control software having an expired license.  She
faces up to 40 years in prison:


While she did not actually access the content, her computer did?  Is it
right that she, a non technical person, was found responsible for the
actions of her computer?  Is it right that she faces more years behind
bars than many people who KILL someone?

It all comes down to how much intelligence/savvy the jury and the judge
have, and how well the lawyers argue for and against you.

With many traditionally civil issues moving into the criminal area
(MPAA/RIAA, DMCA, etc), it is getting to be more of a personal risk
dealing with technology.

Some of the IT Security work that I end of up dealing with at my office
has criminal penalties written into the legislation.  If I (as a low on
the pole system admin) don't do my job right, not only can I go to jail,
but the director of the agency can go to jail.  This includes things
such as Privacy Act covered data, which includes employee home phone
numbers.  Everyone says "well it would not be enforced for that", but
it's still how the legislation reads.
> I always see my neighbors wifi but stay away from it for this reason.
Who really knows, probably safer not to test it, but it sure is cheaper
to use it.

For me, I like my EVDO service from Sprint though my phones, rather good
wireless data speeds from almost anywhere via bluetooth and my Treo 700P.

> Keith Smith 
> A link from my website to yours
> Submit Your Metro Phoenix Website
>  __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 
> http://mail.yahoo.com 
> _______________________________________________
> Tucson Free Unix Group - tfug at tfug.org
> Subscription Options:
> http://www.tfug.org/mailman/listinfo/tfug_tfug.org

More information about the tfug mailing list