Public Wireless Legality

Discussion in 'macOS' started by dpaanlka, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #1
    If somebody is publicly broadcasting their wireless network with no encryption and has DHCP enabled and is trying in no way to prevent others from using it, is it illegal to do so?
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    I would say yes; however, this is a highly debatable topic.

    I would compare it to someone leaving their front door unlocked; just because it's open, doesn't mean it's legal just to walk right in and take whatever you want.

    Chances are, the reason to use the WiFi would be to get free High-Speed internet, which I'm assuming is against the law. (It's illegal to steal cable TV, so wouldn't the same rules apply to cable internet).
     
  3. Darwin macrumors 65816

    Darwin

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    round the corner
    #3
    I guess it is illegal if you don't have the permission of the owner, it may simply be that he/she is unaware of the lack of security

    If you were going to use it would be better to ask
     
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    According to Time Warner, stealing WiFi is illegal (it falls under cable theft).

    Link
     
  5. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #5
    goto your isp website and read up on the users agreements. more than likely, the isp could probably sue if they wanted to. in theory like someone said above a prosecutor could charge with cable theft, but that would be at their choice. so more than likely, that charge would happen if they are doing something worse and was just added on to the other charges.

    i will say, you can have a business agreement with an isp to allow this service.
     
  6. dpaanlka thread starter macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    Well, we have our own wireless network, but my question pertains to sometimes when I go on my mother's PowerBook (well, MacBook Pro now) I notice that it has automatically joined our neighbor's wireless network instead of ours when it's at the far side of a house.
     
  7. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #7

    the likely hood at getting caught is almost nil. just know, that logs can be extract from wireless routers of all kinds and mac address on your wifi card can be matched with your mac because the first 6 hex digits in the string will identify either apple, broadcom or something similar i.e. they could hunt you down if you did anything will bad (the last 6 digits are unique to your mac). however, the amount of money and effort it would take would mean that you would have had to do something really bad.
     

Share This Page