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Go Back   BHM Forum > Self-Reliance & Preparedness > Communications/Computers/Software

Communications/Computers/Software Ask questions and offer help on anything to do with electronic communication, computing, or related areas.

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  #21  
Old 01-29-2011, 10:57 PM
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bee_pipes Male bee_pipes is offline
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For those of you with wireless networks in your home, or responsible for casual networks at work, here's a thread discussing the security measures to prevent someone from the outside gaining access to your network:

Problem with wireless config - help
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2011, 11:42 PM
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My son leaves his wireless open so anyone can use it.
I have talked to him and he just doesn't care.
He doesn't do banking or on line purchasing.
Just plays games watches movies and surfs the net
My wireless is locked down tight.
So would it be stealing if someone uses his?
Yes stealing from the cable company but not from him.
I'm not sure the cable company would spend the time and money to catch someone bootlegging the wifi.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:35 AM
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krapgame krapgame is offline
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As an ISP, I can give my perspective on this.

Whenever we encounter it, we generally pursue it from the position of Computer Trespass (unauthorized access on our private network) and Theft of Service, both of which are federal felonies. There are other state laws that may apply as well, but those are generally sufficient. I know the popular position from a user standpoint is screw the ISP, they're rolling in money anyway. In the case of the mega ISPs (cable companies, telcos, etc.), that may be the case, but there are many small independents that it can affect in a measurable fashion. Usually we try to explain this to our customer and give them opportunity to redeem themself, but we have had some repeat offenders that we had to be a little more stern with.

From the perspective of the user, we advise our customers that if they leave a wireless access point unsecured and someone connects to it for nefarious purposes, the responsibility for defense will be theirs alone when we get the subpoena from whatever law enforcement agency wants their information. They ask us for information on who holds an IP address on a specific date and time and that's what we give. Unfortunately, we've had that happen several times over the years. In at least 2 of those instances, I am certain that our customer wasn't committing the violation, but they still had the expense of defending themself just the same. I can tell you first hand, whenever the alphabet soup guys come looking for information on a customer regarding a violation of the USA Patriot act, it's NOT a pleasant experience for anyone involved. Unfortunately, most customers with unsecured WAPs also don't do any logging of connections, so they end up bearing the brunt of the responsibility.
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:34 AM
ScrubbieLady ScrubbieLady is offline
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I don't know what the law is where I am but I would compare this to walking into someone's home and taking something and then saying it is their fault because they didn't lock their door.

I have a wireless router. Security is set up on it but even if it wasn't, I would consider it stealing if someone accessed a service I am paying for whether I am using it at that time or not.
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  #25  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:52 AM
SKB Female SKB is offline
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You cannot compare that which is intangible with something that you can see and touch. A wireless signal is floating in the atmosphere. Secure your network, otherwise, quit complaining when someone uses it.

As for me, I contacted my local law enforcement agency and they gave me their position on the subject.
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  #26  
Old 01-30-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKB View Post
You cannot compare that which is intangible with something that you can see and touch. A wireless signal is floating in the atmosphere. Secure your network, otherwise, quit complaining when someone uses it.
LMAO!
Okie Dokie!
Does this mean that I can steal a satellite TV or radio signal and not worry about it?
I don't think so!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SKB View Post
As for me, I contacted my local law enforcement agency and they gave me their position on the subject.
Who's your local law enforcement agency and what did they say?

Last edited by DiggingDogFarm; 01-30-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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  #27  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:04 PM
SKB Female SKB is offline
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See post #8 for an answer to the law enforcement question.

If you can haul your TV around and pick up an unsecured satellite signal, go ahead. I don't have a TV, so I don't know anything about satellite access and its availability. The neighbors all have a dish for their TVs.
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  #28  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKB View Post
If you can haul your TV around and pick up an unsecured satellite signal, go ahead. .
From the forum rules:
"Discussions of illegal activities are prohibited."



What's the name of the county where you live?
I'd like to get the Sheriff's explanation on why it isn't theft of service when federal and state law clearly states that it is.

This federal statute includes cable internet.....

Federal Statute 47 U.S.C. 553

Unauthorized reception of cable service
(a) Unauthorized interception or receipt or assistance in intercepting or receiving service; "assist in intercepting or receiving" defined

No person shall intercept or receive or assist in intercepting or receiving any communications service offered over a cable system, unless specifically authorized to do so by a cable operator or as may otherwise be specifically authorized by law.
For the purpose of this section, the term "assist in intercepting or receiving" shall include the manufacture or distribution of equipment intended by the manufacturer or distributor (as the case may be) for unauthorized reception of any communications service offered over a cable system in violation of subparagraph (1).

(b) Penalties for willful violation

Any person who willfully violates subsection (a)(1) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.
Any person who violates subsection (a)(1) of this section willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both, for the first such offense and shall be fined not more than $100,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, for any subsequent offense.
For purposes of all penalties and remedies established for violations of subsection (a)(1) of this section, the prohibited activity established herein as it applies to each such device shall be deemed a separate violation.
(c) Civil action in district court; injunctions; damages; attorney's fees and costs; regulation by States or franchising authorities

Any person aggrieved by any violation of subsection (a)(1) of this section may bring a civil action in a United States district court or in any other court of competent jurisdiction.
The court may -
(A) grant temporary and final injunctions on such terms as it may deem reasonable to prevent or restrain violations of subsection (a)(1) of this section;

(B) award damages as described in paragraph (3); and

(C) direct the recovery of full costs, including awarding reasonable attorneys' fees to an aggrieved party who prevails.
(A) Damages awarded by any court under this section shall be computed in accordance with either of the following clauses:

(i) the party aggrieved may recover the actual damages suffered by him as a result of the violation and any profits of the violator that are attributable to the violation which are not taken into account in computing the actual damages; in determining the violator's profits, the party aggrieved shall be required to prove only the violator's gross revenue, and the violator shall be required to prove his deductible expenses and the elements of profit attributable to factors other than the violation; or

(ii) the party aggrieved may recover an award of statutory damages for all violations involved in the action, in a sum of not less than $250 or more than $10,000 as the court considers just.

(B) In any case in which the court finds that the violation was committed willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain, the court in its discretion may increase the award of damages, whether actual or statutory under subparagraph (A), by an amount of not more than $50,000.

(C) In any case where the court finds that the violator was not aware and had no reason to believe that his acts constituted a violation of this section, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of damages to a sum of not less than $100.

(D) Nothing in this subchapter shall prevent any State or franchising authority from enacting or enforcing laws, consistent with this section, regarding the unauthorized interception or reception of any cable service or other communications service.

Last edited by DiggingDogFarm; 01-30-2011 at 12:44 PM.
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  #29  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:28 PM
Aamylf Aamylf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWHLover View Post
I think there is a Federal Law on this.

I heard that Starbucks call the police on someone in their parking lot for stealing bandwith.

that's almost funny. They provide wireless, leave it open and then call the police if you use it?! Perhaps the guy went through their drive through and then sat in the car. Perhaps he drank a cup of their outrageously priced, rank coffee and then went to his car to sit a spell. When I'm out and about and I turn my phone on, I usually have 3 or 4 wireless connections I could make. I guess I can't get as worked up over this as some of you. My DH has a server, we have wireless, he protects it.

Very interesting questions on the child porn and such. So if I visit a bookstore that has child pornography, but I pick up a book on gardening, can the police arrest me? It smacks of the crazy laws that say if you live in HUD housing and ANY MEMBERof your family is arrested for certain specific crimes, then YOU will be evicted. Not members who live with you, but any member. Good lord.
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  #30  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:29 PM
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Texas theft of services law.

Theft of services is the stealing of something that isn’t a physical item.

Texas Penal Code.

Sec. 31.04. THEFT OF SERVICE. (a) A person commits theft of service if, with intent to avoid payment for service that he knows is provided only for compensation:
(1) he intentionally or knowingly secures performance of the service by deception, threat, or false token;
(2) having control over the disposition of services of another to which he is not entitled, he intentionally or knowingly diverts the other's services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled to them; or
(3) having control of personal property under a written rental agreement, he holds the property beyond the expiration of the rental period without the effective consent of the owner of the property, thereby depriving the owner of the property of its use in further rentals.
(b) For purposes of this section, intent to avoid payment is presumed if:
(1) the actor absconded without paying for the service in circumstances where payment is ordinarily made immediately upon rendering of the service, as in hotels, restaurants, and comparable establishments;
(2) the actor failed to return the property held under a rental agreement within 10 days after receiving notice demanding return; or
(3) the actor returns property held under a rental agreement after the expiration of the rental agreement and fails to pay the applicable rental charge for the property within 10 days after the date on which the actor received notice demanding payment.
(c) For purposes of Subsection (b)(2), notice shall be notice in writing, sent by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested or by telegram with report of delivery requested, and addressed to the actor at his address shown on the rental agreement.
(d) If written notice is given in accordance with Subsection (c), it is presumed that the notice was received no later than five days after it was sent.
(e) An offense under this section is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the service stolen is less than $20;
(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the service stolen is $20 or more but less than $500;
(3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the service stolen is $500 or more but less than $1,500;
(4) a state jail felony if the value of the service stolen is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000;
(5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the service stolen is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000;
(6) a felony of the second degree if the value of the service stolen is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or
(7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the service stolen is $200,000 or more.
(f) [added 8/28/95] Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, any police or other report of stolen vehicles by a political subdivision of this state shall include on the report any rental vehicles whose renters have been shown to such reporting agency to be in violation of Subsection (b)(2) and shall indicate that the renting agency has complied with the notice requirements demanding return as provided in this section.

Last edited by DiggingDogFarm; 01-30-2011 at 12:43 PM.
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  #31  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:41 PM
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Here again is the Texas computer and network trespass law....

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u.../htm/PE.33.htm
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  #32  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKB View Post
You cannot compare that which is intangible with something that you can see and touch. A wireless signal is floating in the atmosphere. Secure your network, otherwise, quit complaining when someone uses it.

As for me, I contacted my local law enforcement agency and they gave me their position on the subject.

So why did you ask?
__________________
1.Those with the biggest complaints are often the biggest part of problem.
2.Those calling for a fight are often the first to run and hide when the fight starts.
3.Those with a narrow agenda are often so blinded they have lost sight of reality.
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  #33  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:18 PM
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I don't know why I decided to look into it.

I don't have side mirrors on my car but I can pass the mandatory inspection here without a problem. If I go to the next county, I can't pass. I cannot be stopped for the lack of mirrors, it is not a ticketable offense in that county.

My sheriff's dept. covers a large area and I guess they have more important things to do than worry about unauthorized use of a wireless signal. This is a rural area. Could that be why?

One could assume that permission is given because if it weren't, the network would be secured. Implied consent.

It's not hard to secure a network, even I can understand the process and I'm not a geek.
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  #34  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aamylf View Post
that's almost funny. They provide wireless, leave it open and then call the police if you use it?! Perhaps the guy went through their drive through and then sat in the car. Perhaps he drank a cup of their outrageously priced, rank coffee and then went to his car to sit a spell. When I'm out and about and I turn my phone on, I usually have 3 or 4 wireless connections I could make. I guess I can't get as worked up over this as some of you. My DH has a server, we have wireless, he protects it.

Very interesting questions on the child porn and such. So if I visit a bookstore that has child pornography, but I pick up a book on gardening, can the police arrest me? It smacks of the crazy laws that say if you live in HUD housing and ANY MEMBERof your family is arrested for certain specific crimes, then YOU will be evicted. Not members who live with you, but any member. Good lord.
Aamylf,

This was a case in California. The person sat in the parking lot in their car, did not purchase any coffee, just took their WiFi Signal. The other problem was this was not a one time event, this person was out there every day for a week.

The police took the offender to jail.
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  #35  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:25 PM
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The signal comes into my living room, even with the blinds down. To the west is a large church with a secured network, across the street is an empty lot and next to that is a family that does not speak English. To the east are my elderly neighbors, none of which has a computer. Behind me is a woman who admits to being computer illiterate.

I am 3 blocks from town where there are many businesses and city offices.
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  #36  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKB View Post
One could assume that permission is given because if it weren't, the network would be secured. Implied consent.
.
That's flawed logic.

Technically, the person with the unsecured network is also committing a crime by leaving the signal open to theft of service.

"WiFi theft occurs when someone installs a wireless network in a residence or business location and intentionally enables others to receive broadband service for free over their wireless network."

http://www.timewarnercable.com/nynj/...esoftheft.html

Last edited by DiggingDogFarm; 01-30-2011 at 02:05 PM.
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  #37  
Old 01-30-2011, 02:04 PM
mozarkian mozarkian is offline
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Quote:
Very interesting questions on the child porn and such. So if I visit a bookstore that has child pornography, but I pick up a book on gardening, can the police arrest me? It smacks of the crazy laws that say if you live in HUD housing and ANY MEMBERof your family is arrested for certain specific crimes, then YOU will be evicted. Not members who live with you, but any member. Good lord.
The bookstore scenario wouldn't be the same unless you purchased the illegal stuff or maybe had it in hand when the cops came through the door.
I am not a computer whiz by any means, but from the writeups in the paper the tracing was done by the IP address and who the registered owner of the address was. I guess it would be up to the accused to try to prove that other had access/use of his IP address and downloaded the illegal stuff??
In my mind, it is similar to this--one time when my kids were about 12-13, their cousin stayed all night with them and we left them up playing monopoly, or at least that was the plan. After awhile these brainiacs got the bright idea to dial some 900 number that somebody told them about. We didn't know a thing about it until the phone bill came next month and had a $400 call to somewhere in the islands. We paid the bill because we felt that it was our responsibility to do so, even though we did not make the call and the phone company could probably have been argued into reducing the charge for a first offense. (However we charged it back to the boys at $1 per hour of yard work, housework, fence painting, manure shoveling, chicken house cleaning, wood stacking etc-- so we got a good deal on it!)

Last edited by mozarkian; 01-30-2011 at 02:08 PM. Reason: addition to post
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  #38  
Old 01-30-2011, 02:33 PM
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I downloaded netstumbler and it shows the signal, but most of what I see I don't understand.

It shows the SSID, channel and speed. It shows that the vendor (?) is fake. Type is AP, SNR is 10-12 and signal is 17. Encryption is off and so is GPS. There's nothing for location or IP address. Most of the fields are blank.

Guess I have to go door to door after all.
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  #39  
Old 01-30-2011, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mozarkian View Post
The bookstore scenario wouldn't be the same unless you purchased the illegal stuff or maybe had it in hand when the cops came through the door.
I am not a computer whiz by any means, but from the writeups in the paper the tracing was done by the IP address and who the registered owner of the address was. I guess it would be up to the accused to try to prove that other had access/use of his IP address and downloaded the illegal stuff??
That's usually how it plays out. If illegal activity originates or terminates to a public IP address of someone, that's where the subpoena will point to. Usually the router is the point of assignment of that public address and it then assigns a private, non-routable address to the clients attached to it. So, the LEOs look up the "permanent" owner of the public IP address, usually an ISP or business, and contacts them for records of who was using that address on a specific date and time. The ISP releases their records in question and the LEOs start questioning that customer. Once they are pursuing that information, it becomes rather difficult to divert their attention elsewhere as, IMO, they are usually just interested in assigning guilt and not discovering truth. At that point, to prove non-guilt usually requires pretty hefty legal defense bills. The best hope will be for an attorney to raise reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.

In our history, I don't know of anyone who has actually been convicted based solely on IP address information. However, I do know of several who had some sleepless nights and a couple who did have to spend money on a formal defense before it was determined that they were a cold trail.

Lately, requests for customer information have come less in response to illegal downloads and more from things like credit card fraud, activities involving threats, missing persons related investigations and a couple of national security things, the nature of which weren't disclosed to me. Those are the scary ones because our policy is to have all requests for information evaluated by our attorney. With national security related requests we're expressly forbidden to discuss them with anyone, including our attorney. They're delivered, in person, for my eyes only. I hate getting those.

I guess my point is, with security being so easy so enable, why risk exposure to this kind of harassment, especially if you're in a location that could be so accessible to unauthorized access? And, even at that, with a good high gain parabolic antenna, I can attach to wireless routers up to a mile away, depending on obstructions. It's just not a chance worth taking IMO.
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  #40  
Old 01-30-2011, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidOH View Post
I called my ISP and they helped me set up the WiFi so I could share it.
Yes, I specifically told them I was going to do that.
Very unwise.
If someone uses your connect for something illegal, you're liable.
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