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You can steal Wi-Fi?

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You can steal Wi-Fi?

Postby TheRock » Thu May 31, 2007 7:19 pm

Whoa. 8-o I do this all the time. I'm actually borrowing from some neighbor of mine right now, I do most all day long on my laptop. Makes sense I guess, it ain't free for them to have it.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,276720,00.html
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Postby CheeseBeger » Thu May 31, 2007 7:24 pm

I always use my neighbors internet if I am having problems with mine. At least you have to be a moron to get caught!
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Postby Madison » Thu May 31, 2007 7:53 pm

"Well, they don't happen to tell you that it's illegal," he continued. "And I guess obviously you're just supposed to know that."



Um....yes, you are supposed to know that. Someone else is paying the bill, so at the very least you need permission from them to use it. :*)

Might as well steal their electricity and water too. I mean all you need is an extension cord and then you've got electricity. Hook up a hose and you can wash your car or do your laundry. They won't care, right? ;-7

Some people. :*)
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Postby CheeseBeger » Thu May 31, 2007 8:09 pm

I'd imaging a huge number have no idea it's illegal, but ignorance is not an excuse.

It just doesn't seem so bad because it is a fixed cost, while stealing water/electricity is a variable cost inflicted on the bill payer. I guess as long as you are not lowering the speed of the owner of the WiFi, the only ones being hurt are the cable/internet companies.

I wouldn't be pissed as long as my connection was still fast. I can see why it's illegal though and at least the penalties aren't stiff if your stupid enough to get caught.
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Postby pokerplaya » Thu May 31, 2007 8:30 pm

It obviously is wrong, but I do think a warning and an apology would have been more suited towards the "crime." I don't even have a problem with the fine. But the mere fact that this was a felony he was charged with....that seems a bit overkill.
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Postby SniperShot » Thu May 31, 2007 9:35 pm

This problem could easily be fixed if everyone encrypted.

Just put a little sign up near the register/cashier of the cafe with the 12 digit WEP key for access to know only people inside the store will be getting on.

Even if the passkey is 111111111111 at least you're not making it public to open yourself up to piggybackers.

I have a laptop with a 300 foot range wireless card and on a good day I get 4 wireless signals 2 of which are not encrypted... Some people are just crazy. Don't install this stuff if you don't know how to use it.
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Postby josebach » Thu May 31, 2007 11:01 pm

CheeseBeger wrote:I'd imaging a huge number have no idea it's illegal, but ignorance is not an excuse.

It just doesn't seem so bad because it is a fixed cost, while stealing water/electricity is a variable cost inflicted on the bill payer. I guess as long as you are not lowering the speed of the owner of the WiFi, the only ones being hurt are the cable/internet companies.

I wouldn't be pissed as long as my connection was still fast. I can see why it's illegal though and at least the penalties aren't stiff if your stupid enough to get caught.


When you share someone's bandwidth, you are definitely lowering their download/upload speed. If that person is merely surfing the web, then they probably won't notice it, but if they're using bandwidth intensive software, their performance could significantly suffer... especially if you're using bandwidth intensive software.

As far as these types of infractions are concerned, I think this one is relatively minor, but it's still stealing any way you cut it.

I was just in California and my sister-in-law and her boyfriend steal their neighbors wi-fi. I held my tongue. :-/
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Postby Coppermine » Thu May 31, 2007 11:08 pm

People need to be responsible for their own Internet connections. If you want to use a wireless router, learn how to setup security for it. If you don't know how to do that, just plug your computer in.

I see not setting security on your router as being akin to providing a free, public service. This is why coffee shops and the hotels don't have passwords for their wireless connections.
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Thu May 31, 2007 11:19 pm

Coppermine wrote:People need to be responsible for their own Internet connections. If you want to use a wireless router, learn how to setup security for it. If you don't know how to do that, just plug your computer in.

I see not setting security on your router as being akin to providing a free, public service. This is why coffee shops and the hotels don't have passwords for their wireless connections.

While I agree that it's the owners responsibility to adequately secure their connection if they don't want people free loading, at the same time it's like saying I can go into your house or car and steal whatever I want if you happen to leave the door unlocked.
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Postby JTWood » Thu May 31, 2007 11:24 pm

My wife is always asking if I should be worried about anyone piggy-backing on our Wi-Fi. I tell her not to be concerned. My router is so crappy, I can barely get a signal in the basement. If someone was to steal my Wi-Fi, they'd have to do what this guy did, except in my front yard.

I think I'd notice. !+)
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