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Unsecured WiFi Connection

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bankir
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Unsecured WiFi Connection

Postby bankir » Fri, 16 Sep 2005 9:57 am

from my room, I can get connected to a few unsecured wireless connections that belong to people who might not know how to secure theirs. Is it legal to use their connections? and what is the policy on that in Singapore?

In my opinion, people who don't secure their WiFi connections are inviting anyone to use theirs, intentionally or not.

Do these people have quota?

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Re: Unsecured WiFi Connection

Postby Bremen » Fri, 16 Sep 2005 1:19 pm

bankir wrote:from my room, I can get connected to a few unsecured wireless connections that belong to people who might not know how to secure theirs. Is it legal to use their connections? and what is the policy on that in Singapore?

In my opinion, people who don't secure their WiFi connections are inviting anyone to use theirs, intentionally or not.

Do these people have quota?


Your opinion would get you into trouble with the law. Using someone else's connection without their express consent is illegal.
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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Re: Unsecured WiFi Connection

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 16 Sep 2005 4:45 pm

Bremen wrote:Your opinion would get you into trouble with the law. Using someone else's connection without their express consent is illegal.


Could you provide the legal citation for that, please?

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Re: Unsecured WiFi Connection

Postby Bremen » Fri, 16 Sep 2005 6:57 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
Bremen wrote:Your opinion would get you into trouble with the law. Using someone else's connection without their express consent is illegal.


Could you provide the legal citation for that, please?


http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/ ... 473-000212


Basically:

(a) secures access without authority to any computer for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, any computer service;

(b) intercepts or causes to be intercepted without authority, directly or indirectly, any function of a computer by means of an electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other device;



Also:

Unauthorised obstruction of use of computer
7. —(1) Any person who, knowingly and without authority or lawful excuse —

(a) interferes with, or interrupts or obstructs the lawful use of, a computer; or

(b) impedes or prevents access to, or impairs the usefulness or effectiveness of, any program or data stored in a computer



Accessing someone else's wireless bandwidth falls under "intercepts or causes to be intercepted without authority, directly or indirectly, any function of a computer" as well as "interferes with, or interrupts or obstructs the lawful use of, a computer" (if the judge decides that you obstructed his use by hogging his bandwidth).

And if you use your neighbor's connection to surf or download illegal stuff... Lovely penalties. :D
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Postby riversandlakes » Fri, 16 Sep 2005 7:31 pm

wowee

can i just plead ignorance and say i thought the condo provides FREE wireless broadband?!
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Postby bankir » Fri, 16 Sep 2005 11:26 pm

If the WiFi connection is made "PUBLIC/OPEN", then the owner intends to make it PUBLIC, meaning that anyone can use it.

And I'd say that I'm authorized because my computer asks for an IP address and his/her router authorizes me and gives me an IP address.

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Postby Yutenji » Sat, 17 Sep 2005 1:39 am

bankir wrote:If the WiFi connection is made "PUBLIC/OPEN", then the owner intends to make it PUBLIC, meaning that anyone can use it.

And I'd say that I'm authorized because my computer asks for an IP address and his/her router authorizes me and gives me an IP address.

Aha ... if you're smart enough to know that much, you're smart enough to know that it's not a question of "they MADE their network public/open", but most wireless users are too dumb/lazy/complacent to change the settings from the default (e.g. unsecured). Unfortunately, being dumb is not against the law (think of how many people would be locked up! ) and just because they leave the settings to the default, it doesn't give you the right to abuse their dumb-ness.
Sorry, but your logic is right up there with "they didn't lock the house, so its ok so steal the TV". But, in your heart, you knew this, right ?

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Re: Unsecured WiFi Connection

Postby ksl » Sat, 17 Sep 2005 5:59 am

Bremen wrote:
bankir wrote:from my room, I can get connected to a few unsecured wireless connections that belong to people who might not know how to secure theirs. Is it legal to use their connections? and what is the policy on that in Singapore?

In my opinion, people who don't secure their WiFi connections are inviting anyone to use theirs, intentionally or not.

Do these people have quota?


Your opinion would get you into trouble with the law. Using someone else's connection without their express consent is illegal.[/quote

I think you may find you are wrong! There as been a project going on in London for a couple of years now, where by the free airwaves are being untiliesed to widen the wireless coverage over London. The actual frequency it works on is free range according to the internet project, So their members are setting up access points to make use of the free airwaves, instead of wasting it.

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Postby bankir » Sat, 17 Sep 2005 9:10 am

The WiFi signal comes into my property without my consent. Can I sue them for that? like KSL says that I'm just using the free airwaves that comes into my property instead of wasting it.

I read an analogy about this issue:

Your neighbor "A" has a water sprinkler. The sprinkler sprays water past his property into yours. You collect the water that is falling on your property for your own personal use, whichever it may be.

Illegal???

Add a twist:

Neighbor "A" sees that you're collecting the water that is falling on your property and DEMANDS you stop. He won't move the sprinkler, oh no, that would be an exercise of common sense he refuses to be part of. Oh, and when the next bill comes, he is going to charge you for the water you collected too and if you don't pay, he'll call the cops.

What do you say about that?

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Re: Unsecured WiFi Connection

Postby Bremen » Sat, 17 Sep 2005 7:33 pm

ksl wrote:I think you may find you are wrong! There as been a project going on in London for a couple of years now, where by the free airwaves are being untiliesed to widen the wireless coverage over London. The actual frequency it works on is free range according to the internet project, So their members are setting up access points to make use of the free airwaves, instead of wasting it.


2 Things:

1. This is not London. I think you'll find the law authorities here much stricter.

2. That's a public project *designed* to allow free public access to the internet via wifi. That is NOT the same as leeching someone else's internet connection without their consent.
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Postby Bremen » Sat, 17 Sep 2005 7:40 pm

bankir wrote:The WiFi signal comes into my property without my consent. Can I sue them for that? like KSL says that I'm just using the free airwaves that comes into my property instead of wasting it.


KSL does not know the difference between "free radio frequencies" and "wireless signals".

They are NOT "free airwaves". They are an internet signal being paid for by a person, and you are tapping them without his knowledge or consent.

bankir wrote:I read an analogy about this issue:

Your neighbor "A" has a water sprinkler. The sprinkler sprays water past his property into yours. You collect the water that is falling on your property for your own personal use, whichever it may be.

Illegal???


Since the water is one-way and your neighbor does not pay atrociously high water bills because you're not actively pulling water from his system, then no. but if you were to tap into the water main for your neighbor by digging a tunnel in your garden, then yes, that's illegal.

FYI: That analogy looks like it was invented by a 3-year-old.

bankir wrote:Add a twist:

Neighbor "A" sees that you're collecting the water that is falling on your property and DEMANDS you stop. He won't move the sprinkler, oh no, that would be an exercise of common sense he refuses to be part of. Oh, and when the next bill comes, he is going to charge you for the water you collected too and if you don't pay, he'll call the cops.

What do you say about that?


I say your logic is stupid and in no way reflects unauthorized wifi use. Your analogy assumes the neighbor knows you're taking his water, and that your water usage will reflect on his bill.


sorry to say, but your logic and fantasy analogies have no relevance to unauthorized wifi usage.
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

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Postby Yutenji » Sat, 17 Sep 2005 11:51 pm

Come on guys, turn down the temperature a bit. We're just getting into a interesting debate.

Personally, I found the water sprinkler analogy entertaining, even if not necessarily valid.

To continue that debate, you have to think about who is the victim, which hinges on whether the neighbour is paying extra for you using his internet connection. If it's broadband, always-on, then more than likely the neighbour is -not- paying extra from your usage, though perhaps their performance might be degraded. In this case, it's actually the ISP that's getting ripped off, because they are providing a service for free that you should be paying them for. This is where the sprinkler analogy breaks down, because in that case, the neighbour is paying for the water that benefits you.

Anyway, bottom line, although you might argue that 'only' the ISP suffers, ultimately that will affect all our charges, so it's not particularly moral, even if we can't figure out exactly which law you're breaking.

Cheers
P.S. The laws in Singapore aren;t necessarily more strict; it just that the UK isn't competant enough to enforce them (Yes, I'm a Brit). :o

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Postby bankir » Sun, 18 Sep 2005 7:05 pm

Yutenji wrote:
bankir wrote:If the WiFi connection is made "PUBLIC/OPEN", then the owner intends to make it PUBLIC, meaning that anyone can use it.

And I'd say that I'm authorized because my computer asks for an IP address and his/her router authorizes me and gives me an IP address.

Aha ... if you're smart enough to know that much, you're smart enough to know that it's not a question of "they MADE their network public/open", but most wireless users are too dumb/lazy/complacent to change the settings from the default (e.g. unsecured). Unfortunately, being dumb is not against the law (think of how many people would be locked up! ) and just because they leave the settings to the default, it doesn't give you the right to abuse their dumb-ness.
Sorry, but your logic is right up there with "they didn't lock the house, so its ok so steal the TV". But, in your heart, you knew this, right ?



You are saying that unfortunately, being dump is not against the law. Then, I'd say, being smart is also not against the law. What I am doing here (and many other people who are using their neighbor's WiFi) is taking an opportunity / taking an advantage of something that is useful for me and this is different to your analogy "they didn't lock the house, so it's ok to steal the TV". OF COURSE that is not OK because the TV is located inside someone else's property and you are wrong the minute you step into his house.

In this case, I'm using a WiFi signal that is entering my property. I can do whatever I want in my property right? and I choose to use it rather than wasting it. Now imagine IF the WiFi signal causes cancer. Then, I would have two options, whether to SUE the person who owns the WiFi signal or to stay quite and use it.

I have another analogy but please forgive me if you find this analogy is inappropriate because I can't think of any other way to explain:

You live on the 8th floor of an apartment, across your apartment, you see a pretty woman living also on the 8th floor. One day you start to notice that she sleeps naked (or do any other private thing) at night with an open curtain. Now, as a man, (don't you dare to deny) that you would take this opportunity to stare at her. Hey, it's not your fault that she leaves her curtain open, is it? and one day she finds out that you have been looking at her. Do you think that she can sue you for that? If she does sue you, you would probably say "close the damn curtain if you don't want anyone looking!!"

Another thing,

The SSID is doing a broadcasting, and this is what I'm hearing "Hey, this is my SSID, come and use me". If you don't want your router to do that, again, please do close it down, I don't mind. :)

I believe that the law is still dark in this area. So, it's really hard for anyone to decide what is right or what is wrong.

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Postby Bremen » Sun, 18 Sep 2005 8:00 pm

bankir wrote:In this case, I'm using a WiFi signal that is entering my property. I can do whatever I want in my property right? and I choose to use it rather than wasting it.


No, because you are actually accessing a computer component (the wifi router) located NOT in your house. Ergo, you are tapping your neighbor's signal.

bankir wrote:Now imagine IF the WiFi signal causes cancer. Then, I would have two options, whether to SUE the person who owns the WiFi signal or to stay quite and use it.


Ok, now you're just being silly.

bankir wrote:I have another analogy but please forgive me if you find this analogy is inappropriate because I can't think of any other way to explain:

You live on the 8th floor of an apartment, across your apartment, you see a pretty woman living also on the 8th floor. One day you start to notice that she sleeps naked (or do any other private thing) at night with an open curtain. Now, as a man, (don't you dare to deny) that you would take this opportunity to stare at her. Hey, it's not your fault that she leaves her curtain open, is it? and one day she finds out that you have been looking at her. Do you think that she can sue you for that? If she does sue you, you would probably say "close the damn curtain if you don't want anyone looking!!"


It's called voyeurism, and in singapore's very conservative and protective system, you're getting caned you pervert. ;)


bankir wrote:Another thing,

The SSID is doing a broadcasting, and this is what I'm hearing "Hey, this is my SSID, come and use me". If you don't want your router to do that, again, please do close it down, I don't mind. :)


Pint is, most users don't know about wifi's unsecured nature, and since they DO NOT get notified if someone else is piggy-backing on their internet connection, you are NOT using it with their permission.

bankir wrote:I believe that the law is still dark in this area. So, it's really hard for anyone to decide what is right or what is wrong.


No, the law isn't dark... Your logic is. ;)
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

- Terry Pratchett


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