BBC Will Use Wi-Fi Detection Vans To Catch TV Pirates

HardOCP News

[H] News
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
0
Someone in the UK will have to explain to me how the BBC can get away with something like this. On the bright side, it should be easy to identify the vans in your neighborhood. :D

The BBC is apparently going to use Wi-Fi detection vans to catch people who don’t pay the TV licence but continue to watch the iPlayer. The organisation’s new system can establish if someone is watching the online service on a PC, mobile device or laptop, according to the National Audit Office. It will do this by using data from Wi-Fi networks in private homes.
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
29,672
Someone in the UK will have to explain to me how the BBC can get away with something like this. On the bright side, it should be easy to identify the vans in your neighborhood. :D

The BBC is apparently going to use Wi-Fi detection vans to catch people who don’t pay the TV licence but continue to watch the iPlayer. The organisation’s new system can establish if someone is watching the online service on a PC, mobile device or laptop, according to the National Audit Office. It will do this by using data from Wi-Fi networks in private homes.
In the UK not paying the TV license fee is a criminal offense. Something like 1.5 million cases go through the British judicial system every year. You can go to jail if you refuse to pay the fee after 3 or 4 times.
 

oROEchimaru

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 1, 2004
Messages
4,662
Meanwhile isn't the BBC looking to drop all inquiries for molestation concerns against top head hanchos now that they are "quitting" ? Geesh hope they investigate themselves as thoroughly or maybe they needed to repurpose the vans.
 

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
4,927
the bbc know where they can stick their tv licence..

The issue is in order to get any TV at all in the UK, you need to pay the £145 license (similar thing in France from what I recall living there). Well, you don't have to, but the UK gov hands out those £1000 fines (and worse) like candy.
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
29,672
Meanwhile isn't the BBC looking to drop all inquiries for molestation concerns against top head hanchos now that they are "quitting" ? Geesh hope they investigate themselves as thoroughly or maybe they needed to repurpose the vans.
The BBC has investigated the BBC and cleared the BBC of any wrongdoing.
 

Gigus Fire

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
2,275
tumblr_kptbflwK2C1qzutyzo1_1280.jpg

Come detect my wifi signals.
 
5

5icko

Guest
Proof that corporations run amuck and governments can sometimes be useful.
 

webdev511

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
312
Yes, because using WiFi automatically means you're using iPlayer. This is a great reason to not broadcast an SSIS and make sure consuming devices also do not reveal themselves to unrequested connections.
 

the_b_man

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
185
How exactly are they going to do this? Crack WPA2 at each household? Last I heard, WPA2 with a strong key is nearly unbreakable. Even if the iPlayer sent packets out to identify itself for the purpose of van identification, those will get encrypted before being transmitted on the LAN. To me, this is a blatant attempt to just scare people into compliance, rather than a realistic pass at trying to 'catch' people using iPlayer without a license. If I lived there, I'd intentionally not pay the license, and use iPlayer constantly just to see if they could find me. If they somehow did, I'd like to see their evidence. In reality, they'd have no evidence, and they'd never even knock on my door because it's a sham.
 

Mistral

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
195
We used to have same sort of BBC-equivalent fee in Finland too, meaning that in theory you could get busted if you owned TV but no license, but now government is just force-taxing everyone whether they use the services of the national broadcaster YLE or not. Even if you lived completely off the grid you'd be taxed for it lol. They should do the same in UK - because if we are mandated to pay for our overlords they should too :)
 
Last edited:

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
19,956
Someone in the UK will have to explain to me how the BBC can get away with something like this. On the bright side, it should be easy to identify the vans in your neighborhood. :D

The BBC is apparently going to use Wi-Fi detection vans to catch people who don’t pay the TV licence but continue to watch the iPlayer. The organisation’s new system can establish if someone is watching the online service on a PC, mobile device or laptop, according to the National Audit Office. It will do this by using data from Wi-Fi networks in private homes.
I saw a comment yesterday that this isnt true (the bolded bit).
Its just to catch people in the act of watching TV when they dont have a license (supposedly).

edit Ah, didnt realise they are adding iPlayer to the license.
 

Ducman69

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
10,542
I suppose that's the difference between being a citizen with rights and a subject of the crown.

"I say, the peasantry is becoming disagreeable again. Send a wagon at once."
 

Daeyx

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
72
Can someone explain to me how this even could be possible unless you were running an open hotspot?
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
29,672
We used to have same sort of BBC-equivalent fee in Finland too, meaning that in theory you could get busted if you owned TV but no license, but now government is just force-taxing everyone whether they use the services of the national broadcaster YLE or not. Even if you lived completely off the grid you'd be taxed for it lol. They should do the same in UK - because if we are mandated to pay for our overlords they should too :)
The better solution would be to not have state-sanctioned television at all.
 

the_b_man

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
185
I read this article Television licensing in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The BBC admits that no detection evidence has ever been used to prosecute a licence fee evader."

Long story short, if their door-to-door inspectors see you watching TV from the door step, or can get you to accidentally admit to watching TV, then they'll prosecute (and they get a fair number every year). They can get a warrant to enter and inspect TV equipment, but only with reasonable cause. The 'detection' equipment has never been used as evidence against someone - because, I suspect, the methodology itself wouldn't hold up in court. So, fear not the vans - they are merely enforcement theater.
 

rudedog

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2004
Messages
1,037
wouldn't it be easier to do this at the ISP instead of a VAN????? Didn't google get into trouble for doing this, by accident?
 

Quix

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
3,710
I can't see how this can possibly be cost effective.

Also, aren't most Wi-Fi signals encrypted? Does this mean they're going to be cracking Wi-Fi security or only monitoring stupid people who have the encryption turned off?
 
D

Deleted whining member 223597

Guest
I can't see how this can possibly be cost effective.

Also, aren't most Wi-Fi signals encrypted? Does this mean they're going to be cracking Wi-Fi security or only monitoring stupid people who have the encryption turned off?

It's Britain, they'll probably ban WiFi security within the next few years.
 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
5,917
I can't see how this can possibly be cost effective.
It's not meant to be catching all the criminals, just to make examples of a few.
Also, aren't most Wi-Fi signals encrypted? Does this mean they're going to be cracking Wi-Fi security or only monitoring stupid people who have the encryption turned off?
I'd like to know the same thing. If they're going around cracking Wi-Fi security, I'm sure there's something illegal going on there. Also, we'll need new wifi security standards to combat this.
 
D

Deleted member 245375

Guest
I'd like to know the same thing. If they're going around cracking Wi-Fi security, I'm sure there's something illegal going on there.

The laws in the UK aren't the same as the US and other parts of the world, for the record (and for posterity on NSA and other government servers). :D

It's very odd and highly ironic just how prescient the story "V For Vendetta" was many years ago (was originally a comic book then adapted into a pretty awesome movie by The Wachowski Brothers now The Wachowski Sisters, sorta). I saw mention of this story a few days ago and my immediate instant reaction was to remember this scene in the movie:



where a British/English/UK/whatever the fuck they identify as anymore monitoring truck rolls around the streets late at night (and even during the broad daylight as well) sniffing on everything happening in people's homes and businesses 24/7.

Can't say I'm surprised, to be honest, and they'll just let it happen and sooner or later it'll be happening here in the US and elsewhere and people will not do a damned thing about it.
 

Litfod

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
1,465
I always thought the TV detector vans were an urban myth designed to scare people into paying for a license, or at worst some empty vans with "TV Detector" written on the sides. I wouldn't be surprised if this was just an updated version.
 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
5,917
where a British/English/UK/whatever the fuck they identify as anymore monitoring truck rolls around the streets late at night (and even during the broad daylight as well) sniffing on everything happening in people's homes and businesses 24/7.

Can't say I'm surprised, to be honest, and they'll just let it happen and sooner or later it'll be happening here in the US and elsewhere and people will not do a damned thing about it.
I don't think the US would allow such a thing to occur. The people here are nuts and have guns. If people are driving vans down the street to watch my home for illegal downloads and what not, there's going to be a van with flat tires.

I think what's more likely to occur is the British people are going to fight back and make some changes to the laws. There's going to be a breaking point and people will flip out.
 
D

Deleted member 245375

Guest
If people are driving vans down the street to watch my home for illegal downloads and what not, there's going to be a van with flat tires.

You realize that you just proposed a situation where breaking the law - destruction of (potentially) Federal property - as a way of preventing the government from detecting if people are breaking Federal laws (and potentially state as well), right? Right? :)
 

spine

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
2,671
It's just another BBC scare tactic, as usual, since from the introduction of the enforcement of the licence.

The brutal truth is, as it has been since day 1, this: It is not possible to prove someone is watching a broadcast unlicenced in their own home as there is no way you can gain entry without a search warrant. Anything you observe outside is inadmissable. Full stop.

So a van outside can't do shit. Break into one and you'll likely find it it empty bar a couple teens on an xbox all day.

Scare tactic!

It works though, as over the decades it's proven to be the most effective way to enforce the licence.
 
D

Deleted member 245375

Guest
Have none of you people ever heard of Tempest aka van Eck sideband emission reception and monitoring? It's been noted that even flat panel displays of all kinds can be "sniffed" as well so while the van Eck style eavesdropping originally came about in the age of CRTs, it most assuredly can be put to use today for most any device including smartphones/tablets/etc.

If you think you're safe in your homes from monitoring at a distance - and this has absolutely nothing to do with an Internet connection whether it's wired or wireless or any other type of - boy have you got a lot to learn. ;)
 

pothb

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
4,997
And they go on about how America is stupid, without looking at themselves properly.

That said..... isn't BBC a tv network station? I don't know UK law but man, this looks like something an authoritarian state, alone, would allow.
 

lcpiper

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
10,611
I don't think the US would allow such a thing to occur. The people here are nuts and have guns. If people are driving vans down the street to watch my home for illegal downloads and what not, there's going to be a van with flat tires.

I think what's more likely to occur is the British people are going to fight back and make some changes to the laws. There's going to be a breaking point and people will flip out.

Yea, they might get on a boat and go find a new world somewhere.
 

webdev511

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
312
Have none of you people ever heard of Tempest aka van Eck sideband emission reception and monitoring? It's been noted that even flat panel displays of all kinds can be "sniffed" as well so while the van Eck style eavesdropping originally came about in the age of CRTs, it most assuredly can be put to use today for most any device including smartphones/tablets/etc.

If you think you're safe in your homes from monitoring at a distance - and this has absolutely nothing to do with an Internet connection whether it's wired or wireless or any other type of - boy have you got a lot to learn. ;)

Back in the day when TV licenses were first enacted if you had a TV in Britian, there wasn't anything you could do BUT watch BBC. Now the same displays can be devoid of a tuner plugged into a Blu-ray payer and not even touch "Licensed" services. So I can have all the same RF emissions as a home that is watching BBC and still be a suspect because of an ancient law.
 

mythedrine

n00b
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
3
The American flag in the back window of the van and the California license plate on the Toyota Camry parked in front of it suggest the BBC will go pretty far to make their fine revenue quotas.
 

Raxiel

Gawd
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
519
They aren't cracking your wifi, hacking your firewall, or detecting anything. It's not 'government overreach' or 'fascism' because they aren't actually doing anything. Even if it were physically possible (which I dispute), we're talking about the kind of tech that MI5 or MI6 would deploy, its not going to be handed over to a couple of Oiks working for Crapita, everyone's least favourite lowest bidder government contractor.

It's a bluff, it was a bluff when they had the old vans with aerials on the roof for detecting CRT's and it's a bluff now.

They know most people watch TV, they know which households have a licence, and they know which houses are occupied (electoral register)

It's trivial to get a list of occupied houses without licences and they usually just try their luck, because as others have mentioned, they get a lot of people who panic and admit it when asked on the doorstep. The inspectors have no real power and you can tell them to get lost if they turn up at the door.

As it happens, I pay my TV licence. I pay it because I feel it is good value for money, we watch a lot of BBC output in our house (Mostly Cbeebees) and I hate adverts. I usually pay to remove ad's in any apps I use regularly too. I think having an Ad free network in the UK benefits everyone who watches TV here, even if they don't watch the BBC, because having ad free broadcasts to compare too stops the commercial stations pulling any of the obnoxious crap networks in other countries seem to get away with.
 
Top