Wardriving is illegal, right?

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mortonP

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Then why hasn't google been charged for committing the crime when they captured people's wifi data? They have now admitted they captured people's emails and passwords. They broke the law and I want to see justice served. At least Britain has the balls to investigate them. The USA gov. do jack shit about it.
 

aaronearles

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how is it illegal if you're broadcasting it in the clear? if they didn't connect, they didn't break the law...
 

SticKx911

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^ agreed. its a warning that you NEED to encrypt your networks. even crummy wep offers you some legal protection, but if its wide open, its like standing on your front door step yelling out your personal info.
 

Proactivens

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hacking encrypted signals is illegal. If your radio is broadcasting unencrypted then ANYONE is free to connect and use your service.
 

mortonP

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how is it illegal if you're broadcasting it in the clear? if they didn't connect, they didn't break the law...

It is still illegal to connect to a home wifi router that is broadcasting even if it is an open connection. Look up the law regarding wardriving. Only one person has been charged with it so far and that was in Florida. The guy was parked in his vehicle outside a persons house who had an unsecured wifi connection and was using his connection. He was still charged with the crime just for connecting to it even though it was an unsecured point.
 

mortonP

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hacking encrypted signals is illegal. If your radio is broadcasting unencrypted then ANYONE is free to connect and use your service.

Nope, look up the law regarding wardriving. If you connect to a private signal that is not encrypted with a key you have still broken the law. Just because I leave my house door unlocked does not give anyone the right to just walk in. It's the same thing with an internet wifi router.
 

mortonP

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^ agreed. its a warning that you NEED to encrypt your networks. even crummy wep offers you some legal protection, but if its wide open, its like standing on your front door step yelling out your personal info.

No it isn't. It is like leaving your house door unlocked or open. Do you just walk into peoples houses just because their front door is unlocked? If you did you would end up in jail. I've already done research on this matter and it is illegal. google did break the law. And I don't believe them that it was all an accidental mistake.
 

Whatsisname

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Because google didn't go into anyone house, they just watched people going in and out and recorded who was going in or out and when.

In otherwords, they didn't use their connection. That is illegal, because you are using the bandwidth paid for by the homeowner. But listening to the traffic, is not. Or at least is in legal limbo.

No it isn't. It is like leaving your house door unlocked or open. Do you just walk into peoples houses just because their front door is unlocked? If you did you would end up in jail. I've already done research on this matter and it is illegal. google did break the law.
 

valve1138

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Google doesn't care about breaking the law. They do whatever they want until someone tells them to stop. Examples: Youtube, Google Books.
 

Whatsisname

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so post links to the laws that they've broken, and your interpretation of how they did so.

Otherwise if you are just going to disagree with everyone, not listen, and say "you're wrong i'm right" then there is no discussion.

I've already done research on this matter and it is illegal
 

mortonP

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Capturing people's emails and passwords is illegal. Stop making up excuses for a greedy corporation who has clearly broken wireless communication laws. If I jaywalk by mistake and a cop sees me do it I would still be charged for jaywalking even if it was a mistake.
 

Neb

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Looking at the wiki entry, it doesn't seem so clear cut:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_piggybacking

New York law is the most permissive.[1] The statute against unauthorized access only applies when the network "is equipped or programmed with any device or coding system, a function of which is to prevent the unauthorized use of said computer or computer system".[35][36][37][38] In other words, the use of a network would only be considered unauthorized and illegal if the network owner had enabled encryption or password protection and the user bypassed this protection, or when the owner has explicitly given notice that use of the network is prohibited, either orally or in writing

I think your example of leaving the house door unlocked not really equal to what happened here. I think a more apt example would be if you were standing at your front door yelling your password across the street and someone walked by on the sidewalk with a microphone. Would you consider that illegal?
 

Whatsisname

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Says who? If you are shouting your bank account credential information to a friend across a parking lot, and I overhear it and write it down but never access your account, how am I breaking the law? Cite the laws I would have broken.

I'm not making any excuses for anyone, but if you expect to have a discussion you need to be prepared to backup your claims.

Capturing people's emails and passwords is illegal. Stop making up excuses for a greedy corporation who has clearly broken wireless communication laws. If I jaywalk by mistake and a cop sees me do it I would still be charged for jaywalking even if it was a mistake.
 

nessus

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Its not a federal crime. I assume whether it is a crime would depend on state statutes within the US.
 

gimp

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Its not a federal crime. I assume whether it is a crime would depend on state statutes within the US.

this

It is still illegal to connect to a home wifi router that is broadcasting even if it is an open connection. Look up the law regarding wardriving. Only one person has been charged with it so far and that was in Florida. The guy was parked in his vehicle outside a persons house who had an unsecured wifi connection and was using his connection. He was still charged with the crime just for connecting to it even though it was an unsecured point.

somebody up here in Alaska got arrested for using the library's FREE wi-fi after-hours. He was parked outside the building.

can't remember the outcome or what he was actually charged with.
 

dashpuppy

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I did a report on this in high school in networking class, it is not illegal to use some one else's internet if their wireless is wide open.

I'm pretty sure when you buy a router, there are terms in there, under one of the terms it sates, it is the customers responsibility to secure their own wireless.

It is illegal to try to crack their internet pass phrase / password etc etc.
 

ShadowStriker

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Wardriving: Wardriving is the act of searching for Wi-Fi wireless networks by a person in a moving vehicle, using a portable computer or PDA.

"act of searching" is an active action, not passive...
 

aaronearles

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I suppose I could be wrong, according to the FCC on part 15 devices:

15.9 Prohibition against eavesdropping.
top

Except for the operations of law enforcement officers conducted under lawful authority, no person shall use, either directly or indirectly, a device operated pursuant to the provisions of this part for the purpose of overhearing or recording the private conversations of others unless such use is authorized by all of the parties engaging in the conversation.

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=8d49873818174c6ab5fa1947a1f51da3&rgn=div5&view=text&node=47:1.0.1.1.14&idno=47#47:1.0.1.1.14.1.241.3
 
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Proactivens

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wifi broadcasts on an FCC open freq. spectrum. If your BROADCASTING your signal open and unencrypted than anyone who can hear that BROADCAST can use it.
 

aaronearles

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not according to the link above, all wifi equipment falls under fcc part 15 regulations, and if part 15.9 is no eavesdropping then they are technically not complying.
 

Neb

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not according to the link above, all wifi equipment falls under fcc part 15 regulations, and if part 15.9 is no eavesdropping then they are technically not complying.

But if the signal is being broadcast in the open without encryption can you define that as a "private conversation"?
 

Biznatch

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I think some of you need to read how the wireless networks work before complaining they broke the law. Like the poster said about listening while you shout your personal info, that's exactly what they did. When you use unencrypted wifi, all of the data you send/recieve is sent in plain text. So anyone in range can listen in to everything you send/recieve without you knowing it. Exactly like using a police scanner.

So anyone dumb enough to use unsecure wireless for ANYTHING is an effing idiot and they should be praising god that only google has grabbed their info. At least google isn't abusing the info like a hacker would.
 

Neb

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Like having a private conversation in a public area?

Sure, if your definition of a private conversation involves being loud enough that people 50 feet away can hear you. Is that conversation still private? Remember, it's an unencrypted broadcast signal.

If the loosest definition of an illegal connection is used with regards to the public, everyone who has ever had a device that automatically connected to an open wifi network is guilty of committing a serious crime.
 

Proactivens

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The FCC treats BROADCASTS the same way, be it radio (AM/FM/Shortwave) or wifi (802.11B/G/N). If your transmission is not encrypted, then anyone who can hear it can hear it.
 

ShadowStriker

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If the loosest definition of an illegal connection is used with regards to the public, everyone who has ever had a device that automatically connected to an open wifi network is guilty of committing a serious crime.
And everyone with ears will be charged with eavesdropping. :p
 

ghost6303

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No it isn't. It is like leaving your house door unlocked or open. Do you just walk into peoples houses just because their front door is unlocked? If you did you would end up in jail. I've already done research on this matter and it is illegal. google did break the law. And I don't believe them that it was all an accidental mistake.

technically its illegal, however the courts recently ruled that your property isnt private property unless you secure it with fences gates and guard towers and take some extra-ordinary steps at keeping the public out. what i am referring to is the lawsuit brought on the FBI about planting GPS trackers on peoples cars. the court ruled it is perfectly legal for the FBI to go on your property and do whatever they want as long as you dont have fences and gates or a garage (anywhere freely accessible to the average passer by). if your car is parked in a driveway or on the street, even if the driveway is your property, its fair game.

so if anyone were ever actually charged with entering an unencrypted open network, there would be a very strong argument against conviction because it wasnt protected and was open to the public. its also a valid argument that your computer connected automatically to this network and you were unaware that you were using it. its really up to the owner of the network to make sure the only people they approve have access.

though its a double edged sword- if you use someones unencryted network connection, you are breaking the law. if you are the owner of the network and someone downloads some child porn or illegal music with your connection, the network owner gets to go to court. the moral of the story is use WPA2.

that is from a legal standpoint. personally i believe that the court set an extremely dangerous precedent that severely disadvantages people who dont have the means to build a fortress around their property or who dont know better. i also believe that google should indeed be reprimanded for wardriving, let alone their tax schemes and other evil things.

The FCC treats BROADCASTS the same way, be it radio (AM/FM/Shortwave) or wifi (802.11B/G/N). If your transmission is not encrypted, then anyone who can hear it can hear it.
yes, its like the radio spectrum, you can listen to any of the frequencies you want, but you can not transmit on most without a license. eavesdropping on an unencrypted wifi signal is NOT illegal. entering (meaning,sending data) on a private unencrypted network, is.
 

Nate7311

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The question that I never saw answered, was if Google's vans actually connected to the open Wifi networks or just ended up recording Wifi packets broadcasted in the clear. If they were just listening, then how is it even remotely a crime. Personally, I have fairly acute hearing. I've heard conversations in public places that'll make your eyebrows raise and your mind start to wonder. How is that different?
 

Neb

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The question that I never saw answered, was if Google's vans actually connected to the open Wifi networks or just ended up recording Wifi packets broadcasted in the clear. If they were just listening, then how is it even remotely a crime. Personally, I have fairly acute hearing. I've heard conversations in public places that'll make your eyebrows raise and your mind start to wonder. How is that different?

The cynic in me says it's different because you don't have money while Google has lots (relatively, unless you just happen to be Bill Gates :p).

IIRC, they were using a sniffer so no actual connection was made. They just recorded what was being broadcast. IMO yes I think it was wrong of Google to collect and keep the data but at the same time I have difficulty faulting them for capturing data that was broadcast completely in the clear.

because radio is spooky! and zomg electromagnetic radiation! brain cancer!

Let's not get those folks with EMI paranoia started again :p
 

Nate7311

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The cynic in me says it's different because you don't have money while Google has lots (relatively, unless you just happen to be Bill Gates :p).

What difference does that make? Google's an easier target for a lawsuit?

Neb said:
IIRC, they were using a sniffer so no actual connection was made. They just recorded what was being broadcast. IMO yes I think it was wrong of Google to collect and keep the data but at the same time I have difficulty faulting them for capturing data that was broadcast completely in the clear.

Right! But that's also the point of the discussion too - Whether it's illegal or not. And it's not illegal. Morality is a separate issue, that we're agreement on. I can't think of any legitimate reason they would have had for sniffing packets. So in the court of public opinion they should defend themselves and or be held accountable for that.


Neb said:
Let's not get those folks with EMI paranoia started again :p

Break out the Tin foil hat!!:rolleyes:
 

ShadowStriker

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I'm just glad my company isn't going to be doing any powerlining anytime soon, the security review of it would be hell.
 

Neb

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What difference does that make? Google's an easier target for a lawsuit?

I was joking, I don't think it makes any difference :) I think the main reason Google is getting prosecuted is due to the uninformed masses reading over-hyped news reports of what happened and then overreacting to what happened. "WHAT?! Google captured my username and password (that was broadcast in plain-text)? They deserve to be punished!"
 
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