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Is this wrong? (Read 1236 times)

Offline lufia

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Is this wrong?
« on: February 14, 2013, 11:41:19 PM »
I live right next to a library which offers free wifi for its members. I'm a member of the library and I have been using its free wifi at home to surf the net.  :-X

Let me know what you guys think, if deemed so i will stop the leeching  :o
musicality

Offline Bob

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 12:01:33 AM »
Probably not what they meant it for but if they've set it up like that...

I've seen people sitting in cars at my library after hours.  Must be very internet desparate.

They're probably aware something like that could happen.  How would they stop it though?


It probably doesn't matter.  Unless you're downloading tons of data, but if you're using your ID number somehow they can probably track that and contact you.  You're just one more person using their wifi?  You could be over in the library itself using it.  Either way is probably ok. 

Another angle -- If they're dumb enough to send their wifi all over... Why not use it?  Maybe they meant to provide some free wifi outside the building.

I suppose another concern would be whether you trust them.  If they set up it so it's completely open without needing a password that wouldn't sound very smart on their part and you're sending your info through their system.  Something else might not be safe along the way.


I don't really see a big problem, even if that's not what they meant it for.  I wouldn't be surprised if someone asked why you're on so much or on after hours, but then again I doubt they'd bother checking. 

If there are other people around, they're probably using it too.  I wouldn't count on free wifi lasting though.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 12:07:08 AM »
Yeh I don't see this as a problem.. its a public network.. whatever.

Wouldn't do my banking on it though.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 12:11:03 AM »
Probably OK, but just in case - print this out and keep it on you at all times:

"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 12:56:01 AM »
Probably OK, but just in case - print this out and keep it on you at all times:

Whenever I use one of these I land on "Go directly to Hell" the very next turn.

Offline p2u_

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 03:51:52 AM »
I live right next to a library which offers free wifi for its members. I'm a member of the library and I have been using its free wifi at home to surf the net.  :-X

Let me know what you guys think, if deemed so i will stop the leeching  :o

From the philosophical point of view: all systems, good or bad, fall because of the ones abusing them. So, yes, it is not something you should actually be doing.

From the juridical point of view: There may be consequences under certain circumstances.

First off, it depends on where in the world you are. For example, the UK Computer Misuse Act says that someone who abuses somebody else's WiFi this way can get a sentence of UP TO FIVE YEARS in jail. It's not a Russian jail, but in any case: it doesn't look like a nice prospect to me. Check the law of your country to answer the question yourself.

Besides, as soon as some kind of cyber crime is committed with the resources of that library, you'll surely be among the prime suspects. Logs are being kept, you know, and it's a piece of cake to determine the physical location of your device. "Justice" also doesn't require established truth to be able to punish you. If you're "convenient", they'll nail you for somebody else's evil deeds...

Paul
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Offline j_menz

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 03:58:43 AM »
the UK Computer Misuse Act says that someone who abuses somebody else's WiFi this way can get a sentence of UP TO FIVE YEARS in jail.

Not as far as I can see. Do you have a particular section in mind?
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline p2u_

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 04:20:22 AM »
Not as far as I can see. Do you have a particular section in mind?

I'm not a lawyer. I have no idea. I think I read it somewhere on my sources about forensics, computer crimes, etc. Different countries were compared. I'll check before replying. It may have been this Act + some other Police Act combined. I'll get back to you.
P.S.: The law and its enforcers do a VERY bad job on stuff related to computer technology, by the way.

Paul
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No more pearls before swine...

Offline maitea

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 08:17:09 AM »
I'm the devil's advocate here, but , I'd say, don't worry that much.. After all, you are a member of that community and the library itself! You coincidentaly live very close, and it's not password protected.. I don't see how that could be a criminal offence under UK law, but I will check with my other half, who's a lawyer. Obvisouly this is as long as you don't engange in abusive behaviour or fraude of any sort online.. !

Offline p2u_

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 08:48:44 AM »
I'm the devil's advocate here, but , I'd say, don't worry that much.. After all, you are a member of that community and the library itself! You coincidentaly live very close, and it's not password protected.. I don't see how that could be a criminal offence under UK law, but I will check with my other half, who's a lawyer. Obvisouly this is as long as you don't engange in abusive behaviour or fraude of any sort online.. !

I think the problem will be to prove intent or absence thereof. I think the one who provides the service has a description of who it is for and under what circumstances. While I agree that the law doesn't have very strong provisions [yet!], I'm sure they're working on it, and a Google search reveals that people already get caught for wifi leeching.

The abstract problem is the following. When you leave the door to your apartment open or unlocked, does that give people you did not give explicit permission to enter a right to enter the premises? And even if you did lock the door, but the lock itself is cheap, does that give people you did not explicitly expect to enter  a right to push the door open and enter the premises anyway? Or if we look at the library as a business: when you are expected to check in at the guard's counter, but the guard is not there for a second because he is in the restroom, do you still have a right to enter the premises freely? When you leech, you are using somebody else's resources for your own benefit in a way that was not intended by the service provider. As I said, it is VERY easy to prove whether you were physically in the library or not.

Of course, the leecher could always say: "I didn't know", but ignorance is often no excuse in the law. Hardly anybody will believe you got in somewhere "accidentally" for a period of several days, weeks, or months in a row. When you get caught, it is up to you to prove you didn't know. The law enforcers don't have to prove you did. These are cases where the *spirit* of the law may prevail, and not the letters or the words therein.

Paul
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No more pearls before swine...

Offline maitea

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 09:58:37 AM »
Well, couple of things from my non lawyer self "expertise".

Under Spanish law (I know this through my aunt who had that problem) if you let your house door open and get "robbed", instead of "robo" (in Spanish) you can only claim "hurto", which has further milder consequences for the thefts if caught, and far less help insurance wise too. Making an analogy to the wifi, I believe there should be a significant difference if the wifi is password protected or not.

Second is, does it say anywhere in the library that the wifi is to be exclusively used "in" the library? As a matter of fact, in a place I know, there are several local public places that offer free wifi without password restriction and they do so deliberately for the use of the community..

Offline p2u_

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 10:21:38 AM »
Second is, does it say anywhere in the library that the wifi is to be exclusively used "in" the library? As a matter of fact, in a place I know, there are several local public places that offer free wifi without password restriction and they do so deliberately for the use of the community..

Password restrictions on Wifi are a joke anyway. It's like a very bad lock on a very old door - only a symbol/sign of telling someone that you don't want unauthorized people to get in. You have to be really lazy not to get in. Experts will tell you that wifi CANNOT be secured, but that in itself does not justify unfair usage by third parties.

Without giving moral lessons here, everybody KNOWS how many of our blessings should be used properly, but many choose to ignore what they are expected to do because there are no threatening sanctions yet or they haven't been bitten yet. It is this ignorance that will eventually lead us to slavery with unbearable rules and laws, and humiliating checking and surveillance procedures for virtually everything. I think there are already serious measures on its way in this direction...

Wifi leeching in UK leads to police arrests

Paul
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No more pearls before swine...

Offline lufia

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 07:54:49 PM »
Quote
Second is, does it say anywhere in the library that the wifi is to be exclusively used "in" the library? As a matter of fact, in a place I know, there are several local public places that offer free wifi without password restriction and they do so deliberately for the use of the community..

Its very vague, doesn't really say anywhere except on the back of the membership card where it says 'Free wifi' under the benefits. The library itself has its own park where a lot of school kids would crowd up after school, no password needed. I've been using it for... i think for a few months now, mainly just browsing  :-X


 Thanks for your counsel...I think i sleep better tonight... ;D

IF ANYTHING...



Ill show this to the authorities ;D
musicality

Offline p2u_

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Re: Is this wrong?
«Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 08:11:34 PM »
Its very vague, doesn't really say anywhere except on the back of the membership card where it says 'Free wifi' under the benefits.

Which leads me to think that your membership card number itself linked to your device may very well be your ID. Do you remember any procedures you went through? Do you know if they "fingerprint" the devices?

P.S.: Be careful, lufia. They keep logs of EVERYTHING you do with the connection. All they need to locate you physically is look at the signal strength (the farther you are away, the weaker the signal) to determine the right so-called concentric circle and you're toast.

Paul
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No more pearls before swine...