[oclug] Legalities of riding the neighbour's wireless
wisq-oclug at wisq.net
Thu Mar 3 08:40:47 EST 2005
On Thu, Mar 03, 2005 at 05:28:05AM +0100, Bruno Nicolas wrote:
> It seems to me that you would notice when the load suggest you are not the
> only one to use your internet connection ?
Depends on what the other person is doing. If they're downloading giant
files, you might notice the link getting a little slower, and the modem
lights blinking a lot.
But if they're just browsing the web now and then, it's unlikely
you'd notice anything at all, unless you keep the cable modem in
your peripheral vision and are inherently suspicious of any little
flashes at all.
> If you are informed enough to choose wireless connection then if you let
> other people taking advantage of your internet access it might be because
> you are willing to share it.
Regardless of whether you're willing to share it or not, sharing
the link *is* the net outcome. Your ISP would likely not be too
happy with you.
Unfortunately, this will probably just remain a legal grey area for a
while, because while the user is unaware they are granting others
access to their information or Internet service, the technology is a
broadcast one and is actively announcing its presence for wireless
computers to use.
So the user thinks private, the technology says public, and so far I
haven't seen specific legislation to deal with this. Using someone
else's link without permission generally means the user knows
they're doing something wrong, but they were still practically
invited to do so.
p.s. Almost all home ISPs have rules against reselling your
bandwidth. However, I'd be interested to know which ISPs
actually have rules against *free* sharing. Obviously, they
would need to distinguish between sharing with people in the
home and sharing with people in the neighbourhood.
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