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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 9th 08, 11:18 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
poachedeggs
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws

I havenít successfully googled any recent UK-based threads on this,
but: What is the legal position and current dialogue about broadband
piggybacking and community-based wireless internet?

I ask because I was at a friendís last night and we stumbled upon the
possibility of piggybacking because somebodyís security code was the
same as their visible pcís name, and watched iPlayer for half an hour
before thinking about the ethics and whatnot. Then, because weíre not
gits, we googled what we could, but it was mostly American stuff, so
weíre scarcely any wiser, bar our own opinions.

If it is illegal, full stop, Iíd like to know; more than that, if the
dialogue is ongoing Iíd like to know about it, because the more Iíve
dwelt on it, the more artificial and ideological an illegal status for
piggybacking would seem to be. I know people like a barney online,
which Iím well-rehearsed enough to ignore, and so Iíll say Iím open-
minded and can be persuaded Iím wrong if I am. Iím not an anarchist,
but Iím not an ogre either.

I understand that people have capped contracts with their providers.
I would not want to cause a neighbour to pay an effective fine. But
if I did, Iím thinking that that fine is just a current, unnecessary
arrangement, based on an artificial value Ė itís not about a resource,
given that we all sleep and do other things; weíre not going to just
sit in front of the pc just because it got cheaper, so the law as it
may well stand isnít about rational prevention of congestion. (As a
Vodafone Mobile Broadband customer I know thatís going to happen
anyway.) I would not like to have to share my guitars with the people
in my block, and I wouldnít expect the bloke opposite to share his
motorbike; but theyíre real objects. A 15 gigabyte limit is not about
something real, is it. It looks to me like things are coalesced this
way to see to it that customers each have their own, to maximise the
money made, nothing of real or rational benefit. If that was about
guitars and motorbikes, food, all well and good, Iím not naÔve about
how the world works or human nature. But my dad is with Talk Talk, he
has a 40 gigabyte limit per month and uses eBay for an hour twice a
week Ė he must Ďwasteí about 39.8 gigabytes a month! But what has he
wasted really Ė nothing, itís not real. I live in a council block, in
a bedsit. I donít care about status and all that, and it does us good
here to be patient if need be with the washing lines, to take note of
the terms about pets and music volume; some of the people here would
be at risk of wildness if life didnít remind them that they were
fortunate to have got the housing and a reasonable neighborhood. I
know community wireless exists, but I imagine itís more in America and
here if it exists at all itís sorted out by calm-thinking but
probably often cliquey ultimately isolated Guardian readers and
probably not promoted well. It may only be one little thing, but if a
thing like community wireless internet took off more, thatís one more
non-petty, non-selfish thing that could help bond people. Iím not a
hippy or an old school Socialist, but I would like to know if this is
still being doggedly lobbied in various ways. And yes I know itís
only one thing, wouldnít change the world on its own, and its
furtherance would in some households just mean more porn-downloading
and poker gets done. Itíd improve a lot of kidsí homework.

There are only so many hours in the day and only so much anyone would
crave to download Ė we wouldnít be driving the providerís to go bust
by limiting how many individual customers they had by sharing a
connection; in all likelihood things would stay about the same
effectively, because more people would be enticed by having broadband
with shared cost. Itíd level out Ė and if not, so what, a bit of
downsizing wouldnít hurt the directors. Theyíre only spending it on
escorts, cocaine and developing a carbon footprint, eh.

I hope it's okay that this posting is neither formal, nor peppered
with bittnerness and obvious signs of letting off steam after a cacky
day at work.
  #2  
Old December 9th 08, 11:41 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Gordon Henderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 797
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws

In article ,
poachedeggs wrote:
I havenít successfully googled any recent UK-based threads on this,
but: What is the legal position and current dialogue about broadband
piggybacking and community-based wireless internet?

I ask because I was at a friendís last night and we stumbled upon the
possibility of piggybacking because somebodyís security code was the
same as their visible pcís name, and watched iPlayer for half an hour
before thinking about the ethics and whatnot. Then, because weíre not
gits, we googled what we could, but it was mostly American stuff, so
weíre scarcely any wiser, bar our own opinions.

If it is illegal, full stop, Iíd like to know; more than that, if the
dialogue is ongoing Iíd like to know about it, because the more Iíve
dwelt on it, the more artificial and ideological an illegal status for
piggybacking would seem to be. I know people like a barney online,
which Iím well-rehearsed enough to ignore, and so Iíll say Iím open-
minded and can be persuaded Iím wrong if I am. Iím not an anarchist,
but Iím not an ogre either.


Start he

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/...cle2310670.ece

Gordon
  #3  
Old December 10th 08, 06:47 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Ivor Jones
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 579
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws

In ,
poachedeggs typed, for some strange,
unexplained reason:
: I havenít successfully googled any recent UK-based threads on this,
: but: What is the legal position and current dialogue about broadband
: piggybacking and community-based wireless internet?
:
: I ask because I was at a friendís last night and we stumbled upon the
: possibility of piggybacking because somebodyís security code was the
: same as their visible pcís name, and watched iPlayer for half an hour
: before thinking about the ethics and whatnot. Then, because weíre not
: gits, we googled what we could, but it was mostly American stuff, so
: weíre scarcely any wiser, bar our own opinions.
:
: If it is illegal, full stop, Iíd like to know;

[snip]

It's illegal, full stop. Computer Misuse Act. Only exceptions are public
hotspots, most of which you have to pay for anyway, but there are free
ones. But using a private customer's connection is a definite no-no and as
the article Gordon Henderson refers to states, people have been arrested
for it.


Ivor

  #4  
Old December 10th 08, 07:45 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 876
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws



"Ivor Jones" wrote in message
...
In ,
poachedeggs typed, for some strange,
unexplained reason:
: I havenít successfully googled any recent UK-based threads on this,
: but: What is the legal position and current dialogue about broadband
: piggybacking and community-based wireless internet?
:
: I ask because I was at a friendís last night and we stumbled upon the
: possibility of piggybacking because somebodyís security code was the
: same as their visible pcís name, and watched iPlayer for half an hour
: before thinking about the ethics and whatnot. Then, because weíre not
: gits, we googled what we could, but it was mostly American stuff, so
: weíre scarcely any wiser, bar our own opinions.
:
: If it is illegal, full stop, Iíd like to know;

[snip]

It's illegal, full stop. Computer Misuse Act. Only exceptions are public
hotspots, most of which you have to pay for anyway, but there are free
ones. But using a private customer's connection is a definite no-no and as
the article Gordon Henderson refers to states, people have been arrested
for it.


If I was foolish enough to change my SSID to "Free public Internet access"
would I fulfil your criteria for being a public hotspot?

Lets take this one stage further. If I park outside a McDonalds, the network
I will find does not have an SSID of "Free public access, or anything like
it, I only assume I am allowed to use it because of something I might
have seen or read, but how do I know for sure I am not breaking the law?


--
Graham.

%Profound_observation%


  #5  
Old December 10th 08, 07:58 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
The Natural Philosopher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,000
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws

Graham. wrote:
"Ivor Jones" wrote in message
...
In ,
poachedeggs typed, for some strange,
unexplained reason:
: I havenít successfully googled any recent UK-based threads on this,
: but: What is the legal position and current dialogue about broadband
: piggybacking and community-based wireless internet?
:
: I ask because I was at a friendís last night and we stumbled upon the
: possibility of piggybacking because somebodyís security code was the
: same as their visible pcís name, and watched iPlayer for half an hour
: before thinking about the ethics and whatnot. Then, because weíre not
: gits, we googled what we could, but it was mostly American stuff, so
: weíre scarcely any wiser, bar our own opinions.
:
: If it is illegal, full stop, Iíd like to know;

[snip]

It's illegal, full stop. Computer Misuse Act. Only exceptions are public
hotspots, most of which you have to pay for anyway, but there are free
ones. But using a private customer's connection is a definite no-no and as
the article Gordon Henderson refers to states, people have been arrested
for it.


If I was foolish enough to change my SSID to "Free public Internet access"
would I fulfil your criteria for being a public hotspot?

Lets take this one stage further. If I park outside a McDonalds, the network
I will find does not have an SSID of "Free public access, or anything like
it, I only assume I am allowed to use it because of something I might
have seen or read, but how do I know for sure I am not breaking the law?


The usual common sense applies. Don't get caught. Have a mobile phone
plugged in 'no ossifer, I am using my 3GL account' and then let him
prove you weren't.

Frankly it seems an utter and complete waste of police and court time.
If you leave a network open, tough ****. If you close it and someone
hacks in, fair enough.

  #6  
Old December 10th 08, 08:58 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Ato_Zee
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 343
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws


It's illegal, full stop. Computer Misuse Act.


In built up areas, and student residential areas, there are
often several unsecured access points.
With home PC's it is possible to be unknowingly
using someone elses connection.
The test therefore becomes with knowledge and intent.
As the OP said

we stumbled upon the possibility of piggybacking


In such instances your PC doesn't flash up a warning
message to tell you that this is not your home access
point, the nature of buildings and propagation is
such that a path out of a nearby window may give a
much stronger signal than through several interior
walls, and your PC connects to the better signal.
  #7  
Old December 10th 08, 11:28 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Richard Tobin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 276
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws

In article ,
Ato_Zee wrote:

The test therefore becomes with knowledge and intent.
As the OP said


we stumbled upon the possibility of piggybacking


In such instances your PC doesn't flash up a warning
message to tell you that this is not your home access
point


Actually, the OP said

we stumbled upon the possibility of piggybacking because somebody's
security code was the same as their visible pc's name


which puts a rather different complexion on it. How do you find
that out without knowledge and intent?

-- Richard
--
Please remember to mention me / in tapes you leave behind.
  #10  
Old December 11th 08, 09:40 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Richard Tobin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 276
Default UK community wireless/ 'piggybacking' broadband laws

In article ,
Walter Newsgroup wrote:

One other thing that peaple should consider is ignorance is no defence
in law


Ignorance *of the law* is no defence. Ignorance that you're doing
the thing in question is often a complete defence.

-- Richard

--
Please remember to mention me / in tapes you leave behind.
 




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