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Interesting LBYM Thought
Old 01-14-2011, 09:14 AM   #1
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Interesting LBYM Thought

Why didn't I think of this?

Won’t You Be My Wireless Neighbor?

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Suddenly disconnected, I realized how lucky I’d been all those years, having that tremendous body of information and awesome communication technology at my fingertips, all basically free. It may have been unfair, but I don’t believe I was stealing: the owners’ leaving their networks password-free was essentially a gift, an ethereal gesture of kindness. Sometimes I’d imagine my anonymous benefactors, those people behind Netgear 1 or belkin54g, thinking, “Well, I have Internet to spare.”

And, really, who doesn’t? Home wireless networks can usually support five or more computers, yet there are only about 1.4 computers per American household.
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Why couldn’t I instead shell out a nominal fee — to someone, anyone — to partake of the riches that were all around me in abundance?

Paying for Internet access, after all, isn’t like paying for cable TV, where cable providers pay cable networks in turn. My establishing a new network instead of sharing with neighbors does nothing to benefit the Web sites whose content benefits me and whose value to advertisers is based on views and visits.

Nor is it like paying for phone service, where the physical object that makes and receives calls is inseparable from your unique number. My e-mail address is utterly portable: it’s not bound to an I.P. address or one computer — and, like the vast majority of the Internet’s services and information, it’s free.

Which is part of why getting online free felt so natural.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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Because without a locked down network, anyone could read your documents and access data... this guy's neighbors were just clueless.

But the idea of sharing with people you know and trust - that's a different story. Or - duh - free internet.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:27 AM   #3
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Look for the ISP's to address this potential revenue-sucking loophole security issue soon.

Remember when Ma Bell used to charge you for every phone in the house, even though you only had one outgoing line?
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by thinker25 View Post
Because without a locked down network, anyone could read your documents and access data... this guy's neighbors were just clueless.
I am not so sure about that. Brenda and I share the same network and I can't (or, at least, don't know how) to access her e-mail. (No. I have never tried.) I do know that you have to "set" computers and/or HD/Directories to "Share" in order to access from another computer.

Yeah, I know it intuitively seems to be more insecure than your own (and very expensive) personal network but I sometimes wonder it they (your own) are that immune to someone who really wants to hack in.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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I'm still a little unclear on who gets the search warrant for child pornography or pirated media or other illicit activity-- the router owner or the users?
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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I'm still a little unclear on who gets the search warrant for child pornography or pirated media or other illicit activity-- the router owner or the users?
That has been an issue for about the last two decades:

"Who was at the keyboard?"

Normally answered by good old-fashioned gumshoe police work. Admittedly sometimes it is never answered. I had a couple of cases like that.

But that has happened - a neighbor partaking of an unsecured network does things he/she oughtn't have and the one who is paying for the connection gets the search warrant served.

It is at the very least inconvenient, embarrassing, and potentially expensive for attorney's fees. But the innocent party is ultimately exonerated, at least in all the cases I've heard about. But depending on how backed-up the examiners are it can take from a month to a year to find out.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:58 AM   #7
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I'm still a little unclear on who gets the search warrant for child pornography or pirated media or other illicit activity-- the router owner or the users?
I would think the router IP would get targeted first, then they would check the pc in question (each pc has a unique id), then if yours doesn't match, they'll check the neighbors.

EDIT: Also could be someone that knows there's an open connection and is just using it for a quick connection. Isn't that why the itouch was developed?
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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If you're only using WEP to protect your wireless network then that can easily be hacked. As far as I know, WPA and WPA2 have yet to be broken though.

Though I don't worry too much about my neighbor who has yet to learn how to program his VCR figuring out how to actually access anything on my network.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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If you're only using WEP to protect your wireless network then that can easily be hacked. As far as I know, WPA and WPA2 have yet to be broken though.

Though I don't worry too much about my neighbor who has yet to learn how to program his VCR figuring out how to actually access anything on my network.
There are people I personally know that formally had open connections, then added WPA2...but when they use a password off the "100 passwords not to use", you don't need to be a hacker!
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:22 AM   #10
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I am sure there are many other ways this type of frugality could be extended. If your neighbor has garbage service, why not cancel your own and then just sneak the bags over into their containers on collection day? Or if they pay a set rate for water, why not water your grass with their spigot when they are away at work. Lots of very frugal stuff you can do besides snagging bandwidth.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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My DH is a network guy and he was setting up some wireless at his company office, which is in a strip mall. He found an open, unprotected network available to tap into that was obviously the neighboring tenant.
He hurriedly went next door to tell them as soon as he realized who it was, from poking around for about 5 minutes--the FBI! Yikes!

Now there's someone you really don't want to *borrow* free wireless from, that's for sure!
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:40 AM   #12
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We encourage our neighbors to use our trash and yard debris cans while we are gone - or if we have room and are home. Might need their good will some day. Back in the BI (before Iphone) days if we were out traveling and needed some internet knowledge - looking up info on a house for sale without poking a real estate agent f'rinstance - She would boot up the laptop, plug the 110v adapter into the cigarette lighter, and we would slowly cruise the neighborhood hunting an unsecured network. Wardriving she called it. Damned inconvenient I called it, as people eyeballed us starting and stopping down the street and following cars got frustrated by our erratic perambulations. Iphone has put an end to that.

I'm with the freegans. Internet for all!
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:43 AM   #13
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I am sure there are many other ways this type of frugality could be extended. If your neighbor has garbage service, why not cancel your own and then just sneak the bags over into their containers on collection day? Or if they pay a set rate for water, why not water your grass with their spigot when they are away at work. Lots of very frugal stuff you can do besides snagging bandwidth.
Did you come over here from fatwallet.com?
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:52 AM   #14
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...

But that has happened - a neighbor partaking of an unsecured network does things he/she oughtn't have and the one who is paying for the connection gets the search warrant served.

It is at the very least inconvenient, embarrassing, and potentially expensive for attorney's fees. But the innocent party is ultimately exonerated, at least in all the cases I've heard about. But depending on how backed-up the examiners are it can take from a month to a year to find out.
Thanks for that info Walt34. In the process of setting up the iPad for my MIL, I asked my SIL if she had any trouble getting the iPad to access the wireless router in her (SIL's) house. My jaw dropped when she said - "We don't have a password". I tried to impress on her that it's a really bad idea, but didn't have anything solid to share. I'll pass this along.

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Old 01-14-2011, 06:53 PM   #15
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I keep my network open intentionally so that if anybody needs to use it, they can, and have yet to have a problem. This of course doesn't mean one couldn't occur, but I don't consider the risk very high, personally.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:12 PM   #16
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I keep my network open intentionally so that if anybody needs to use it, they can, and have yet to have a problem. This of course doesn't mean one couldn't occur, but I don't consider the risk very high, personally.
If you do any financial activity online, you're being extremely foolish. You might not have any problems, but you might not have any problems if you leave your house unlocked and your checkbook on the kitchen table too. Your choice.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #17
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I wouldn't say it is a defacto foolish decision to leave a wireless network open.

Here's an article on the topic of the pros and cons of leaving a wireless network open. Along with 100+ highly-technical comments on the subject.

It's by Bruce Schneier, a well-respected computer security expert. He leaves his own home wireless network open.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #18
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I wouldn't say it is a defacto foolish decision to leave a wireless network open.

Here's an article on the topic of the pros and cons of leaving a wireless network open. Along with 100+ highly-technical comments on the subject.

It's by Bruce Schneier, a well-respected computer security expert. He leaves his own home wireless network open.
And he's welcome to, makes no difference to me.

For the average person, who might not be so good at detecting unauthorized use, what's so hard about adding a password to avoid the risk? If you want to share, share the password. My neighbor has a key to my house. But I don't leave a key out for just anyone, or my doors unlocked.

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Old 01-14-2011, 10:42 PM   #19
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I am not so sure about that. Brenda and I share the same network and I can't (or, at least, don't know how) to access her e-mail. (No. I have never tried.) I do know that you have to "set" computers and/or HD/Directories to "Share" in order to access from another computer.

Yeah, I know it intuitively seems to be more insecure than your own (and very expensive) personal network but I sometimes wonder it they (your own) are that immune to someone who really wants to hack in.
That's what a lot of people are under the impression.
However, it is often very easy to get onto someone's computer without hacking at all, or very, very little.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:27 PM   #20
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I am sure there are many other ways this type of frugality could be extended. If your neighbor has garbage service, why not cancel your own and then just sneak the bags over into their containers on collection day? Or if they pay a set rate for water, why not water your grass with their spigot when they are away at work. Lots of very frugal stuff you can do besides snagging bandwidth.
Hawaii explicitly does not charge for trash service (except as part of general tax revenue) in order to encourage everyone to use the trash service instead of roadside dumping. We even have "free" monthly curbside bulk pickup and free HAZMAT/e-waste dropoff days.

But some scumbags still don't bother to use the system, or maybe they get a cheap thrill out of hauling their own trash to some isolated roadside.

When we first flipped the breaker on our photovoltaic array, our net-metering agreement had only been at HECO for a couple weeks. (It took 18 months for me to get a signed copy back from them.) About a week later, a different department of HECO sent out an inspector to determine why our consumption had dropped so dramatically. In their experience, it meant we were stealing power. It felt pretty bizarre explaining photovoltaics to a HECO employee.

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I wouldn't say it is a defacto foolish decision to leave a wireless network open.
It's by Bruce Schneier, a well-respected computer security expert. He leaves his own home wireless network open.
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And yes, if someone did commit a crime using my network the police might visit, but what better defense is there than the fact that I have an open wireless network? If I enabled wireless security on my network and someone hacked it, I would have a far harder time proving my innocence.
Another law-abiding citizen who has yet to experience a search warrant, an indictment, or the daily soul-crushing realities of the justice system...
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