Wi-Fi Theft

Two people have been cautioned for using people’s wi-fi broadband internet connections without permission.

Neighbours in Redditch, Worcestershire, contacted police on Saturday after seeing a man inside a car using a laptop while parked outside a house.

He was arrested and cautioned. A woman was arrested in similar circumstances in the town earlier this month.

From:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hereford/worcs/…

Official Wi-Fi LogoThere are those who would argue that leaving your broadband connection open for others to share is harmless. Providing you have locked down access to machines on your internal network, what is wrong with giving away bandwidth that you are not using?

Some argue that drive-by users who enter illegal porn sites, or send massive amounts of spam would be hard to trace and that the owner of the network would held liable for any actions by these free loaders.

Wi-Fi Planet – Securing your Wi-Fi Connection

intelligentedu – 5 Simple Steps to Securing your Wi-Fi Network

Linux.com – Secure your Wi-Fi Traffic Using FOSS Utilities


From Wikipedia – Wi-Fi Social Concerns

Measures to deter unauthorized users include suppressing the AP’s service set identifier (SSID) broadcast, allowing only computers with known MAC addresses to join the network, and various encryption standards. Access points and computers using no encryption are vulnerable to eavesdropping by an attacker armed with packet sniffer software. If the eavesdropper has the ability to change his MAC address then he can potentially join the network by spoofing an authorised address.

WEP encryption can protect against casual snooping but may also produce a misguided sense of security since freely available tools such as AirSnort can quickly recover WEP encryption keys. Once it has seen 5-10 million encrypted packets, AirSnort will determine the encryption password in under a second.[10] The newer Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and IEEE 802.11i (WPA2) encryption standards do not have the serious weaknesses of WEP encryption, but require strong passphrases for full security.

Recreational exploration of other people’s access points has become known as wardriving, and the leaving of graffiti describing available services as warchalking. These activities may be illegal in certain jurisdictions, but existing legislation and case-law is often unclear.

However, it is also common for people to unintentionally use others’ Wi-Fi networks without explicit authorization. Operating systems such as Windows XP SP2 and Mac OS X automatically connect to an available wireless network, depending on the network configuration. A user who happens to start up a laptop in the vicinity of an access point may find the computer has joined the network without any visible indication. Moreover, a user intending to join one network may instead end up on another one if the latter’s signal is stronger. In combination with automatic discovery of other network resources (see DHCP and Zeroconf) this could possibly lead wireless users to send sensitive data to the wrong destination, as described by Chris Meadows in the February 2004 RISKS Digest. [3]

In Singapore, using another person’s Wi-Fi network is illegal under the Computer Misuse Act. A 17 year old has been arrested for simply tapping into his neighbor’s wireless Internet connection and faces up to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine.[11]

Blogging Code of Conduct

There has been a lot of talk recently about the possible need for a “Blogging Code of Conduct” and there have been a number of events in the media recently highlighting bad behaviour by some people towards others.  (The recent incidents with Kathy Sierra  come to mind).

I was quoted in a BBC article a few days ago and a San Francisco Chronicle article on Thursday calling for a “Blogger’s Code of Conduct” in response to the firestorm that has arisen as a result of Kathy Sierra’s revelation that she’s been targeted by a series of increasingly violent and disturbing anonymous comments on her blog and on a series of weblogs that appeared to have been created for the purpose of celebrating cyber-bullying.

Tim O’Reilly – First Discussion on Blogging Code of Conduct

We’ve drafted a code of conduct that will eventually be posted on bloggingcode.org, and created a badge that sites can display if they want to link to that code of conduct.

Draft Blogging Code of Conduct

And the latest story on the BBC about a blog being taken down…

A British diplomat’s blog offering his thoughts on Thailand has been withdrawn after insults and accusations were posted on it by members of the public.


I can’t quite see the need for such a “code of conduct” and defiantly not for a badge.
(Though I would respect other peoples use of it if they so choose).
But there is nothing in there that isn’t common sense already.
I mean, “Hey!, it’s my blog”. I can post what I like, about who I like, when I like.
I don’t force anyone to read it.
But it’s not like I am going to say anything that is likely to upset someone because it’s not in my nature.
And I don’t allow anonymous comments on my blog and that is for spam reasons, not to prevent any old Tom, DIck or Harry from posting on my blog.
I also moderate all of my comments. If someone posts something I don’t agree with, then I remove it, (in fact I just plain delete it).  And that has nothing to do with restricting free speech. I had one guy object before and I just pointed out to him that it was my blog, my website, and I could do what I bloody well liked with it. I told him that I was not stopping him from commenting on my blog, I was just not letting him do it on my own blog using my own resources. I don’t have a problem with him making what ever comment he likes on his own blog.

If someone does have a blog and they post material that’s is illegal, then don’t go back there.
Same goes for someone who insists on making personal attacks of any kind.
They can talk to themselves and post what they want, they’ll soon get bored.

IMHO, it is nothing more application of common sense, and anyone who objects to my methods on my blogs, obviously doesn’t have an ounce of common sense anyway…

As to the incident with Kathy Sierra, that just beggars belief…

I’ve reproduced the draft code of conduct below.

Continue reading “Blogging Code of Conduct”