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My neighbor is 'allergic' to my WiFi
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iBrowse
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Shire
 
2015-10-07, 20:31

Hey everybody, I haven't been here in a while, but I thought I'd get some feedback on this issue I've been dealing with. My neighbor is 'allergic' to Wifi. We live in the middle of a city, in a string of apartments, and there's 20+ networks I can see at any given time. Doing research on Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity I've read about how the symptoms people have differ from one person to another, his EHS triggers IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

First he asked us to not get WiFi, offering us these ethernet cables that go into a little box with an electric outlet plug, allowing us to use his internet connection through the power lines. This worked for my desktop, but my girlfriend's MacBook Air, iPad (both of which she uses for school), our phones, and smart tv only use Wifi. We gave him his gadgets back and explained we had to get WiFi. In an attempt to get him to leave me alone, and trying to be polite, I would unplug my router when not home or sleeping. This was fine for about 2 weeks. One day he confronted my girlfriend about the type of internet we have. Apparently he has nothing better to do but snoop around monitoring the networks around our neighborhood. He knew that we had Xfinity, he knew what days I was home using it, he knew what times I was unplugging it and plugging it back in, he knew the name of the network and some other various information about it, and (most importantly) that we are using the router/modem combo given to us by Comcast which broadcasts a guest network. This extra network is now the issue, blasting extra radiation right into his apartment, which he wants us to get rid of. I started out disabling it myself, but after finding that it would come back within 20 minutes I called Comcast. They laughed at the WiFI allergy, thinking I was making my story up, and disabled the network for me. I asked about it coming back on and they said that it would not and they had no way to reactivate it without my request.

About a week later I got home to a router that he dropped off which is supposably going to emit less radiation, which of course will mean his diarrhea would get better. It's old, and stupid, and came with a PC only minidisk to install it. I disabled the WiFi on the current modem/router and managed to get his router working with the Xfinity modem.

About a week later I get home to a plastic bag containing a small modem and a mesh sack (feels like nylon). He has told my girlfriend that we should use this modem and his router and not use the one Comcast gave us at all. The mesh sack needs to go over the modem and router whenever it's plugged in, and he still wants us to unplug both of them whenever they are not absolutely necessary. He also told us that he feels that our SmartTV is emitting some kind of signal similar to that of a smart meter and if we are not interested in getting a different, non-smart, TV he would like us to unplug it whenever it is not being used. She told him that it's plugged in behind a bookcase and I would probably not do anything of the sort.

I never hooked up his modem or used his mesh sack, I'm busy. I work full time and am working on starting my own business, I just don't need this nonsense in my life. This morning I couldn't get my TV to connect to the WiFi, spent over an hour working on it and it just would not connect. I unhooked his router and bagged up all his stuff to give back to him. I reset my modem/router, extra hotspot network and all, and everything is fine again. Within 45 minutes I got a text from him saying that if I'm not going to be using his gear I need to leave it outside his door. I didn't expect his to notice my router was back on so soon, but apparently he really does monitor the networks constantly like I assumed.

I've noticed before that right before he brought us some new gear or a complaint there would be an unknown computer and an Android phone repeatedly trying to connect to our network, but it doesn't seem as if he has ever gotten in. I am (for now) keeping a network scanning program open so I can see if it happens again. From the couple times I have talked to him I can tell that he knows what he's doing and is fairly educated in tech stuff pertaining to this. What are the chances he will be able to do something to block/disrupt my WiFi, and what could I do to catch/prevent it?

Also, anybody else ever had to deal with this?
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2015-10-07, 20:39

I would never hook up a stranger's equipment to my own network like that.

Frankly, EMH is bullshit. There's no evidence for it. I think you're at an impasse for indulging him for so long but I'd put my foot down. This guy sounds like a paranoid nutjob.
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iBrowse
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Shire
 
2015-10-07, 21:01

The only thing he gave me that I used, the router, I reset to factory settings before using.

I agree, I just figured that if I at least did something to meet him halfway he'd leave us alone. I am now thinking that if I was to do more of the stuff he wanted, like the TV thing, he'd back in a week asking me to leave my phone in my car overnight, or something similar, which is why I'm done with it. No more, just my WiFi and my equipment, no mesh sacks or magic potions.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2015-10-07, 21:57

Maybe I'm ignorant here, but can't you just set your router to not broadcast its ID? You'll have to manually type it in on each device to connect to it, but wouldn't that keep him from seeing it?

Not that you aren't within your rights to openly use wifi, but maybe it would help avoid a confrontation. Take away his "smoking gun" or whatever.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2015-10-07, 22:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Maybe I'm ignorant here, but can't you just set your router to not broadcast its ID? You'll have to manually type it in on each device to connect to it, but wouldn't that keep him from seeing it?

Not that you aren't within your rights to openly use wifi, but maybe it would help avoid a confrontation. Take away his "smoking gun" or whatever.
Hiding an SSID is literally just a bit that says "please don't display this" to clients, which clients are free to ignore. Even Apple's built-in wireless diagnostic utility will show you "hidden" networks within range.
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iBrowse
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Shire
 
2015-10-07, 23:03

I considered hiding it, but with as much as he keeps track of the networks around him I know whatever software he uses will still see it. I'd rather tell him that it's his problem, not mine, and that I don't care than lie to him and have him know I'm lying.
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2015-10-08, 00:50

He needs to move to the country. Or, more particularly, to stop bothering you. Tell him to go fuck himself.

Seriously, it's his problem. RF is literally Everywhere, especially in a city. He should go get his ass to the wilderness.
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Ebby
Subdued and Medicated
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Over Yander
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2015-10-08, 01:06

Tell him to line his walls with chickenwire. He can live inside a Faraday cage all he wants. If it were serious, he would already.

Oh, and yeah there is a way to jam your network. Very illegal and pumps out more EM radiation then any of your stuff. Doubt he'll do that.

You could always ask him if 2.4ghz and 5ghz feel different and pick the better.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
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Dutch Pear
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
 
2015-10-08, 04:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebby View Post
Tell him to line his walls with chickenwire. He can live inside a Faraday cage all he wants.
Seconded, if he chooses to live in a city apartment and is bothered by "influences" of normal modern living habits of his neighbors (be it sound, wifi radiation or cooking smells) it is up to him to either move to a more isolated living environment or (if not able or willing) to shield himself from said influences.

As you are doing nothing exceeding normal, average living habits (you are not drumming with your rock band buddies at 2AM nor are you operating an illegal radio station emitter) it is not up to you to change any of your habits or equipment.

Constructing his own faraday cage is a scientifically proven way (unlike, say his "radiation allergy") to shield himself from electromagnetic radiation. Alternatively, you could provide him with a nice tinfoil dress for his birthday
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2015-10-08, 07:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
Frankly, EMH is bullshit. There's no evidence for it. I think you're at an impasse for indulging him for so long but I'd put my foot down. This guy sounds like a paranoid nutjob.
^^^

His brain is telling him he has a malady in both cases. IBS is triggered purely by a neurological response. I bet he has fibromyalgia too.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2015-10-08, 07:07

There's a pretty good chance this guy has a serious mental disorder, or is a con artist, either way I wouldn't want to have much to do with him. If the later, who knows how much of your personal information he's already stolen, I might want hard lines for everything but the laptop just to be on the safe side. If the former, who know's how he'll react/escalate as you (rightly) assert yourself.

Personally, I'd just lie to him, and maybe refer him to the local mental health facility.

.........................................
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2015-10-08, 07:17

Haven't seen a crazy nut job post on here in a while. I like it! :-)

That guy seems like a total whack job. I'd never even take anything he gave me inside of my house, let alone plug it in. Give everything back to him in a nice little box and tell him to shove it.

I'm sure there is an apartment manager or landlord you can speak to about him harassing you, because that's exactly what this is. He can't dictate what other people do in the privacy of their own homes.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2015-10-08, 09:37

Mental patient.

"Allergic to wifi"? STFU.

This is what decades of shaky, trumped-up "syndromes", conditions, disorders, etc. has brought about (and being a conspiracy type of nutbar, aided by the Internet). Fruit loops self-diagnosing themselves with the disease du jour (and making everyone around them crazy and miserable in the process).

Give him a big family-size roll of Reynolds tinfoil (and an autographed Art Bell 8x10?) as a peace offering (and then tell him to leave you the hell alone or you'll call in the black helicopters and shadow men).

Also...it's Portland. Hello?!

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2015-10-08 at 14:05.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2015-10-08, 10:30

My greatest worry would be that he is trying to set you up to gain access where he shouldn't have any. It could be that he is a child-porn addict and wants a place to hide his porn server such that the cops would track it to you, whence he could deny everything while everyone laughs at your pitiful excuse. "I mean, seriously, the guy is claiming WiFi gives me the pudding poops! Can you believe that child abusing prick?"

No way on this planet I would ever cooperate with him. I smell a big, fat rat!

Find a buddy (or one of these guys) to help you lock down your network good and tight! Also, have a solid look through all your digital bits and make sure nothing is there that shouldn't be. Someone who knows that much about tracking WiFi (and actually takes the time to do it) likely knows how to hack in and manipulate. Place this guy at the top of your "don't trust him for nothin'" list and keep him there. Also, rename your network. Call it something distracting like "Office WiFi" or "Chevron Wireless" or "Granny's Gateway".

Finally, contact the Fraud Prevention arm of your local police department and ask them about your city's laws regarding network tracking and interference. He may not be doing anything illegal, but it wouldn't hurt to have something on file in case he is. Protect yourself!

I forget where or when it happened, but I recall a story from maybe five years ago where a guy in (Michigan?) was arrested for hosting a child-porn server. Naturally, he denied everything, even though his PC was loaded with the stuff. He wasn't cleared for months until the investigation turned up the fact that someone had hacked into his computer and installed a web server and the nasty stuff. He was legally vindicated, but his reputation was shot! Moral of the story: Don't be that guy!

At the other end of the spectrum, he might actually have a genuine problem (if only psychological) and is trying to find a peaceful solution. In that case, there are four options:

1) You use his stuff and suffer with crappy internet performance
2) You move out and let the next tenant deal with him
3) He learns to deal with an issue which, in the city, will never go away
4) He moves to the country

I vote for number 3. Sorry, but this is the 21st century. In the city, WiFi is everywhere! The only genuinely viable option is for him to move to a place where his nearest neighbor is at least a hundred yards away, and where the looming, ominous mountains prevent any wireless signal (including TV and radio) from reaching his bowel.

If number 3 is out of the question, then pick number 2. Honestly, you just don't want neighbors like that, and he isn't going anywhere.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)

Last edited by kscherer : 2015-10-08 at 11:37.
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2015-10-08, 12:52

Tell him to go fuck himself.
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iBrowse
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Shire
 
2015-10-08, 13:33

I'm happy to see that you are all on the same page as me. The only reason I humored him at all was because my girlfriend is nice and incredibly sympathetic. Thankfully she has changed her mind on the situation by now.

As far as moving goes we just moved in, and there is not really many places available right now. With the amount of people that have moved to Portland right now the housing market is shit. It took us two months to find an apartment and the rent is double what it would have been 4 or 5 years ago. So I'm certainly not going anywhere. I did realize the other day that many of the people around us moved in within a month of when we did, so I wonder how many people were chased out by dealing with this guy. Did his obsession with this hit a peak this summer, causing my apartment and a couple around me to vacate at the same time

When it started to get worse my girlfriend warned him that I probably wouldn't be very nice about it, so he hides from me and only comes out when she's around and I'm not. Early on I told her to offer him our tinfoil and nothing else.

I am fairly certain he's insane rather than it being any kind of legal thing or him being up to anything bad. He also doesn't work because he gets disability (PTSD, I can't imagine what for) so he has plenty of time to sit around being scared, monitoring networks, and reading Infowars. I'm more concerned about him trying to destroy our internet connection or stabbing me in the laundry room than I am him hacking our wifi for other purposes.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2015-10-08, 14:45

Your order of events should look like this:

1) Your girlfriend should approach him politely (with you present) and ask him not to broach the subject with her any longer
2) Politely inform him that there is nothing more you can do to accommodate him. WiFi is not illegal
3) If he refuses to drop the matter, tell him that your next course of action is to elevate the matter to the proper authorities, and that you are confident you aren't doing anything illegal
4) At that point, do not engage him any longer. You've done all you can.
5) If he continues to harass your girlfriend, she should call the police

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)

Last edited by kscherer : 2015-10-08 at 18:46. Reason: slight goof
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2015-10-08, 15:55

As a prior landlord...

Get the landlord involved. Seriously. Tell them (in writing, real snail mail, registered mail only) that this guy is harassing you, that you bent over backwards to accommodate his imaginary malady, but that now he is being creepy, and you're going to start calling the police, to start proceedings on getting a restraining order.

Don't ask the landlord to intervene, or fix it, just let them know what your plan is. Landlords *do not* want the police coming to their properties, it's a black mark on them with the city. The landlord will probably offer to talk to him. If not, then you let them know. The registered mail serves as proof of delivery.

If *he* gets the landlord involved, god only knows what he'll tell them. Be the first to broach the subject with them. You're doing absolutely nothing wrong, he's being disruptive to other tenants. He is the problem.

The landlord may help him choose to live elsewhere.

Also, never, EVER use someone else's equipment. Period. That's just begging for the SWAT coming through your door.

Finally, if you suspect he is blocking or interrupting your WiFi, contact the FCC. That's felony level fucking up, right there.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2015-10-08, 18:45

… and all that crap Kick just said. Be proactive. You want this crap on record with someone, somewhere.

Remember, when there is a traffic accident, the cops almost always believe the first person they talk to. Be the first! Especially when the guy's excuse is "it makes me poop."

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2015-10-08, 20:10

Personally I would have fun with it and add more Access Points. I think I would name the access point SSIDs things like "poopmore", "colon cleanse", "runnypoopshooter"....

As others have said though, don't humor him anymore. I wouldn't get in his face about stuff, just tell him you aren't adjusting your life for him anymore. He needs to move or make his place a faraday cage. That is his problem, not yours.

Also, get the landlord into this. This is where they have to earn their money in handling issues like this. It isn't your problem as long as you continue to not break any laws or rules of the apartment yourself.

The reality is that if you don't want him in your wifi network then you will have to disable wifi. Every current implementation out there is crackable. Wired is the only way to truly keep him out. You can limit access to your known MAC addresses, but then he just clones one of your MAC addresses and is on still.

Personally I wouldn't worry about it. Tell him one last time. Tell the landlord and be done with it. If the guy comes back to you, tell him to talk to the landlord and end the discussion. Don't bother with the cops, it'll only waste your time and theirs. They won't do anything until something major has happened and they need to. They have bigger fish to fry.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2015-10-08, 20:55

This is an amazing thread.

You need no more advice.

Just wow.


...
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Ebby
Subdued and Medicated
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Over Yander
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2015-10-08, 22:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Your order of events should look like this:

1) Your girlfriend should approach him politely (with you present) and ask him not to broach the subject with her any longer
2) Politely inform him that there is nothing more you can do to accommodate him. WiFi is not illegal
3) If he refuses to drop the matter, tell him that your next course of action is to elevate the matter to the proper authorities, and that you are confident you aren't doing anything illegal
4) At that point, do not engage him any longer. You've done all you can.
5) If he continues to harass your girlfriend, she should call the police
6) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1PNOYNNMvQ&t=31
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Dr. Bobsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2015-10-10, 18:17

Nah. You're going about this all wrong.

You're trying to be too competent with him. Set up all of the routers, on all of the time. Explain that you thought the devices he left you would suck up the bad wifi, and that you are pretty sure you saw a website where that was the case and you will not be turning them off because you are really concerned for his health, and he is not thinking straight.

More networks, not fewer is the key.
  quote
Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2015-10-10, 19:08


That'll do it.

Although I would name each network something like "We're watching you."
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2015-10-11, 00:31

Set one of them to perform a maximum bandwidth test on infinite-repeate mode.
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2015-10-12, 09:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Bobsky View Post
Nah. You're going about this all wrong.

You're trying to be too competent with him. Set up all of the routers, on all of the time. Explain that you thought the devices he left you would suck up the bad wifi, and that you are pretty sure you saw a website where that was the case and you will not be turning them off because you are really concerned for his health, and he is not thinking straight.

More networks, not fewer is the key.
I like this. Fight crazy with crazy. Try to beat him at his own game. Make sure to look up some conspiracy theories and some key tinfoil hat terminology. Maybe drop an "Illuminati reptilian" in there. Suggest foods high in antioxidants, which counteract the "oxidizing effects of electrical infetterence in the air." Maybe give him a bottle of pomegranate juice or something. Better yet, Russell Wilson's Recovery Water, which can reverse the effects of a concussion by strengthening the blood-brain barrier.
  quote
Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2015-10-12, 13:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
I like this. Fight crazy with crazy. Try to beat him at his own game. Make sure to look up some conspiracy theories and some key tinfoil hat terminology. Maybe drop an "Illuminati reptilian" in there. Suggest foods high in antioxidants, which counteract the "oxidizing effects of electrical infetterence in the air." Maybe give him a bottle of pomegranate juice or something. Better yet, Russell Wilson's Recovery Water, which can reverse the effects of a concussion by strengthening the blood-brain barrier.
Next time you and your girlfriend are on the elevator with him, start talking in tongues with hushed voices.
  quote
alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2015-10-12, 14:36

Just going to chime in here to say this.

I generally do NOT advise fighting crazy with crazy. Sane people imagine sane outcomes to this kind of thing.

Crazy people however are just that, they're crazy. They're unpredictable, and you may end up traveling down a road you'd rather didn't even know existed.

I'd say keep it straight forward, and easy to explain if the police have to get involved down the line.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2015-10-12, 16:27

In all seriousness, what alcimedes said. Don't ACTUALLY act crazy to him. Just try to ignore him as much as possible and don't do what he asks. Don't hook up his bogus network equipment. Give back whatever he gave you and tell him not to bother you anymore.

It's funny to imagine these scenarios but in real life it's not really that funny.
  quote
Dr. Bobsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2015-10-13, 06:42

I think it should be clear that I was joking.

There is no solution to this other than giving his property back, cutting off communication (insist that all further interactions go through landlord), and when the time comes informing your landlord that he is harassing you. You can also ask your girlfriend to inform him that she is not responsible for maintaining the network, and that all further interactions must go through the landlord.

As long as you do not compromise this approach, his craziness will be forced on the landlord and he will practically never know if the landlord informs you of his requests...
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