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.Hack
Valiant Vicks Vizier
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-07-14, 16:42

We're on vacation and I brought my iBook with me. The last place we stayed at had an ethernet cord so that you may connect to the internet. The hotel we just checked into today had an ethernet port, but when trying to visit AppleNova, I got a message saying that there wasn't an internet connection. So I called the front desk to ask if the internet services they provided were unavailable. The lady at the front desk said she'd call me back with an answer. So after I hung up checked my AirPort card to see if there were any wireless networks around... Well I found 2, both of which were from my hotel. I called to ask if they actually had wireless internet available for free, and she said yes. My question I guess is, am I allowed to be using their wireless signal to connect to the internet even though they've got ethernet ports in the room. Do I need permission to be using their wireless services?

(sorry if this is a novice question, I've just never used AirPort before and have read that not all wireless networks are free for everyone to use... thanks!)
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DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-07-14, 16:52

If the network is there, you're free to use it as far as I'm concerned, especially if it doesn't require a login. However, since you are in a public place on an open wireless network, keep an eye on your machine, make sure your firewall is up and be diligent in checking if anyone is trying to do something not so nice to your computer.

Come waste your time with me
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thuh Freak
Finally broke the seal
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-07-14, 17:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by .Hack
I called to ask if they actually had wireless internet available for free, and she said yes. My question I guess is, am I allowed to be using their wireless signal to connect to the internet even though they've got ethernet ports in the room. Do I need permission to be using their wireless services?
looks like she already gave you permission.

on another note, as a matter of legality, its questionable when you haven't been given permission. personally, i fall on the side of "no passwords=no permission necessary". technically, connecting to a wireless router involves asking for permission on the protocol level. you're computer sees the router offering up a service (ie, you notice 2 wireless networks available). when u connect to one of them, the computer says, "hey, base station, am i allowed to connect here?" base station replies, "yea. here is the specific connection information you will need in order to take advantage of my services." although it all happens quite seemlessly (thanks to OSX, and to a lesser degree, Windows), the computer asks the router for permission, and when you successfully hit the internet, it means permission was granted. in australia, you need to ask a human or else face jail time (there was a recent court case on this); i dont know about other countries.
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Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, Europe
 
2005-07-14, 17:09

In practice you will be fine - just be careful of your own security over WiFi. Re actual legality, someone approached both a leading law firm and the DoJ a week or so ago about whether using a WiFi hotspot without explicit permission is legal under federal law and I believe the answer they got was ambiguous ie under US Federal Law it's not expressly a criminal offence. That's all legal nicety stuff, though, you're fine doing it in a hotel.
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BarracksSi
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington, DC
 
2005-07-14, 17:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by .Hack
I called to ask if they actually had wireless internet available for free, and she said yes.
If she said yes, then it's a "yes" -- you're allowed to use the wireless that they're providing.

In this case, think of the wired access as being there for those poor souls who don't get to use the wireless.

This spring, I went out & bought my Airport Express because my hotel for the week (which turned into a week & a half! grr) only had wired access and I wanted to share the connection with my roommate. Using that was even easier than the iBook alone.
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.Hack
Valiant Vicks Vizier
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-07-14, 17:49

About the firewall... I've only had this iBook for about 4 days, and I'm a complete novice when dealing w/ OSX. Could anyone explain to me exactly what steps to take to keep my iBook safe when connected to the net and how? Thanks
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DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-07-14, 18:16

Open up system preferences click "sharing", select the "firewall" tab and click "Start". Easy as that.
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scrouds
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Orlando, FL
 
2005-07-14, 20:28

and be aware that any passwords sent on regular web pages (starting with "http://" NOT "https://") will be open for anyone to read/steal.
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jsk173
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
 
2005-07-14, 23:57

Personally, I agree with the no pw = no permission required idea. I also believe that will remain the legal standard for public places and for when users are inside their own homes, workplaces, etc.

A man was arrested in Florida last week for using someone's WiFi without permission and the headline made me think this issue might be heading for a showdown, but then it turned out the guy had driven his truck into some other guy's driveway (or something like that) specifically to gain access to the homeowner's network.

If you're sitting in your apartment and latch onto a neighbor's unprotected WiFi, I can't imagine any legal problems would/could ever arise unless your actions went beyond web browsing to something more untoward as far as the host computer/network is concerned. Frankly, I don't know how anyone is supposed to know the difference with the way free WiFi is popping up all over the place, esp. in urban areas.
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Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, Europe
 
2005-07-23, 06:13

By way of update, it appears the UK has just decided using a hotspot without explicit permision breaches local telecoms law.

FJ

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000400051561/
http://management.silicon.com/govern...9150672,00.htm
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