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Re: AW: Re: Wireless access (off topic)


Robert wrote:
The fact is, these people are running public access points. If they
want to
privatize them, they should do so. I run a wireless AP (with rooftop
at my farm, and I intend it to be public and free, which it is. I bear
cost entirely (not that there is any cost, apart from the equipment).
computers in my neighborhood use it. Are you asserting that it is
illegal for
them to use my AP? Am I supposed to post a public declaration of its
existence, like Starbucks, to make it legal, much less "moral"? I doubt
This is not an exceptional case; this is simply what public access
points are:

So, it's not wrong if a) the victim doesn't know what he's exposing
himself to and/or b) the victim doesn't care?

A public LAN is not quite like a public park. True, anyone can go there,
but that doesn't mean anyone can do whatever he likes there. Many firms
have web servers and file servers open to the public (amazon.com, for
example). They are public in the sense that anyone can go there--to
order books, but not for purposes other than what amazon authorizes,
such as piggybacking to do other business not related to what amazon is
offering to the public.

Most private people who 'offer' public access to their LANs are probably
doing so inadvertently, Robert excepted; if they knew what they were
opening themselves up to, they wouldn't. That's why experts should
inform people what the risks are (Peter Cassidy sent a very relevant
link about this). Lack of adequate precautions is not tacit consent.
Just because you haven't posted a 'no trespassing' sign on your front
gate, that is not and should not be tantamount to declaring your front
yard a public park.

Also, the fact that some hackers have cracked some WEP keys does not
mean that it is pointless to use any security. It is still sensible to
employ encryption and MAC-address filters on WLAN access points, and to
upgrade to the next security level as soon as it becomes available.
There are 56-bit encrypted WEP keys and rotating 128-bit keys. Rotating
128-bit keys offer better protection than nothing at all.