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Re: [inbox] Re: Supporters urge halt to, hacker's, extradition to US
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 23:42:10 -0400

On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 23:23:34 EDT, Eliah Kagan said:
Has anyone ever been prosecuted for using unsecured wireless for legal purposes?

Not to my knowledge - mostly because all the white hats are too damned busy
dealing with bigger issues.  I doubt that we, as a society, can ever get to
the point where this one will be on prosecutor's radar. I certainly could
envision a *civil* suit for somebody pirating an unsecured WAP - but unless
the plaintiff has a truly viable and novel reason to claim huge monetary
damages, it would be cheaper and more productive to just secure the WAP.

Wouldn't that contradict FCC rules governing use of wireless (in the
general sense of wireless), where a wireless system must accept
interference?

No, because the interference regs have a very specific meaning - the wireless
system isn't allowed to freak out and misbehave just because somebody uses a
device in some *other* spectrum range.  It's explicitely *allowed* to not work if
something else stomps on its range (so if two WAP's overlap in channel and
coverage, there's no requirement that *either* one work properly).

If your device *generates* interference, and it causes a problem for a device
operating in a licenced spectrum range, it's your problem to cut the crap out.
(So if your vacuum cleaner generates interference on your neighbor's TV, it's
your problem).  If it's in an unlicensed range (as almost all consumer-class
electronics are - cordless phones, WAPs, etc), it's basically up to the two
parties involved to work it out between themselves somehow.

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