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can i get in trouble for using my neighbors wireless acess?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by 97guns, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. 97guns


    Jan 9, 2005
    find me
    my brother came over today with his laptop and discovered someone nearby has a wi-fi signal and tapped in on it. can i get in trouble by using his access or is it like going to starbucks? i was thinking about buying a card for my laptop. tia
  2. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

    Oct 23, 2001
    HotLanta, GA
    Well that all depends what you are going to do. If all you are going to do is surf the web and get email then it shouldn't be a problem.

    If you are going to play games and such and suck all thier bandwidth then there might be a problem when they discover thier internet service has come to a crawl.

    I don't think there is any law you are breaking unless you are doing
    something illegal.

  3. 97guns


    Jan 9, 2005
    find me
    thanks, it'll be just for surfing . no kiddie porn. if he wanted to do so could he detect me using his service and identify me?
  4. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    Nothing illegal unless you start trying to hack into his computer. My connection can only be sniffed out by a determined person. My SSID is not broadcast, and my laptop only logs in enough to establish the connection so unless they sniff my laptop during the logon process they should not know I am out here. Even if they find my connection they need to access the user name and password to log onto the router. I have 5 wireless accounts around me that I know of. 3 are open, 2 are locked and the best signal I have gotten from any of them is 24%, the usual if at all is less than 10%.
  5. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    He can identify your MAC address but will be unable to ID your computer unless your security is so low that he can log into your hardrive.
  6. jptsr1


    Dec 1, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I guess its questionable weather its illegal or not but id equate it to tapping your neighbors cable or using his water. Robbing an individual of bandwidth is not cool. Hitting up a corporation for a stray connection is cool though LOL. But seriously, if someone was tapping me regularly they better not make the mistake of either staying connected too long or while they weren’t monitoring there computer because id definitely nuke them.

  7. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    It doesn’t matter if you access his computer or not, you are still hacking into his network and that is illegal.
  8. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    You can use my bandwidth all you want. You just have to find it first and get through the security second!!

    The MAC address security makes it easy because only 2 computers have the authorized MAC addresses and they are both mine.
  9. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    Just checked my wireless card site survey, I have two sites open to me right now beside my locked system. One uses an SSID of wireless, the other uses default. This tells you how serious some people are about their computer security. The 2 locked systems, neither of which is on right now, both use unique SSID names even if they have not disabled SSID broadcasting.
  10. In America it is illegal.It's stealing a service.In Canada just about anything goes but only 30 million people in all of Canada.In Baltimore,Maryland there is free wireless service but you must register to use it and be a registered user so they know who you are.
  11. SamBuca


    Aug 9, 2002
    Carlisle, PA
    No one is "hacking" into anything ;Q

    If you would go over and use your neighbors gas grille sitting out back without asking him, then go ahead and use his wifi network.
  12. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

    Sep 19, 2003
    East Central Indiana
    No, you aren't "hacking", but the analogy of using your neighbor's water or cable is true. Simply because his spigot is outside doesn't give you the right to hook a hose to it. Just because my cable access point is outside, and I have cable internet, doesn't give my neighbor the right to hook onto my cable and use my internet.

    It's true that anything broadcast is public domain and can be monitored. That's why you don't give sensitive information over a cordless phone. But monitoring a broadcast and hijacking it are two different things.
  13. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    If your neighbour really wanted to get picky...

    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 121 > § 2701 Prev | Next

    § 2701. Unlawful access to stored communications

    Release date: 2004-08-06

    (a) Offense.— Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section whoever—
    (1) intentionally accesses without authorization a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided; or
    (2) intentionally exceeds an authorization to access that facility;
    and thereby obtains, alters, or prevents authorized access to a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage in such system shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
    (b) Punishment.— The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) of this section is—
    (1) if the offense is committed for purposes of commercial advantage, malicious destruction or damage, or private commercial gain, or in furtherance of any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or any State—
    (A) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, in the case of a first offense under this subparagraph; and
    (B) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, for any subsequent offense under this subparagraph; and
    (2) in any other case—
    (A) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or both, in the case of a first offense under this paragraph; and
    (B) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, in the case of an offense under this subparagraph that occurs after a conviction of another offense under this section.
    (c) Exceptions.— Subsection (a) of this section does not apply with respect to conduct authorized—
    (1) by the person or entity providing a wire or electronic communications service;
    (2) by a user of that service with respect to a communication of or intended for that user; or
    (3) in section 2703, 2704 or 2518 of this title.

    Is anyone going to go this far for unauthorized use of network resources? Probably not, but it is still a violation of the US Code.

    Ask your neighbour. Get permission, then you do not have to worry about it.

  14. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    Sorry guys but deliberate or not ... gaining access to a computer or network is hacking and it is illegal ... as Washington, DC said it’s also theft of service.
  15. It is illegal to receive unauthorized cellphone,satelite TV and wireless internet in America.In Canada the view is more like anything broadcast is public domain.That's why cellphone acanners and satelite descramblers are legal in Canada.I remember when the internet first went public/commercial,in Holland hacking into businesses/govts used to be legal.After a lot of international corp spying in Holland they later outlawed it there too.You wireless connection is not just receiving but is also transmitting signals but it wouldn't matter.
  16. mcole


    Jan 20, 2001
    it is theft of service. mcole
  17. SamBuca


    Aug 9, 2002
    Carlisle, PA
    You sound like an ignorant, liberal, media sheeple when you say that.

    HACKING is changing computer code for kicks.

    CRACKING is bypassing security and breaking into a system.

    You're doing neither when you passively sniff for wifi transmissions (completely legal except for allocated mobile phone bands) or when you hop on someone's network. It's not's a fuzzy grey area that hasn't been tested enough in court. There's been what...1 case of this in court so far? The most you could get in that ancient theft of service.
  18. jptsr1


    Dec 1, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    a. To write or refine computer programs skillfully.
    b. To use one's skill in computer programming to gain illegal or unauthorized access to a file or network: hacked into the company's intranet.

  19. weiser09

    weiser09 Millennium Member

    Jan 29, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    Put all the legal mumbo jumbo aside. Ask yourself this question. If you were paying for broadband internet service, would you want a neightbor to use your bandwidth without your knowledge? If you answered no, then don't do it yourself.
  20. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    All you have to do is use Google and you would find the same definition of hacking that jptsr1 posted.

    Whether it's hacking or simply theft of service, are you using this board to condone an illegal act? By the way the cable company spends quite a bit of money prosecuting people for theft of service every year.