I have read a couple articles like this one.... http://money.cnn.com/2005/07/07/technology/personaltech/wireless_arrest/ I have read another article that I don't imediately have the link for but was on the same topic. And I have come to a conclusion. The conclusion is that no one, and I do mean NO ONE, in America wants to take any responsibility. They all want to blame someone else. It doesn't matter what for. And we can see it all too plainly here. So let's look at both sides. We are going to look at a couple different types of people. For the sake of argument let's call them "white hats" "black hats" and "dunce caps". A "white hat" would be someone who knowingly or unknowningly uses an unsecured wireless network for benign yet personal gain. Like checking email, surfing legitimate sites, etc... A "black hat" would be someone who would use the same network for a malicious intent. Such as looking for personal information, passwords, hacking, launch point for attacks, etc... This person uses open networks as they are much easier than breaking a network first to get in. But would not have a problem with hacking a network if need be. He is the guy who doesn't say much and is thinking to himself "Doesn't matter what you do I will break it anyway." Then the "dunce cap" would be a wireless network owner who doesn't have a clue. Let's take a look at the "white hat" first. The supposed bad guy who simply logs on to an open network for no regard for anyone else to check his email. These are the people who I have heard say things like "My computer simply attaches to any network it sees and sometimes I don't even know that I am connected to the wrong one. How can I be held responsible for something I have no control over?" These are the people who think that there should be no laws. As long as people don't secure their router it's free game. News flash for you. Your computer doesn't have to be setup that way. There is a check box in your wireless settings that says "Connect only to preferred networks". If you check that guess what, it won't connect to everything it sees. What, you said you didn't know that option was available? Are you telling me that you don't know how to properly use the 802.11x protocol? Yet you are making suggestions to lawmakers on what to do about the technology? That's scary. If you did know that option was avaiable then I don't want to hear you whine about your computer attaching to any network it sees. It's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to LEARN how to run YOUR equipment. Some think routers should be shipped with security on by default. Let's look at that for a moment. Right now they are shipped with default usernames and passwords. There are sites out there with lists of those usernames and passwords listed by model. In order to ship routers with WEP on by default then there would have to be a default WEP key. Right? How long do you think it would take to get the default WEP key and list it by model as well. That is information that would be supplied by the manufacturer and could be found on their website, just like default passwords are right now. That option won't work. I am sure there are people out there who are saying that routers could simply be shipped with individually distinct WEP keys. That means that each box would have to have a specially printed piece of paper or sticker that is unique to router. Then if you lost or forgot that key how would you get it back? That won't work either. Plus, it would drive the cost of equipment up to have unique keys on all routers. Again, YOU have to learn how to run YOUR equipment. So to the people who are "white hats" simply make your computer not log on to anything it sees. Then if you go to an unfamiliar coffee shop or hotel you can log onto their network manually. Then you don't have a worry. The law that I would propose for these folks would be that all laptops must have the function that makes them automatically attach to a network disabled. I will explain why later. Now lets look at the dunce caps. These are the people who are making suggestions to lawmakers to make attaching to their network a crime. They use feeble excuses like "I don't know how to set up WEP." "It's too difficult" "I can't afford to pay someone to come set it up for me". Etc..... If you have access to the internet, which I would suppose you do if you have a router, you can look up how to's, look up manuals, download manuals, read your own manual. There are ways to learn how to use WEP encryption. If you don't know how to properly use 802.11x equipment like routers the last thing I want you doing is making suggestions to lawmakers and lobbying for said laws. Again it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to learn how to use YOUR equipment. Are you starting to see a pattern here. RTFM Now my proposed law for the "dunce caps" would be that everyone must have their wireless routers encrypted. Now, neither of the two laws listed above could or would really be enforced. So why have them? To make the exsiting laws have teeth. If the white hats had to manually connect to a foreign network, and everyone who doesn't want someone on their network have it encrypted the only person that would be in your driveway would be a clear cut black hat and could be prosecuted as such. However, if someone is in the driveway using your network and law enforcement arrests them and then checks the network owner and finds that they didn't have their network encrypted the law enforcement could look at them and say "We can and will arrest this person for using your network if you want but if that happens we can and will arrest you for not having your network secured" Charges would all be dropped and we could move on. And if you have your laptop setup to not connect to anything and everything you would have nothing to worry about. I an not one who likes to see more laws. Yet the implementation of those two simple laws would make the other hacking and computer espionage laws have some teeth in the new wireless world. Because, with those two laws, there is a clear cut criminal. Even if it was a simple key, with only 64 bit encryption, the easiest to setup, someone would have to actively work to get on your network. Clearly breaking laws in the process. It would be simple to break but never the less would have to be broken. If you cut a padlock it doesn't matter if it's a big one or a little one, you broke the same law. Of course, people would have to take the responsibility to learn how to run their own equipment. Which brings me back to my first statement. That is the problems with people in America today. NO ONE want's to take responsibility for their own actions. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!