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Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions - Mac Networking

I live in a large apartment building. I have a PC laptop with a wireless card. Some weeks ago, I noticed that I was connected to the Internet via wireless signals I was picking up from one or more neighbors. So I then had an Airport card (not Extreme) installed in our iMac, but it doesn't work. The little radar-looking icon shows a signal and when you click it, it shows "Verizon Wi-Fi," but the computer will not connect to the Internet. Clicking on the Airport icons in Utilities, I got a message that the utility had "unexpectedly quit." 1. ...

  1. #1

    Default Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    I live in a large apartment building. I have a PC laptop with a
    wireless card. Some weeks ago, I noticed that I was connected to the
    Internet via wireless signals I was picking up from one or more
    neighbors. So I then had an Airport card (not Extreme) installed in
    our iMac, but it doesn't work. The little radar-looking icon shows a
    signal and when you click it, it shows "Verizon Wi-Fi," but the
    computer will not connect to the Internet. Clicking on the Airport
    icons in Utilities, I got a message that the utility had "unexpectedly
    quit."

    1. What are the ethics of piggybacking? Should I try to find out
    whose signal I'm getting? If so, how? And what if, as I suspect, I am
    getting signals from more than one neighbor?

    2. Why doesn't the Airport card work? How can I get it to work?
    Jay Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Jay) wrote:
     

    technically, the ISP has not granted you or your neighbor permission to
    share their connection with you. At the very minimum you should get
    permission from your neighbor.

    A utility such as MacStumbler or APGrapher or KisMac
    (http://versiontracker.com/macosx) if you had a Mac laptop. I would
    suggest you find the equivalent type of signal strength program for your
    PC and then use it to find your neighbor's door with the strongest
    signal and knock. Assuming you have nice neighbors :-)
     

    Get MacStumbler mentioned above. It gives a little additional
    information about the WiFi access point. Not much, but there is always
    a chance it will give a clue.

    If you pull down the Airport signal strength menu item, you can use it
    to open the "Internet Connect" utility (Applications -> Internet
    Connect). Try to make an Airport connection using Internet Connect. It
    might show you more information. If the connection fails, maybe it will
    give your more information to work with.

    Bob Harris
    Bob Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions


    "Jay" <com> wrote in message
    news:google.com... 

    If you need to ask about the ethics, then you are not interested in the
    answer.


    L'acrobat Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Entity Jay spoke thus:
     

    I have an open access point in a dense neighborhood. I don't care who uses
    the service as long as it's used not abused.


    -- Gnarlie
    http://www.Gnarlodious.com/

    Gnarlodious Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Gnarlodious <invalid.> wrote in
    news:BCF65ECB.4D9E1%invalid.:
     
    >
    > I have an open access point in a dense neighborhood. I don't care who
    > uses the service as long as it's used not abused.[/ref]


    Does Earthlink allow you to run an open AP off your connection? I wish my
    ISP would let me do that.


    --
    Lucas Tam (com)
    Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
    http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
    Lucas Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Entity Lucas Tam spoke thus:
     
    >
    > Does Earthlink allow you to run an open AP off your connection?[/ref]
    Yes, but it's a crappy service. My IP address changes about 6 times a day
    and I must reboot the modem about 5 times per week.

    Unfortunately, we signed for a one year contact...
     
    How are they going to know?


    --
    Gnarlie's virtual Tour de Santa Fe
    http://www.Gnarlodious.com/SantaFe/Tour.php


    Gnarlodious Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Lucas Tam <com> wrote:
     

    "You and members of your household or business, if you have purchased a
    business account, are the only authorized users of your EarthLink
    account and must comply with this Agreement."
    <http://www.earthlink.net/about/policies/dial/>

    Neill Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    In article <BCF68B91.4D9C4%invalid.>,
    Gnarlodious <invalid.> wrote:
     
    > How are they going to know?[/ref]

    same way rental car companies know if you drove the car out of state or
    it is driven by someone not listed on the contract. unless something
    goes wrong (and there is no gps tracker installed), they won't know.

    same with an isp - if usage patterns are 'normal' and nothing bad
    happens, they won't know and likely not care.

    however, if someone uses your account for illicit purposes or bandwidth
    demands are significantly higher than normal then they might notice.
    nospam Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Jay <com> wrote:
     

    You're getting commercial service without paying for it. What do you
    suppose the ethics of that are?

    --
    Mike Rosenberg
    <http://www.macconsult.com> Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida
    <http://bogart-tribute.net> Tribute to Humphrey Bogart
    Toyota Prius fans: Check out alt.autos.toyota.prius
    Mike Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    In article <BCF68B91.4D9C4%invalid.>,
    Gnarlodious <invalid.> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > Does Earthlink allow you to run an open AP off your connection?[/ref]
    > Yes, but it's a crappy service. My IP address changes about 6 times a day
    > and I must reboot the modem about 5 times per week.
    >
    > Unfortunately, we signed for a one year contact...

    > How are they going to know?[/ref]

    Well, you did just post that fact to a worldwide public forum...

    --
    Tom "Tom" Harrington
    Macaroni, Automated System Maintenance for Mac OS X.
    Version 2.0: Delocalize, Repair Permissions, lots more.
    See http://www.atomicbird.com/
    Tom Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Entity Tom Harrington spoke thus:
     
    >> Yes, but it's a crappy service. My IP address changes about 6 times a day
    >> and I must reboot the modem about 5 times per week.
    >>
    >> Unfortunately, we signed for a one year contact...
    >> 
    >> How are they going to know?[/ref]
    >
    > Well, you did just posted that fact to a worldwide public forum...[/ref]

    HEAR YE HEAR YE!
    Are you listening, Earthlink? Your incredibly rotten Covad ADSL service
    isn't worth $56 a month. Makes me glad I'm violating the TOS, if in fact I
    am.

    So once again, unresponsive and uncaring giant corporations lock
    unsuspecting consumers into contracts while delivering a misrepresented and
    substandard product.

    But of course, only persons have contractual obligations, corporations don't
    EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE LEGALLY PERSONS!

    Don't believe me? Read this:
    http://reclaimdemocracy.org/personhood/#intro

    -- Gnarlie

    Gnarlodious Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    invalid (Mike Rosenberg) wrote in
    news:1gfilcr.1bqmjwx481a2yN%invalid:
     
    >
    > You're getting commercial service without paying for it. What do you
    > suppose the ethics of that are?[/ref]

    That's one way of looking at it. Another way is that he's merely accessing
    the airwaves above his own property. This is why there are no clear laws
    regarding the matter. Yet. Electric companies got it arranged so you
    can't have a big copper coil taking electricity from the wires
    above/nearby...but then again that could be considered an 'easement'. I
    doubt one could get an easement for a radio signal.

    --
    Minister of All Things Digital & Electronic, and Holder of Past Knowledge
    com. Cabal# 24601-fnord | Sleep is irrelevant.
    I speak for no one but myself, and |Caffeine will be assimilated.
    no one else speaks for me. O- | Decaf is futile.
    Howard Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Howard <com.> wrote:
     

    True, but looking at it from the ISP's vantage point, they're selling
    their service to one household, and that household is then broadcasting
    it.

    --
    Mike Rosenberg
    <http://www.macconsult.com> Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida
    <http://bogart-tribute.net> Tribute to Humphrey Bogart
    Toyota Prius fans: Check out alt.autos.toyota.prius
    Mike Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    invalid (Mike Rosenberg) wrote in
    news:1gfjgtn.1x2ma0t1mnwk7mN%invalid:
     
    >
    > True, but looking at it from the ISP's vantage point, they're selling
    > their service to one household, and that household is then broadcasting
    > it.[/ref]

    However, at that point it becomes an issue between the ISP and the customer
    who is broadcasting it unsecurely. The ISP would have far far more luck
    pursuing the customer than the neighbor.

    --
    Minister of All Things Digital & Electronic, and Holder of Past Knowledge
    com. Cabal# 24601-fnord | Sleep is irrelevant.
    I speak for no one but myself, and |Caffeine will be assimilated.
    no one else speaks for me. O- | Decaf is futile.
    Howard Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    In article <250.170.82>,
    Howard <com.> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > True, but looking at it from the ISP's vantage point, they're selling
    > > their service to one household, and that household is then broadcasting
    > > it.[/ref]
    >
    > However, at that point it becomes an issue between the ISP and the customer
    > who is broadcasting it unsecurely. The ISP would have far far more luck
    > pursuing the customer than the neighbor.[/ref]

    I wonder if this might be treated by the law ogously to a neighbor
    making an illegal cable TV hookup, by splicing into the neighbor's cable
    without them knowing about it. Most cable modem TOS's say that you
    can't redistribute the service to others, but do they say that you have
    to take measures to *prevent* others from using the service without your
    knowledge or consent?

    --
    Barry Margolin, mit.edu
    Arlington, MA
    *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
    Barry Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Howard <com.> wrote:
     

    That's true. This is quite different than, say, illegally receiving
    satellite signals, where you have to buy equipment to do so. And, of
    course, in most cases, the people broadcasting WiFi signals to the
    immediate neighborhood are unaware they're doing that. In fact, I'm
    sure many of them would be quite horrified to know it's happening.

    And yet, I think that someone who knows he's latching onto his
    neighbor's signal should also know it's wrong.

    --
    Mike Rosenberg
    <http://www.macconsult.com> Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida
    <http://bogart-tribute.net> Tribute to Humphrey Bogart
    Toyota Prius fans: Check out alt.autos.toyota.prius
    Mike Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Taking a moment's reflection, Barry Margolin mused:
    |
    | I wonder if this might be treated by the law ogously to a neighbor
    | making an illegal cable TV hookup, by splicing into the neighbor's cable
    | without them knowing about it.

    To fit here, it would be more like a neighbour splicing his cable TV
    line, and running an outlet to your apartment (knowingly or unknowingly).
    Even still, it is *your* choice on whether you hook it up or not.


    mhicaoidh Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    Entity Mike Rosenberg spoke thus:
     
    So, by default all wireless routers should be delivered with WEP enabed?
    Sounds good to me. As I stumble around I see hundreds of AP's with names
    like "Netgear", or "Apple network jy4602".
    Punishment for plug-n- play.
     
    As an amateur radio operator I would dispute that assumption. Waves is waves
    is waves.
    I do however, spot check who is using the AP. Everyone should.

    -- Gnarlie
    Currently broadcasting from
    N35:40:06/W105:57:51


    Gnarlodious Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 10:08:19 -0500, Gnarlodious wrote
    (in article <BCF86180.4DCA3%invalid.>):
     

    But the "owner" is also paying for the connection to the internet. At the
    very least the person "freeloading" should offer to split the connection
    bill.

    -- James L. Ryan -- TaliesinSoft

    James Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Piggybacking --technical and ethical questions

    In article <BCF86180.4DCA3%invalid.>,
    Gnarlodious <invalid.> wrote:
     
    >
    > As an amateur radio operator I would dispute that assumption. Waves
    > is waves is waves.[/ref]

    Um, as an amateur radio operator, you receive waves that were designed
    for anyone and everyone to receive. That is not necessarily true with
    WiFi.

    --
    Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Vote for John Kerry.
    Michelle Guest

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