I suppose that the only real difference is that you can drive up within a few hundred feet of any house with a unsecured wireless network, and get online without anyone knowing (or caring most of the time). Its more like walking up and getting a drink from your water hose in your yard than JohnnyO's analogy of using your wife. A sip of water from the hose or 5 minutes on your wireless router neither one significantly costs anyone.

While it is technically "stealing" it is hard to suggest that it costs the paying subscriber has sustained any monetary loss or any cost of real performance, internet speed, or water pressure. If his files on his PC were shared on his insecure WLAN, and you drove up and snooped/altered/deleted them, then it would seem that there is grounds for vandalism/business interruption, unauthorized information access, etc, etc.

If I walk up to your water hose, steal it, cut it, or run several hoses together and fill my 30,000 gallon pool, or stick it in your window and flood your house, then there is a problem, and a real issue, and a crime has been committed, since it legitimately costs you real money to remedy.

If I drive near your home, get on the internet, check my email, make a VOIP call, look up a stock price, or whatever, then I don't suspect anyone will complain, or know that I did it. It also won't cost you anything.

If I sit out there for hours downloading copyright violations (P2P) or cracking your file server, or send 10,000,000 spam messages getting your IP added to the RBL's, then there is a real issue.

An emergency communication plan that includes "war driving" to establish VOIP is akin to a fire department that plans to put out fires with a series of garden hoses and outside hose bibs instead of installing real fire hydrants.

As far as the legality of war driving, I am not sure that MOST war driving is "catch-able" "convict-able" or "quantify-able" (in the cost to the customer) or whatever.
Its also against the law to sample grapes at the grocery store. I don't do that, but I am sure that people have done that for years. I have never even heard of anyone getting in trouble for it. (war driving or grape sampling). I suppose that if you got greedy with either one, you would get your hand slapped.

Pete Davis

Rick Smith wrote:
ah yes, but then you would've had a cop knock on the front door, 
and ASK your permission to use the phone.   At which point, you
COULD say "NO!" and shut the door on them.  Or, you could let them
in, and tell them "OK! here it is!"

BUT...They wouldn't do the equivalent of walking up to your NID, 
plugging a butt set in and just dialing away...

If I, right now, drove up in front of your house, got out of my truck,
walked up to your Network panel that Verizon or the local phone co.
put there as their demarcation point, and plugged my butt set in
and got dial tone and dialed Hawaii to chat with someone at YOUR
expense, I could be found / shot / arrested / sued / what have you.

What's different with WiFi ?  Nothing but the excuses we allow people
to continue to make.

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Pete Davis
Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2006 3:11 PM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] recommendation for Client POE integrated radio for

The legality and ethics of using an open access point is questionable, but
there is a liability issue as well. In most of the areas that I cover with
my network, there is a strong signal with SSID of NoDial.
Connecting to this will get you a DHCP address even, without a WEP or other
encryption key.
Until I know that you have connected and moved your mac address to a list
that authorizes your connection, all of your outbound packets will be sent
to This brings up a liability issue. If the
emergency communication van tech wastes 2 hrs trying to get hold of me, get
connected to the internet, or whatever, and $10M of houses burn down,
because they couldn't get to the fire department via a hacked VOIP solution,
then am I gonna get sued?
If they connect to my private home network that I intentionally left open,
and my custom made uber-hacker passive/aggressive firewall unleashes a
blackops virus that turns their laptops into bricks. Then what?

I guess, that by JohnnyO's example, if you come into my open door and try to
visit with my wife, and you step on a rake that gives you a brain anurism, I
guess that makes me guilty (or not guilty) of manslaughter. I lost score in
this ballgame.

If the cops are in a pursuit in my neighborhood, and run their squad car off
the road breaking the radio, and they want to use my home phone to call the
office, I would let them. Not because I HAVE to, but to be a good citizen.
If I HAD to, then the 4th amendment just went out the window.


Jack Unger wrote:
Holy brainfade, JohnnyO.

Your comments about "highly illegal" just went STRAIGHT over my head.

What's illegal about Brian's emergency communications operation? Hams 
have been providing emergency communications services since (literally) 
the sinking of the Titanic.


JohnnyO wrote:

Brian - Ham Operator or not - do you realize that what you're planning
on doing is HIGHLY illegal and has several people over the past 2 yrs in
Federal Prison as we speak ?

Why don't ya'll get a VSAT system that works well for VOIP ? The cost is
only about $60/mo more and you have no restrictions on bandwidth or
stupid filtering like Wild Blue does....


-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Brian Webster
Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 2:56 PM
To: WISPA List
Subject: [WISPA] recommendation for Client POE integrated radio for

I'm looking for a good client radio to use in an emergency
vehicle. My criteria are, POE, highest gain panel antenna possible,
scan/survey tool built in, web interface, 802.11b at minimum. I'm part
of a
ham radio emergency response group and we have our own comms van. I want
have a client radio that we can use on a push up mast to scan around for
open access point and grab bandwidth in an emergency on a scene. We
with our county Hazmat team for support and the internet is handy. We
already have a Wild Blue setup and that will work when necessary but I
like to be able to use something with lower latency so we can implement
at times. I have not studied the 802.11b outdoor client radios in a long
time and thought I would ask opinions here. Price is a consideration but
feature set is more important. Id' like to stay away from YDI/Proxim
because of their attitude on the phone whenever I have dealt with them.
any of you can point me to a link were I can purchase one that would be
great. Have a nice day.

Thank You,
Brian Webster



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