Nokia Says Warchalking Is Theft

from the blame-the-messenger dept

It’s almost scary to read what some people think is theft these days. The latest is that Nokia has put out an “advisory” telling people that warchalking is theft. Warchalking, for those of you who haven’t been paying attention, is the practice of some folks to indicate (often with chalk) where there are open wireless access points. Nokia says that warchalking is bandwidth theft. Now… there are a number of responses to this. First of all, the simple act of warchalking itself isn’t anything (other than perhaps vandalism in terms of marking up a wall, depending on how it’s done). It just indicates that there’s an access point somewhere. Whether or not anyone who then connects to it is “stealing” anything is also an open question. Some people are using warchalking to purposely show others that their networks are open for sharing. In other cases, warchalking can be a good indication that a company has screwed up by leaving their access point open, when they should have put some security measures on it. This is, yet again, a case of blaming the messengers for pointing out a security hole. Furthermore, this article continues the myth that there is a roving group of “drive by spammers” using open WiFi relays to send untraceable spam.

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Comments on “Nokia Says Warchalking Is Theft”

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LittleW0lf says:

Let me get this right....

Warchalking is theft…
Skipping commercials is theft…
Downloading music and movies is theft…
Selling boxes without operating systems or with non-Microsoft operating systems is theft…
Giving old hardware to schools is theft…

I am sure glad we have the intellectual property (and now technology) firms around to teach ethics. If it wasn’t for them, the hell in a handbasket quote might be appropriate here. Believe the next one we’ll be seeing is “Free thought is theft…” after all, if it wasn’t for free thought, the intellectual property firms would have no problems selling us their crappy wares. I might as pull my white brain rag and bricks out…apparently they are making a come back.

I wonder if Nokia would get upset for me warchalking my own wireless access point (not connected to the internet, and an SSID of “hackthisbox”, attached to a local vulnerability assessment laboratory,) would be considered unethical?

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