Now Cantennas Are Illegal Too? Why Don't They Just Outlaw WiFi?

from the says-who-exactly? dept

Is it really so much to ask to have people who are making and enforcing laws concerning technology actually understand the technology they're dealing with? Following the series of recent arrests of people for using open WiFi networks, the definition of illegal equipment is being stretched. In the UK arrest, the guy was arrested for "possessing equipment for fraudulent use of a communications service," which all of us who have WiFi in our laptops probably are guilty of. At least that's just in the UK. Over here in the US it's apparently still legal to have WiFi equipment -- but if you dare try to boost your signal with an antenna, watch out. According to the head of the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, the popular "cantenna" device is completely illegal. For those who don't know, someone a while back worked out that you could boost the range of your WiFi router with a Pringle's can. It requires a bit of work, so a small operation sprung up to sell Cantennas. They're quite popular with people who want to spread WiFi around a house where the basic router won't reach certain parts of it. Hell, even CompUSA sells them! But, according to this "high tech" police officer: "They're unsophisticated but reliable, and it's illegal to possess them." The article includes a story about how the police arrested a high school student for breaking into his school's network to change his grades and they (gasp!) found a cantenna in his room! Again, the crime he committed has nothing to do with having an antenna booster, but that doesn't stop the reporter and the cop from talking about the evils of connecting to WiFi networks.

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  1. identicon
    t('-'t), 31 Aug 2005 @ 7:00pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    ok this has got to be the most retarted thing i have EVER heard yes its illagle to crack wep encrptions and change your grades but to go into a PUBLIC acses poiont is COMPLEATLEY leagil if its not encrypted then thiers no way in hell thay can press any charge aginst you and comeout on top. its not true your going to tell me that because a antena is home made its illagle antenas have benn around seince wifi and now justbecause some black hat fux decided to change his grades and a few other smartas crackers broke the law so what. thats a compleatly diffrent thing. this is so retarted i dont giva shit im not spending 400$ on something i can make in my house.

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