Local Politicians Say Open WiFi Should Be Illegal

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

It's quite well known that there are security issues with WiFi networks, but there are ways to take precautions and make yourself pretty safe. As education gets better, it the security risks shouldn't be as big a deal. However, some local politicians in Westchester County, NY have decided to go a step further. According to Guy Kewney, Westchester's County Executive is proposing a law that would basically outlaw open WiFi from any commercial business. As Kewney points out, in the description of the "problem" it appears that the politicians are a bit confused about the actual problem, mixing up a few different issues related to WiFi and security. Obviously, it's a good idea to encourage commercial WiFi providers to make their networks more secure -- but does it really need a law? Update: To clarify, since there's some confusion, by "open WiFi," we mean unsecured WiFi. They're not saying businesses can't offer WiFi, but that it has to include security. But, the examples the politicians give are all just about regular open WiFi access points.

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  1. identicon
    Chuck D, 31 Jan 2006 @ 10:18am

    Re: back assward

    All I can say is this is the most ridiculous idea I have heard of in quite some time.. Need I remind everyone that THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY!!!

    Not to worry.. This stupidity will never happen.. Here is the federal law protecting the installation of wi-fi systems..

    http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

    Also, the Federal Communications Act of 1934 also declared the "Open Skies Policy", so the reception of open radio signals cannot be restricted in any way, and since wi-fi is "unlicensed operation", FCC rules don't really apply to wi-fi anyway, no matter how much they would like them to...

    Quote from the very first paragraph in the FCC rules and Regulations...

    "These rules and regulations apply to person with a license or prior written agreement with the FCC"....

    That is a key statement right there.. If you do not have a license of prior written agreement with the FCC, then their rules and regulations do not apply to you as a free American Citizen in any way, shape or form.. (I know some dwebe HAM operators will argue with that, but you idiots have licenses and prior agreements, so the rules do apply to you..)

    Rules and Regulations are not LAWS... Rules and regulations are optional, like wearing a tie to get into the country club... If you don't want to wear a tie, you can just stay out of the country club.. As soon as you sign and FCC license, you have contractually agreed to abide by their rules and reg's.... So don't ever sign such an agreement...

    The only exception to this is the interference with emergency service communications, and that is a law, not an FCC rule.. Big difference..

    So, not to worry... Anyone who thinks this is a good idea should just go ahead and move to Russia... They will welcome you there... LOL!!!

    IT JUST ISN'T HAPPENING!!!

    Total stupidity that isn't really even worth discussing any further....

    Later....
    Chuck D

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