Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Government Security The Internet Your Rights Online IT News

Open Wi-Fi May Become Illegal In India 179

Posted by timothy
from the remember-to-punish-the-innocent-first dept.
chromoZ writes with word that because of the serial blasts in Indian cities (and terrorist outfits claiming responsibility via email, often sent via Cyber Cafes and open Wi-Fi spots), sharing unsecured wireless access may get much tougher in India: "The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) after studying open Wifi networks is coming up with a set of guidelines and recommendations to secure them. 'All ISPs may be instructed to ensure that their subscribers using wireless devices must use effective authentication mechanisms and permit access to internet to only authorised persons using wireless devices.' An open Wi-Fi could be as much as illegal in India after this."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Open Wi-Fi May Become Illegal In India

Comments Filter:
  • Proxies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lucky75 (1265142) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:37AM (#25038841)
    What about proxies or tunnels then?
  • Oh noes!!! (Score:1, Troll)

    by codeButcher (223668)
    How are the terrorists gonna claim responsibility after this???
  • mail box (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:39AM (#25038873)

    Wont they use the mail box down the street?.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:39AM (#25038877)

    All ISPs may be instructed to ensure that their subscribers using wireless devices must use effective authentication mechanisms and permit access to internet to only authorised persons using wireless devices.

    Simple solution: authorize everyone with WiFi capability to access your network. The authentication is very strong, as anyone without WiFi capability will absolutely not be allowed to connect.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by idontgno (624372)

      That fails the "authenticate" requirement. In fact, it completely ignores that authentication (clearly and accurately ascertaining the identity of the connection user) is intended to be a mandatory precondition to access.

      By analogy (not a car analogy, sorry), if you operate a liquor store and your local jurisdiction imposes an age-verification requirement (authenticate purchaser's age) before you can make a sale of an intoxicating controlled beverage (authorize the transaction), your solution is to ignore t

      • Another big problem with this is that it requires users to be security experts.
        Will it be illegal to run a WEP network?
        terrorists can use one almost as easily as an open network so for the stated purpose this law would fail unless WEP were banned.
        WPA can be cracked too, it's just harder, takes longer and you have no certainty of success within minutes.

        It's like making it a crime to not lock your mailbox because someone might send threatening letters from it.

        It requires your average Joe to be a security expe

    • by gnick (1211984) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:55AM (#25039101) Homepage

      Simple solution: authorize everyone with WiFi capability to access your network. The authentication is very strong, as anyone without WiFi capability will absolutely not be allowed to connect.

      There's a problem there. TFS indicates that this is just a "set of guidelines and recommendations", but the title indicates that it's a potential law. If the law states that you must authorize people to use your network, it seems that they could hold you responsible for its misuse. So if somebody transmits terrorist instructions / P2Ps RIAA music / uploads kiddie porn (won't somebody think of the children!?!), they may drag you in. Even though you didn't commit the crime, you authorized somebody to use your equipment and helped facilitate the crime.

      Of course, if I loan somebody my car and they run down their cheating GF, I'm probably safe unless they told me their intention ahead of time. But Internet laws are still so nebulous that the analogy may not carry over.

    • easier than that SSID:passwordispassword

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:40AM (#25038879)

    to stop the attacks in the first place. Lots of other ways to claim responsibility for attacks. As usual, it just makes the common man a criminal...

    • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:06AM (#25039269) Homepage

      yea, this is quite idiotic.

      terrorists don't carry out attacks because they have open wi-fi access. they simply use open wi-fi because it's available and convenient--the same reason everyone else uses it.

      if they can't access the internet via open wi-fi they'll just use other anonymous channels. what is the Indian government going to do, eliminate public computer terminals at schools and libraries? ban proxy servers? or simply outlaw anonymity altogether?

      it would be just as easy to claim responsibility for a terrorist act by leaving an anonymous note or spraying graffiti onto the side of a public building at night. should all Indian citizens have to get GPS implants?

    • by IcyHando'Death (239387) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:25AM (#25039553)

      Quite true. Yet if India is anything like America, a thin layer of anti-terrorist wrapping paper is all that's needed to disguise even the most egregiously pro-corporate legislation. The telecoms want this change to reduce sharing of network connections, pure and simple.

  • Since when does disobeying "guidelines and recommendations" mean you are breaking the law?

    Just set the ESSID to "You are authorized," then everyone using it is authorized.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      Since when does disobeying "guidelines and recommendations" mean you are breaking the law?

      The law in a given jurisdiction may condition safe-harbor provisions on compliance with "guidelines and recommendations". For example, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act, which has been law in the United States (home of Slashdot) for just shy of a decade, conditions a safe harbor for copyright infringement on a notice and takedown procedure.

      Just set the ESSID to "You are authorized," then everyone using it is authorized.

      But nobody is authenticated. The guideline appears to require both authentication and authorization.

  • This seems like an in-line move with the recent article about the international group working towards eliminating anonymity on the internet [slashdot.org]. How is this going to make things more secure? If I want to set off a bomb, I'm going to set off a bomb, with or without an open wireless router. Given the stated problem, this seems like an asinine response.
  • What a pity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:44AM (#25038937)

    I recently toured Skandinavia. In every reasonably big city
    (that means "more than 15 houses" over there), you can nearly
    be sure to find some open access point. Of course, some of
    those are cluess users using lousy default configs - but quite
    a lot are deliberately open, with SSIDs like "welcome_to_stockholm".

    One even ran a guestbook on the AP's port 80, accessible only
    from the inside. Lots and lots of grateful people from all over
    the world had left a message before mine :-)

    That's the kind of culture I would like to see encouraged in
    other places as well, not this "OMG terrorists" bullshit being
    used as an excuse for more and more control in way too many
    parts of the world.

    • by kypper (446750)

      I was just thinking the same. Seems to me that if you want anyone to be an 'authorized person', the above doesn't matter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tomz16 (992375)

        I was just thinking the same. Seems to me that if you want anyone to be an 'authorized person', the above doesn't matter.

        That's cool... until one of your "authorized" persons threatens the president!

        • They could just as easily make the same threat via postal mail. Actually now that I think about it, its EASIER to do so via postal mail.
        • by ultranova (717540)

          That's cool... until one of your "authorized" persons threatens the president!

          Being a president means being the nominal head of your country. That, in turn, means being the most obvious target for anyone who said country has managed to piss off. Living with the knowledge that there are people in this world who want to kill and might act upon that desire you is part of the job. If you flip out and bust someone simply because someone else used his equipment to send such a threat, you aren't fit for the job,

    • Those policians are fast over there in India. Fixate on some issue that many in the population will have no strong feelings on one way or the other. No matter what position the politician takes, their approval is unaffected. All the while it appears that they're doing something. Holy cow, I just used there,their and they're in the same post. I also used "holy cow" in a post about India.
    • Re:What a pity (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swb (14022) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:52AM (#25039053)

      That's the kind of culture I would like to see encouraged in
      other places as well, not this "OMG terrorists" bullshit being
      used as an excuse for more and more control in way too many
      parts of the world.

      Then vote for cultural homogeneity? There seldom seems to be OMG Terrorist! or repressive government problems when you have a homogeneous culture.

      In places with highly diverse cultures, the tension and the government repression seem to get ratcheted up.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        cultural homogeneity like in Saudi Arabia?
      • Re:What a pity (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Idiomatick (976696) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:10AM (#25039327)

        Scandinavia is the least religious place in the world explaining well the lack of violence. Compare that to homogeneous places in africa where violent crime is incredibly high. Or compare that to Canada where we are very multi-cultural but have fairly low rates of crime. A country being homogeneous will i think lower crime but it is NOT a major factor. The places history, culture and religious fervor seems to set the pace.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bhv (178640)

          That's funny stuff. The only thing I see our (Canada's) multi-cultural openness leading to is more Sharia-law.....yes more. Majority rules, it's only a matter of time.

          Switzerland, the land of openness, is struggling to close the flood gates now. You would like to think our country could watch, learn and adjust. Alas, we are to passive about anything not having to do with hockey.

        • First of all, you're kind of mixing crime and violence and religious violence, which are related, but different. Someone stealing a car is different than a person blowing up a car in the name of some god. For example, there's a high crime rate in the United States, a relatively "religious" country. And there's a high violent crime rate too. But there's not a lot of violence between religious groups like you'd see in some Islamic theocracies or predominantly Islamic countries. In fact, in the US the best

          • Erm i did say cultural heritage was a major factor... I can take out your assertion of the economic issue, countries with comparable wealth have more crime with more religion. Though as you said the inverse could be and i believe is true as well. Style of economy again you can disprove with stats using areas within a country to some degree. And i never said there was only one factor i'm sure there are many i just said that religion is a bigger indicator than homogeneous people.

      • by orzetto (545509)

        You are not looking for cultural homogeneity, you are looking for compatibility. In my work place (research institution in Germany) there are people from all over the world, only about half are German, and I still have to see any act of the slightest cultural embarrassment.

        Of course, a lot of idiots are incompatible (not name-calling: look up the word "idiot") with other cultures, because they have been told their culture or race is superior, their god is the only true one, and that they should obey instead

      • Re:What a pity (Score:5, Insightful)

        by soren100 (63191) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:47AM (#25040849)

        Then vote for cultural homogeneity? There seldom seems to be OMG Terrorist! or repressive government problems when you have a homogeneous culture.

        That whole "cultural homogeneity" meme is just used as a dismissive tactic to avoid discussing the real reasons the Scandinavian cultures are so successful. Cultural homogeneiety is pretty prevalent in China, Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc., just as much as in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, etc, yet those countries don't get any awards for being great places to live.

        The difference is that the Scandinavian cultures are highly progressive. Education is free to all, and the government will actually pay the students to go to school, so you end up with citizens that are educated on the issues, smart enough to vote for much better government candidates, and don't fall for the "tricks" that less educated voters fall for. So -- surprise -- they don't end up with repressive govnerments. Surprise! The tax money that is generated actually goes to services that are useful to the people that pay them. The citizens get free health care, housing help, and many other services that keep their society, happy, relaxed, and stable.

        In America, our education is hugely expensive, so many people don't get educated. You end up with ignorant voters --> corrupt politicians, deregulation, failing banks, and the current "socialism for the rich", complete with massive government bailouts, but only for rich investors.

        In other countries, with even less educated voters, you end up with worse conditions. It's not a mystery.

        • This is exactly correct. Centering everything on "cultural homogeneity" is ludicrous when there are so many other characteristics of the societies that play a much more obvious and direct role here. Particularly when you look at the history of truly culturally homogenous cultures over time.

        • by nospam007 (722110) *

          >Cultural homogeneiety is pretty prevalent in China, Russia, ...

          Seems like you were ill during geography lessons a lot.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_China [wikipedia.org]

          1. Han (zh:; Traditional: ; Hàn Zú)
          2. Zhuang (zh:; Traditional: ; Zhuàng Zú)
          3. Manchu (zh:; Traditional: ; Mn Zú)
          4. Hui (zh:; Huí Zú) (Also includes Utsuls of Hainan, descended from Cham refugees.)

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Before we get too full of praise, let me give you a few pointers on scandinavia:

          1. We have representative parliaments (or close to) which usually means 4-8 parties and typically coalitions. This leads to actual political choice but also a lot of political blameshifting and weak leadership. We are all constituionally monarchies but the royal families stay out of politics, but it does mean that in general we have a set of ministers with a prime minister which is a lot less powerful and not quite as person-dep

      • by Draek (916851)

        One question: how exactly do you "vote for cultural homogeniety"? do you vote for a candidate that promises to kick anyone who doesn't fit your profile of a "culturally-homogenous" person from the country? because I remember last time something like that happened, and the results weren't nice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cOdEgUru (181536)

      Last I checked, this is the overall tally

      Number of lives lost in Scandinavia due to Terrorism: 0

      Number of lives lost in India due to Terrorism: Atleast 635 people killed in Terrorism since 2001 (I think in reality its far more..)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_India [wikipedia.org]

      For all the people here, how would you start behaving the day after the first series of bomb blasts if they were to go off in major cities around US? How would your perspectives change, after the fiftieth one, and consider for a minute

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        I am surprised that India hasnt opted to carpet bomb Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

        Pakistan has nukes, and Indians aren't stupid.

      • "I am surprised that India hasnt opted to carpet bomb Pakistan occupied Kashmir." Very True. this is what i used to think . But looking at the result of US War in Afganistan i seriously don't think that a war is solution to terror . but ya sometime it helps
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        You know, I'm sick of this kind of reasoning. I grew up in the UK during the Northern Ireland troubles, and terrorist bombs were a fairly regular news item. I didn't know anyone who had been killed in one, but my mother only missed one because the tube she was on was delayed. And yet, in spite of the fact we had terrorists recruiting and training a narrow strip of water away, we didn't feel the need to give up freedoms or think 'what would terrorists do with this kind of situation' before doing anything.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by oldspewey (1303305)

        seven years in to the stark reality posed by the threat of Islamic terrorism, I am surprised that India hasnt opted to carpet bomb Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

        Seven years is the American viewpoint on that "stark reality" ... for Indians it's been a lot, lot longer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by warrior_s (881715)

        What I am saying is, seven years in to the stark reality posed by the threat of Islamic terrorism, I am surprised that India hasnt opted to carpet bomb Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

        A correction, its not 7 years, its almost 20 years since islamic terrorism started in India.
        This [wikipedia.org] is the beginning I think, and the terrorists have never looked back.

      • by WNight (23683)

        I'd propose stupid laws that would do nothing. I'd support the jailing of innocents for questioning those laws. I'd support the dismantling of our entire justice system for questionable benefits.

        No. Not really.

    • I's like to do that myself - but how can I guarantee against illegal activities on my internet connection?
      • how can I guarantee against illegal activities on my internet connection?

        You can't. The probability for it to happen is rather low though (especially if you are not
        the only one doing it), and (IMHO) that risk is way outweighed by the advantages for the
        commonality - and that's where the need for a sane political and legal environment comes in:
        To protect the AP owner from being liable for everything that goes on over said AP.

        Laws like that don't prevent anything, someone determined will still find a way to do whatever
        would have been possible over an open AP via some other m

    • "Lots and lots of grateful people from all over the world had left a message before mine :-)"

      while that sounds good in theory try telling this to NSA who scan every email . shouldn't they send a "Thanks for riding on our bandwidth " email every time some outsider access internet from a Starbuck ?? having said that i don't see how this going to do anything to help govt to fight terror .I am an Indian living in Delhi and I survived the attack by a margin of 15 Min . Let me tell you that any Terrori

  • How? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:44AM (#25038945) Journal

    All ISPs may be instructed to ensure that their subscribers using wireless devices must use effective authentication mechanisms and permit access to internet to only authorised persons using wireless devices.

    And just how are the ISPs supposed to be able to accomplish this? Are they going to have people wardriving all around India, sniffing out open wifi, then seeing if it traces back to one of their customers? Or is a strongly worded email sufficient?

    • by Rayeth (1335201)

      I suppose they could require every wireless AP to authenticate its users to a RADIUS server [wikipedia.org]. Of course that means strict control over all the types of APs used and no one really wants that, but that would certainly provided the authentication, albeit being a giant pain for the ISP and the customers.

      The technologies exist, they just aren't cheap or very user friendly.

      • by schon (31600)

        How do you force the customer to use RADIUS on *their own gear*?

        A Scenario: ISP sells an internet account to a client. They go to the client's house, and ensure that the DSL modem is plugged directly into a computer.

        Client later goes to buy a wireless NIC for their computer, and turns the computer into an open AP.

        How exactly does RADIUS prevent this?

        How is the ISP supposed to know about this?

        How is the ISP supposed to monitor for it?

        How is the ISP supposed to prevent it?

        • by Rayeth (1335201)

          Clearly in a scenario where the ISP is not involved RADIUS will do nothing. However many Wireless APs are installed along with the DSL modem by the ISP. In such cases RADIUS could ensure that authorized users are the only ones allowed.

          Other situations you mentioned don't have a good solution because they are by definition outside of the ISP's control. I doubt this ruling could be enforced in a situation where the ISP did not install the AP, for the exact reasons you have stated.

          • by schon (31600)

            The quote is this:

            All ISPs may be instructed to ensure that their subscribers using wireless devices must use effective authentication mechanisms

            Note that it says "subscribers using wireless devices", not "subscribers using ISP-supplied wireless devices".

            Clearly, they're implying that the ISP is responsible for everything that the subscriber connects. If you think about it, this is the only way the law would be effective - it makes no sense to force ISPs to provide secure wireless gear, when nobody else (retail stores, client's home-brew, etc.) would be required as well.

    • Usually the ISP provides the WiFi device (DSL Modem/Router/WiFi all in a single box) and an ISP technician installs it for the user.
    • by nasor (690345)
      Also, if I run a cafe or something and want to provide free wifi to attract customers, then aren't all those people "authorized users"?
  • Even if this nonsense did anything at all to combat terrorism, which it doesn't, the idea of an personally identifiable internet connection is a pipe dream, not to mention that it's ethically preposterous. One of the greatest strengths about the internet is how easy it is to remain anonymous and that's a feature, not a bug.
    • One of the greatest strengths about the internet is how easy it is to remain anonymous and that's a feature, not a bug.

      If TFA had been about spam rather than a crackdown on terrorism, would you still make the same statement?

      • by Locklin (1074657)

        I believe that had the article been about spam. We would be reading that really annoying "form post" about how "your technical solution to this problem will not work because..."

        In other words: Hurt the innocent, the bad guys won't even notice.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:49AM (#25039007)

    Of all the countries I've traveled, India is far and away the biggest pain in the ass to get hold of a simple prepaid SIM to stick in your cellphone. Even a little hole-in-the-wall shop wants you to fill out a detailed form, provide identification to be photocopied, provide a valid address while staying in India ... all because they don't want terrorists to be able to use throwaway phones for planning and coordination of attacks.

    I'm not at all surprised to see this mindset being extended into other wireless communications

    One thing to keep in mind - while America received their "wake up call" in September 2001, there are other nations like India that have been battling terrorism on home soil for several decades. It's worth paying close attention to what these other nations are doing today, if you want clues to what America might be doing tomorrow.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:22AM (#25039503) Journal
      We were battling terrorism in the UK for decades, coming over from Ireland. Most of it was funded by the US. We pretty much ignored it - you'd get a short snipped on the news about it and then back to work. September 2001 was a wake-up call for our government too - they learned from the USA that they could use terrorism as a way of gaining more control over individual lives, rather than it just being a minor irritation.
      • by Angostura (703910)

        Yes and no. The "ring of steel" around the city, and the first surveillance cameras were in large part a response to Irish republican terrorism.

    • by c (8461)

      > Even a little hole-in-the-wall shop wants you to fill out a detailed
      > form, provide identification to be photocopied, provide a valid
      > address while staying in India

      Yes, but did you instead try:

      1. slipping the shop $250 (or 250 euros) or some other reasonable multiple of a month/year salary?
      2. use fake id/contact info
      3. pull a gun and threaten to kill their entire extended family if the phone stopped working within days
      4. ask your cousin behind the counter to stop screwing around and just give y

    • by rtechie (244489) *

      Of all the countries I've traveled, India is far and away the biggest pain in the ass to get hold of a simple prepaid SIM to stick in your cellphone. Even a little hole-in-the-wall shop wants you to fill out a detailed form, provide identification to be photocopied, provide a valid address while staying in India ... all because they don't want terrorists to be able to use throwaway phones for planning and coordination of attacks.

      Of course it doesn't work. At all. People who commit mass murder aren't intimidated by penalties for stealing cellphones. Hell, they don't have to steal them. Just tell the shop owner they'll burn his shop down, and him along with it, if they have to fill out the forms. The police can't keep the streets safe to terrorists, you think they can stop protection rackets?

      It's more to the typical Indian attitude that there's no problem that can't be solved by filling out two additional forms.

  • You know, only outlaws will open wi-fi. Seriously, terrorists will use cracking techniques to open "closed" wi-fi networks. From what I understand, wi-fi security is weak and easily cracked anyway.
    • Well, it is in the name of preventing the high crime of "taking credit for a terrorist act via email" (note that if it had been "...on the internet" it could have been patented).

      Apparently, somebody got frustrated that they couldn't track down the low level flunkie who sent the message because it was done on an uncontrolled wifi connection. Apparently, while the terrorists are good at using anonymous email, they lack the skills to send a letter anonymously through physical post without leaving those key ide

    • by pwizard2 (920421)
      wi-fi security is weak and easily cracked anyway. That is only true for WEP, which has been next to useless for years. WPA/WPA2 was still decent the last time I checked.
  • Post-Fix (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aalu.paneer (872021)
    The current Indian government is the most ineffective and clueless one. The emails are sent after the bombs have gone off, after the victims are dead or injured. The damage is done. The terrorist will find another way of sending their message. Shutting down Open Wi-fi will achieve nothing!
    • Yeah exactly what I was thinking.

      If they really want to catch terrorists, perhaps the government should secretly sponsor many free open wifi spots - fast access, no blocking etc.

      And then log the traffic, mac addresses and rough physical locations (you can do triangulation to figure where the users are).

      And also plant cameras in the vicinity.

      So when the bombers log on to brag about it, there is a higher chance of the cops being able to pick them up for "investigation".

      It's even great that they use email - yo
    • by JSBiff (87824)

      While I tend to agree with the final conclusion, I would like to point one thing out - this doesn't appear to be about preventing the already occured terrorist attack, obviously, but about trying to get some way for law enforcement officials to try to track the sender of the email. Find the sender of the email, and you might be able to covertly spy on him, and figure out who he's working with. Honestly, I don't know if they'll ever really be able to track the emails back to a source anyhow - I'm not sure th

  • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@nOspAm.ticam.utexas.edu> on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:52AM (#25039045) Homepage

    Traceroute tells me that it's 26 hops from me to the first computer in India I tried, and that looks like it's getting dangerously close to their default 30 hop max. Now, I don't know enough about network protocols to be sure of the best way to prune that route back if it grows to 27 hops, but I bet this new idea of singling out the guy running router number 26 and arresting him should work just fine. Clearly India's regulators know almost as much as I do about the Internets!

  • These knee-jerk reactions to anything terrorist related are going to continue to cost society dearly as a whole. Each time there is some attack the politicians leap forward with all kinds of measures to restrict our freedoms, instead of tackling the core issues.

    We need to wake up and stop punishing our own communities for the actions of others.

  • Background. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:55AM (#25039087) Homepage

    For anyone wondering about the background to this move, you could start with the Wikipedia article" [wikipedia.org]

    • Did I miss the part where it explained how the terrorists in question used open wifi as part of their attacks, or are you just saying that it's another case of government using terrorism as an excuse to crack down on something?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is doing nothing to combat terrorism.

    Sounds like the telecoms just want more people to go home and pay for badwith.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spatial (1235392)
      It could just as easily be abject stupidity or ignorance on the part of policy makers; the typical practise of taking action with no regard as to its effectiveness.
  • beyond this sounding odd from a US-perspective (even though this isn't a US thing), would this even be enforceable? I mean can you really force someone to not be able to just hid their SSID or mac filter or something?

    I do understand that it would set a legal precedent over there, etc...but still.

    • by tepples (727027)

      I mean can you really force someone to not be able to just hid their SSID or mac filter or something?

      Anyone can crack the 26-digit WEP key in minutes [theinquirer.net]. From there, you can pick up SSIDs from association requests [wi-fiplanet.com] and snoop on the MAC that sends and receives each packet. Still, the use of WEP, hidden SSIDs, and MAC filtering keeps casual leeches out and establishes an attacker's intent [wikipedia.org] to enter the network.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        Well yes, you and I understand that, but I didn't think it was necessary to mention that all forms of protection are useless if someone intends to gain access to the router.

        However, my question remained as to whether you can truly control whether someone can provide open access or not.

        • However, my question remained as to whether you can truly control whether someone can provide open access or not.

          Have a police officer wardrive, and if he can associate to an AP without establishing intent, the owner of the house where the AP has the strongest signal doesn't enjoy the safe harbor protection.

          • You have never been to india.
            Stringent laws that prevent a cop from sampling anything without a warrant.
            Just a few months ago a huge telco spying scandal resulted in ouster of a few ministers and a few top cops.
            The Telco blew the whistle that it was approached by these jokers to spy on a few political opponents, without warrants.
            The press had a field day tearing into cops.
            TV hosts were joking that cops were trying to overhear talks between you and your GF.
            Plus the Left parties threatened to bring the govern

  • "...permit access to internet to only authorised persons using wireless devices."

    If I own the "wireless device" can't I "authorise" EVERYONE and ANYONE who accesses it to "use" it?

    Even if they ban Open WiFi,(which was alluded to in the article...) you could still throw up a splash page that welcomes them to your network and gives a username and password if they want to continue.
    A number of hotels I have stayed at recently do this, the network is "closed" but all you do is open a web browser and click to

  • All of this assumes that terrorists can be tracked by monitoring on-line activity. Yes, they may now be using anonymous Internet access. But terrorist cells are small and can effectively organize by communicating face to face.

    This is a symptom of lazy cops. Its easier to set up a system to comb through e-mail and IMs than it is to do community policing and gt to know who the troublemakers are.

  • Either they have a different definition of "effective authentication", or they're essentially banning WiFi.
  • Openness of ideas hits another hurdle.

    Fail.

You had mail, but the super-user read it, and deleted it!

Working...