Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Down Side to Open Wireless

An interesting byproduct of maintaining an open wireless network? Apparently a man in Mumbai had his life disrupted by a raid on his property when authorities suspected his open wireless as being the source for messages relating to a recent bombing.

So what happens when a crime is alleged to have been committed using your open network?

For individuals who happen to get caught up in a crime involving something like what happened in Mumbai, and who don't have the backing of corporate legal departments, I suspect that the process wouldn't be much fun.

A person has open wireless because:
  • They don't know it is open.
  • They know it is open but don't know how to secure it.
  • They know how, but are to lazy to bother securing it.
  • They know how to secure it, but they don't really care.
  • They know how, and they are leaving it unsecured on principle.
If someone gets caught up in something like this, I hope they are in one of the latter categories, rather than in one of the first couple categories.


  1. I'd probably play the "i'm an idiot" card and try to avoid becoming an accessory to the crime. Ideology & principles sound like something criminals have, after all.

  2. Bob - I tried that once.

    A cop stopped me for not having a front license plate. In Minnesota, that's a pretty big deal. I plead incompetence. The screws that held the plate were badly rusted and twisted off, so mounting the plate would have required drilling out the screws.

    I was about to get away with a warning, when the cop casually asked were I was going (to work).

    "Where so you work?"

    "I'm an instructor at the tech college'

    "What do you teach?"

    "Machine Shop"

    Tho cop scowls. "You teach machine shop and you can't drill out a screw?"

    I grin.

    He hands me a $60 ticket.

    Busted. :)