Because blocking a person's mobile hotspot so you can charge them to use your Wi-Fi is a completely jerk thing to do. The FCC has just released a warning to any individuals, groups, or businesses considering these measures that blocking Wi-Fi is illegal. This follows the decision in October to fine Marriott, the hotel chain, $600,000 for blocking personal networks in a Tennessee location.
Now who's blowing the Raspberry?
Marriott, despite paying the fine, asked the commission to consider writing an official rule on this practice. They just did. It is illegal. The blocks of spectrum belonging to wireless internet are unlicensed, and thus no particular entity is apparently allowed to claim ownership over it, even in their geographic property.
It seems like a good decision to me, one that I cannot think of any immediate side-effects for, but this is one of those cases that a problem could be hiding in plain sight. What do you think? Am I missing something? Or is this a win for everyone (except those trying to block competing services)?
I can think of a side effect.
I can think of a side effect. Say you have a bad actor spoofing a legit SSID. Now you’ve got a person running a man in the middle attack using a “MarriottWiFi” hot spot name. Blocking this SSID is now illegal,
It should still allow for
It should still allow for them to take down illegitimate ssids.
“intentionally block or disrupt personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, including as part of an effort to force consumers to purchase access to the property owner’s Wi-Fi network. Such action is illegal and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.3”
And whom, exactly, will take
And whom, exactly, will take them down? It seems easier to block the spoofers from the start than it would be to call the Cyber Police and the State Police and wait for them to backtrace it. By then the damage would be done.
I’m curious to find out what
I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re using?
I’m having some minor security issjes with my latet
site and I’d like to find something more safeguarded.
Do you have any suggestions?
My homepage: distribution methods
So by your logic, people
So by your logic, people should just stay at home and never leave and never interact with anyone, or better yet, move into an isolated area away from everyone else… because this is the only way people would be safe from all the dangers of the world… You see how ridiculous your logic is now, right?
Blocking wifi spots that could theoretically be bad is not the answer, that just shows the greed of that business. The answer is that people just have to be smarter and more aware of what they are doing.
Your argument is
Your argument is basically:
-A new law said it illegal to kidnap people
-Therefore it is now illegal for police to arrest felons
Not only that, but Hotels have never, ever, blocked man in the middle attack. It is not their job, they don’t train their staff on how to do so, and this isn’t something you can automate via a piece of hardware.
If you detect a man in the middle attack, you should call the police. They will arrest the person doing it and charge them with a felony, the same as they would a guy caught modding a bank’s ATM with a credit card stealing device.
Oddly, all the businesses
Oddly, all the businesses that don’t charge ridiculous amounts of money for wifi access (Starbucks, McDonalds, Target, Sams Club, etc., etc.,) don’t seem to share Marriott Corps’ deep concern for protecting their customers.
Jamming the entire wifi spectrum 24/7/365 in order to protect us from theoretical bad guys, and then charging extortionate fees for their special “protected” wifi sounds a lot more like mafia than Marriott.
Um, where I live McDonald’s
Um, where I live McDonald’s wifi is free if you are a customer which is case for a lot of businesses’. Most free wifi have that condition attached to them you are a customer at the time like coffee shop or something. Otherwise its a federal crime of “unauthorized access of a computer network”
That’s not what they’re
That's not what they're saying. They're saying that McDonalds (etc.) do not block people from using their cellular hotspots "to protect them", unlike Marriott once did.
What is meant by
What is meant by ‘blocking’?
Emitting or transmitting RF to block the use of the spectrum is clearly abuse but what about using the WiFi protocol to deauthenticate users of a non ‘approved’ WiFi hotspot?
It prevents users from using another WiFi network or hotspot but it’s not ‘blocking’ in the traditional sense.
Regardless if you prevent a
Regardless if you prevent a user from using their own personal wifi, to get them to use your connection that they have to pay for is pretty low.
The way I take it is that it
The way I take it is that it is Active disruption which requires intention. You don’t accidentally de-authenticate users, typically you don’t accidentally fill wireless spectrum with noise (if it is accidental you’re using a microwave or have bigger issues to fix).
They can’t do much about passive disruption. What are they going to do, try to outlaw stucco wire mesh when someone constructs with plaster/stucco?
My house is 1940’s stucco & plaster with the damned mesh in it. Perfect for devouring cell signals and wifi. Which makes me think they could easily pull off a similar construction in their convention halls that just happens to do that. If they don’t have a Derp moment, then they smile away in court thinking “yeah, prove it was ‘intentional'”.
I’m not saying this is a wise choice either. It would likely undercut their desirability as a convention location if they attendees can’t get cellular services. On the other hand there may be a demographic that would actually prefer that. Hm….
May I suggest that the
May I suggest that the conference hall be named “The Faraday Conference Center”.
Step in the right direction
Step in the right direction by the FCC.
Now we need other territories, (for me that would be the EU), to follow suit with similar rulings.
Now the FCC, and the federal
Now the FCC, and the federal trade commission, need to step up the reporting requirements, and force device makers to post detailed data sheets on their products, including requiring CPU/SOC/GPU makers, as well as OEMs, to list data sheets on their products. And that includes the devices’ drivers, and who is responsible for updating the GPU graphics drivers, be it the maker of the GPU, or the OEM that modifies the graphics drivers in their OEM product. Potential buyers need this information required to be available at point of sale, be it a brick and mortar store, or online. Consumers being able to make an intelligent choice, when shopping for devices, is being hampered by the obfuscation of vital device details.
i really don’t see this as
i really don’t see this as much of a boon to the enterprise community- must have been an individual who had bought into that mobile hot spot tech who sued.
usually you are too far away from mcdonalds or starbucks to get a signal, and you cannot trust a free signal- so even i see one broadcasting in the hotel from a mobile hot spot- i cannot risk my companies secret’s by logging onto it.
so it will go through the hotel system , via vpn encrypted. and we will book the cost – and no one in the company will give it a second thought- it’s called- Cost of doing Business!
But the plain old consumer
But the plain old consumer that wants to check Facebook or surf on Amazon is forced to pay extra for no legitimate reason.
And even you the employee are hurt a little, because the cost of Marriott wireless you expense comes out of your company’s budget somewhere.
Nice to see the FCC doing
Nice to see the FCC doing something useful for a change. 😛
I sometimes get a motel room
I sometimes get a motel room when I’m trucking, but its never up to Marriott’s standards, but the only one that charged was a Motel 6 in Minnesota ($2 a nite for average speed). All the other Days Inn, Super 8, etc had free WiFi. Some wide open, others required password log-in that the front desk was happy to supply.
So why do the Marriotts and similar establishments find it so hard or so dangerous to provide the same? The only answer I can come up with is maximizing profits.
I’ll share a site I have
I’ll share a site I have ordered quite a few things from. They have a great catalog too. I have been very successful at passively blocking signals.
Not going to lie, I was about
Not going to lie, I was about to delete it as a spam comment before I re-read it.