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California Law Targets Wi-Fi Freeloading
But will just wind up with new stickers on routers
by Karl Bode 10:40AM Thursday Aug 31 2006
Dark Reading has more detail on a new law in California that tries to tackle Wi-Fi Freeloading and unsecured wireless routers. The bill, passed in the State Senate yesterday and soon to be signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, will require all vendors to put stickers on routers made after October 2007, warning users to password protect the devices.

It doesn't seem to clarify the muddy legal wording of existing laws when it comes to grabbing some free bandwidth. Both Section 502 of the California penal code and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act "prohibit the intentional access to a computer without authorization." But are Wi-Fi freeloaders accessing the user's computer, or just the router? And does the word "computer" apply to router?

Daily Wireless picks out the choice quotes from web-coverage of the bill. "The question is, can we legislate away consumer idiocy?" asks Paul Debeasi, a wireless industry analyst with the Burton Group based in Midvale, Utah. "On the face of it, it's like cautioning the coffee drinker that the beverage is hot," said another Wi-Fi industry analyst. "It seems like a solution in search of a problem."

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Hitchcock, TX

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reply to pnh102

Re: Useless as "Chemicals Known to the State of CA" Stickers

More government bull crap to try and protect stupid people from themselves. Its due to this kind of mentality that we have more and more stupid people. We have put government fail-safes in place that have circumvented Darwin's selective evolution process. Whats the old saying, make something idiot proof and the government will build a better idiot