RE: Wlan @ bestbuy is cleartext?

From: Ron DuFresne (
Date: 05/01/02

Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 14:25:13 -0500 (CDT)
From: Ron DuFresne <>
To: H C <>

The legailites I believe bearout like so:

passive scanning does not constitute a criminal trespass under current
law. Most laws on transmissions relate to voice transactions. There have
also been issues raised with video war driving/scanning, with devices such
as the X10 and XCam2 devices, wireless video equipment, often marketed as
'nanny-cams' and even used by some small businesses and home folks as
'security' equipment. I have a paper I'm seeking to publish, just looking
at whom is interested in publishing it, on these issues.

Once one actually makes a network connection, they are then most probably
guilty of tresspass and criminal computer laws infringment. Of course,
most of those are worded towards the wired environments and we might well
see precedents being set and some legal issues having to be dropped once
statrted due to current laws on the books. It will depend upon how savvy
and tech capable the defenses are for those first apprehended.


Ron DuFresne

On Wed, 1 May 2002, H C wrote:

> > Checking into it may be a legality problem.
> This concept...the legality of "checking into"
> problems...was an interesting thread on another list
> for a while. Some feel that guys like Lamo and what
> he did to gain access to NYTimes is not only legal,
> but justified. Others don't feel that way. I guess
> the only real opinion that matters is that of a judge.
> > For those of you
> > interested in trying this one out at your local
> > BestBuy, be aware they may already know...
> Already know what? That their WLAN is insecure. If
> they are already aware of that, and do nothing...does
> that then constitute negligence?
> > Anyway, at this point, I suggest you contact local
> > law enforcement
> > and ask them what they think. By now, I would hope
> > most areas have a
> > network tasks forces that can at least address the
> > issue either for
> > you or with you when you confront BestBuy.
> "Network tasks forces"? Are you saying that it's your
> opinion that all law enforcement jurisdictions should,
> by now, have 'tasks forces' [sic] for dealing with
> problems such as these? That's hardly
> realistic...some may, but I certainly wouldn't count
> on any arbitrary jurisdiction having the necessary LEO
> staff for such things.
> >From the description of his activities performed, it
> doesn't sound as if the OP has done anything wrong. I
> would suggest that he attempt to contact someone at
> Best Buy corporate headquarters, and clearly state his
> concerns (if it's a letter, run spell check, and have
> someone check the grammar, that sort of thing). Maybe
> he can implore BlueBoar for one more favor. Going to
> law enforcement isn't going to yield anything at this
> point...has a crime been committed? So far, it
> doesn't sound like it.
> I'd suggest first contacting Best Buy, either by phone
> or letter. If phone calls don't work, try a letter.
> Document your efforts. If that doesn't work, take
> your documentation to a consumer advocacy group.
> > Also, I wouldn't doddle on this, you may prevent an
> > identity theft!
> I hope the OP at least stops making credit card
> purchases at BestBuy, until the situation is resolved.
> He should suggest that his friends do the same.
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