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(Ars Technica)   SWAT team throws flashbangs, raids wrong home due to open WiFi network that allowed the teen next door to make online threats against the local cops. But wait, there's more   (arstechnica.com) divider line 210
    More: Asinine, SWAT team, Wi-Fi, Internet Crime, internet police, Spring Hill, hand grenades, open wifi, american police  
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21828 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jun 2012 at 10:36 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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rka
2012-06-29 06:12:07 PM

thisisyourbrainonFark: rka: Go look at the complete cowardice that the entire Denver metro area police forces showed during Columbine. Two kids with guns, who had killed themselves 30 minutes into the "standoff", caused a hundred cops to piss in their boots outside for 4 hours while innocent people bled to death.

Not a cop defender by any means but your post is the epitome of hindsight.
Cops are mostly trained to secure and contain a scene with an active shooter, then call in SWAT. No one had any idea they were teens.


There were two SWAT teams there within an hour. Denver SWAT and Jefferson County SWAT. They were huddled next to the cops and spent their time calling in for more armored vehicles..despite no shooting from inside. They were still setting up perimeters 1 hour after the last shot and didn't get a single man in the entire school complex until 1pm. And yes they did know it was kids. They had a couple of hundred witnesses telling them that. The media was running with the "Trenchcoat Mafia poor picked on geeks" angle 2 hours into the thing. Remember the one kid who tumbled out of the 2nd story window? Turns out he probably saved his own life because waiting for the SWAT/cops would have led to him bleeding to death...like Dave Saunders did.

You know who did do something heroic that day? Paramedics. They were the ones helping the wounded they could get to. The cops? Completely useless.
 
2012-06-29 08:05:21 PM

NightSteel: freewill: The point in bringing up the "edge of my property" example is that, yes, Starbucks can prevent this, but the fact that they do not does not mean that they are granting authorization to the public. (In point of fact, they go out of their way to promote the fact that they do.) If you don't want your phone stolen, you can put it somewhere safe, but if you don't, the person who takes it still a thief. Leaving it on the bar when you get up to go to the bathroom does not constitute permission to other bar patrons to make dirty phone calls to your mother or run up international minutes, and it's not just because you put a passcode on it.

So, if Neighbor A leaves his truck unlocked and lets everyone in the neighborhood drive it around to pick up their furniture, the onus is on Neighbors B and C to lock theirs and post a sign that they do not authorize the use of their truck? No. You have no rights to the routers that you see when you scan for networks. Until you have some substantive reason to believe otherwise, there is no basis for assuming that you have authorization to use it. The fact that your hippy neighbor runs his that way or that Starbucks runs theirs that way does not mean that you're entitled to assume that other routers are run the same way. If you need to know whether or not you have authorization, you can always ask.

In both of the above paragraphs, it seems like we are quibbling about what a reasonable person can or cannot assume. I hate to sound like a broken record, but these analogies are still terrible, because they deal with physical objects that can only be used by one person at a time. In both cases, you must physically take possession of the object (the phone or the truck) without permission, thereby depriving the rightful owner of its use. This is theft, and is not something that a reasonable person would assume is OK without permission. When you connect to an open WLAN, the most you can deprive its owner of is bandwidth (provided y ...


How about this? We are in fact talking about a physical object, which is your router, in your house. If you leave it wide open for a criminal to use, then you accept some responsibility for allowing the criminal to commit the crime using your equipment, which you left open. If you left your gun on your front gate with a sign, "Free to use any way you like." and someone came along and took it to kill someone, that person would be guilty of murder, but you would be guilty of "accessorizing" the crime.
 
2012-06-29 08:19:37 PM
Not defending what thw SWATzis did, but when you live in SWATziland, you better like it, or change it.
 
2012-06-29 09:54:47 PM

RedVentrue: How about this? We are in fact talking about a physical object, which is your router, in your house. If you leave it wide open for a criminal to use, then you accept some responsibility for allowing the criminal to commit the crime using your equipment, which you left open. If you left your gun on your front gate with a sign, "Free to use any way you like." and someone came along and took it to kill someone, that person would be guilty of murder, but you would be guilty of "accessorizing" the crime.


An open wireless network is not a physical object, it is not the same thing as a router, it is certainly not a deadly weapon, and until the law says so, leaving one open for others to use is not a crime. Would you make Starbucks, or a hotel, or a library, liable for the actions of anyone who may connect to their WLAN, since it's available to the public? No, that would be ridiculous, and a private hotspot should be treated identically under the law.

You can't steal an open wireless network. It has been made available to you, intentionally or not, and as I've said before in this thread, when you use it, you are not depriving its rightful owner of it (unless you are sucking up all the bandwidth, which would be denial of service, which is in itself a crime). Every single analogy in this thread that implies otherwise has been a horribly false analogy, and not one attempt to liken it to theft has taken into account the fact that theft requires you to take something away from its rightful owner, depriving them of it,
 
2012-06-30 12:52:43 AM

NightSteel: Would you make Starbucks, or a hotel, or a library, liable for the actions of anyone who may connect to their WLAN, since it's available to the public? No, that would be ridiculous, and a private hotspot should be treated identically under the law.


Would you make it legal to commit any crime as long as an open hotspot was used? Would you make it illegal for LEOs to investigate the router logs of an open hotspot that was used to send credible death/terrorism threats?

Having an open hotspot should absolutely not be illegal, let alone justification for a police raid. But like any publicly accessible venue, the owner of the hotspot should at least acknowledge the possibility that they may be asked to hand over evidence when their venue/service is used in the commission of a crime.
 
2012-06-30 01:33:35 AM

RedVentrue: More like stealing your neighbors cable,


You're missing the point. You can hardly "steal" his cable if your neighbor sets up a TV that's always on in his big bay window that looks out onto the street, and faces the screen outward.

RedVentrue: and committing crimes with it.


I'm not sure how a viewer would commit crimes over cable, but I'm willing to learn.
 
2012-06-30 01:38:40 AM

the ha ha guy: Would you make it legal to commit any crime as long as an open hotspot was used? Would you make it illegal for LEOs to investigate the router logs of an open hotspot that was used to send credible death/terrorism threats?

Having an open hotspot should absolutely not be illegal, let alone justification for a police raid. But like any publicly accessible venue, the owner of the hotspot should at least acknowledge the possibility that they may be asked to hand over evidence when their venue/service is used in the commission of a crime.


I absolutely agree with that. Hotspot owners should definitely cooperate with investigations upon being presented with a proper warrant. But in this case, given the lack of simple investigation before the raid, it's easy to conclude that law enforcement was not interested in investigating. They wanted the bare minimum of facts they needed in order to go break down the door of the guy that had been thumbing his nose at them, so they could make sure he would never forget his place again. This was a punitive raid, and law enforcement farked it up.

TFA links to a few articles from the Evansville Courier and Press. In one of them, there's this, describing the initial investigation:

They "looked at the names associated with that (street) address," Bolin said, and came up with a 21-year-old relative of the residents - a man of whom they later turned up troubling photographs.

So, boiled down, the investigation consisted of "The postings came from this IP address. According to the ISP, this house had that IP address at that time. These people live at this house. This guy--who doesn't live there--is a cousin of these people and--OMG--he has some priors and some Facebook pictures with a gun. Flashbangs all around!" They went on a raid, destroyed private property and scared the bejesus out of innocent people, because a cousin with a few priors and thuggish facebook photos *might* have been there. They thought he must have posted the threats, and so off they went to teach him a lesson, collateral damage be damned.

It just so happened they were completely wrong. As has been said before in this thread, 15 minutes of real investigation could have prevented the whole thing, but no, those guys were locked, cocked, and ready to rock, and there was no way they were going to just go home after getting all dressed up. They were either too amped, too ignorant, or both, to consider the idea of an open WLAN and check for it.
 
2012-06-30 02:00:22 AM

RedVentrue: You are sending a signal through the neighbors property in order to access his/ her access point, and using that IP adress to communicate with the net. That is not only tresspass, it's identity theft.


Nonsense. An IP address is not analogous to a personal identity in any sense. It's, at best, a vague indicator of the physical location of a machine- in this case, a machine specifically designed to allow other machines in relatively different physical locations to connect with it. Those machines may or may not be directly controlled by a person. That person is connectable to the IP address in question only tangentially.

If you run an open AP that extends its signal beyond the limits of your property (your choice), onto mine or the public's, you are in effect extending services to those locations. If you set up your cable TV inside my living room and turn it on, you can hardly call it theft if I watch it.

If you don't want people on the street or in their houses next door using your AP, either attenuate the signal so it doesn't extend beyond your property, or encrypt the signal.

For the record, I have no problem with getting a knock on my door by an officer who says "Sir, we've detected criminal activity x,y and z originating at your IP address. We've noticed that you are running your AP without encryption. We have a search warrant to look at your router's log file. Please direct us to your equipment so we can gather evidence for our investigation." But what went down in TFA is just bananas. Completely unnecessary, and a huge misapplication of force that should be illegal for police to perpetrate, let alone be considered SOP.
 
2012-06-30 02:16:58 AM

NightSteel: In both of the above paragraphs, it seems like we are quibbling about what a reasonable person can or cannot assume. I hate to sound like a broken record, but these analogies are still terrible, because they deal with physical objects that can only be used by one person at a time. In both cases, you must physically take possession of the object (the phone or the truck) without permission, thereby depriving the rightful owner of its use. This is theft, and is not something that a reasonable person would assume is OK without permission. When you connect to an open WLAN, the most you can deprive its owner of is bandwidth (provided you aren't committing other crimes). The owner can go right on using it along with you (unless you're sucking up all the bandwidth, which would be denial of service), which is far more reasonable than stealing a phone or a truck because hey, it was there.


An open WLAN is a machine that can produce infinite trucks, left on the sidewalk with a sign on it that says "FREE TRUCKS".

Ahem... for the purposes of this analogy, of course.
 
2012-06-30 04:48:48 PM

Z-clipped: RedVentrue: You are sending a signal through the neighbors property in order to access his/ her access point, and using that IP adress to communicate with the net. That is not only tresspass, it's identity theft.

Nonsense. An IP address is not analogous to a personal identity in any sense. It's, at best, a vague indicator of the physical location of a machine- in this case, a machine specifically designed to allow other machines in relatively different physical locations to connect with it. Those machines may or may not be directly controlled by a person. That person is connectable to the IP address in question only tangentially.

If you run an open AP that extends its signal beyond the limits of your property (your choice), onto mine or the public's, you are in effect extending services to those locations. If you set up your cable TV inside my living room and turn it on, you can hardly call it theft if I watch it.

If you don't want people on the street or in their houses next door using your AP, either attenuate the signal so it doesn't extend beyond your property, or encrypt the signal.

For the record, I have no problem with getting a knock on my door by an officer who says "Sir, we've detected criminal activity x,y and z originating at your IP address. We've noticed that you are running your AP without encryption. We have a search warrant to look at your router's log file. Please direct us to your equipment so we can gather evidence for our investigation." But what went down in TFA is just bananas. Completely unnecessary, and a huge misapplication of force that should be illegal for police to perpetrate, let alone be considered SOP.


That is reasonable. I'm not defending the SWATzi stormtrooper tactics, only saying that providing a route to commit crimes makes one partly responsible when crimes are committed by that route.
 
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