"Warchalking is the practice of marking a series of symbols on sidewalks and walls to indicate nearby wireless access. That way, other computer users can pop open their laptops and connect to the Internet wirelessly. It was inspired by the practice of hobos during the Great Depression to use chalk marks to indicate which homes were friendly."
That reminds me...I need to tighten down my wireless LAN at the house...
Except for the "chalking" part - that is you are defacing public or private property with graffiti, I would guess that the wireless snooping is perfectly legal. 802.11 operates in unlicensed spectrum. Therefore, no one has an intrinsic right of privacy nor prefered use.
use 128 bit WEP @ home. no encryption @ school.
I haven't checked with any of m'learned chums, but I suspect that it's not legal in this country (UK).
Nat, when you said "you are defacing public or private property with graffiti", I wonder if the fact that it is water soluble nontoxic calcium carbonate (chalk) would matter. Would you favor prison sentences for children playing hopscotch, in other words, and if not how would you distinguish between the two.
Ed the Millwright
"Would you favor prison sentences for children playing hopscotch"
I wasn't advocating anything. I was merely suggesting that the graffiti part might me the only part that is illeagal. Using water solluble chalk would not be useful, as it would wash away, so I would guess that paint is more common. However, back in the midwest, we cyclists used to paint "Dan Henrys" (which is a little notation used to mark bicycle routes), and never worried about it. It seems much less common out here, and I was told that if you're caught painting on the streets, you'll be fined.
Nat my man, I did not realize they were using paints. I guess the term 'chalk' threw me there. Yeah I'm with you on this - if someone is out there PAINTING the sidewalks then that is grafitti/defacement and illegal. Since I thought it was chalk, I thought pretty wild to be talking about making sidewalk chalk drawings illegal as if that was common knowledge, which led me to the obvious hopscotch example.
Ed the Millwright
It's supposed to wash away - that way the symbols vanish before they get outdated.
Matt H: Here's a map of people who do want roving sign-on freeloaders, at least here in the Portland, Oregon area:
This is old news. When the site went up last year, it hit Slashdot, then the mainstream media (e.g. the Wall St. Journal). Lots of coverage.
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