It doesn't jam the spectrum in the traditional sense. Instead it transmits packets telling the AP and client to disconnect from one another for WiFi networks it doesn't "own." That within itself isn't technically "jamming" and is also likely legal in some cases.
The whole point of the tech is: If you own a network called "CorpWiFi," someone can come along, set up their own AP, and call their WiFi "CorpWiFi" to try and trick clients into connecting to it with the goal of stealing information. Cisco's anti-rogue AP tech attacks these hotspots and causes continuous disconnects. That is likely legal.
What is not legal is using this same tech' to disconnect ALL WiFi hotspots within range. So instead of using it to go after "CorpWiFi" you also disconnect "MyWiFi" and "FreeWiFi" which are networks you don't run. That's what has got these guys into trouble.
The technology itself is legal. Using the technology in the US is also legal in some cases. Using it to effectively corner the market for WiFi in certain areas is illegal.
What gives you, company xyz, the right to essentially DoS an AP just because they share the SSID? Just because you call something CorpWiFi, doesn't really make it legal to DoS someone else's SSID that is also called CorpWiFi. There does not seem to be any kind of legal framework that would allow you do so, but inversely, you are essentially then not only committing multiple types of crimes, but you are also violating free speech.
I get the reason, but the solution really needs to be something else, even if that something else is some sort of change to the WIFI spec and inclusion of some kind of authentication or security layer.
Of course, since the example you described is an interaction between two private parties, there is no legal notion of free speech to violate.
PS: Random noise is one thing; hacking someone’s Wi-Fi even using such a simplistic approach is very different.
You can't just use air raid sirens to disrupt a public protest
I'm not 100% up on my civil rights/protest law, but if you are a private party, I suspect you could. It is, for example, 100% legal to surround a protest with other people holding sheets to block them & their signs from view.
This can include creating loud noise
Of note: A violation of a noise ordinance is in most jurisdictions not considered a disturbance of the peace unless the perpetrator has disregarded an affirmative request that he or she reduce the noise to a reasonable level. However, that would be implied in the air raid siren case.
Anyway, I agree it's not the 4th that's the issue. But, it's still unlawful conduct.
I'll concede the possibility that my understanding is incorrect but jamming is flat out illegal(for non-government entities). It's illegal to even sell jamming devices. I remember a few years ago, the FCC started threatening movie theaters that had been jamming cell phones.
Broadcasting white noise on wifi frequencies to drown out communications is the sort of jamming that is clearly illegal, this likely isn't jamming under current laws.
"Within the bounds" - so their walls are RF shielded, then?
Nobody has a legal claim to any wifi SSID. They don't have an exclusive claim to the conference SSID, and you don't have a legal claim to your hotspot's SSID (the one that's actually at issue here). Conflicts can occur, and the law has nothing to say about them.
> Also, there are trespass statutes for people behaving as you don't wish within private property.
Yes, there are, but it's not the FCC's role to enforce those particular statutes (nor should it be). The real question is whether the FCC should be unilaterally setting policy regarding interference at the MAC level where things like de-auth packets come into play. That's being discussed in another sub-thread, so I won't repeat the points here.
> Within the bounds" - so their walls are RF shielded, then?
No more that the average corporate HQ, but there seems to be a consensus here that doing the same thing in that context would be A-OK. Why the different treatment for two situations that are equal under the law?
I never said the FCC was involved in enforcing trespass statutes. If there are people on your private property behaving in a way you deem unacceptable (even if legal), then the solution is to remove them from your property, not for you to illegally interfere with the use of the spectrum. That's vigilantism.
The Corp HQ example seems to work because there are clauses that surround intentional deception and the risk to security that could come there-from. When CorpHQSSID access points de-auth packets to an unauthorized access point using the same SSID.
That -wasn't- what was happening here. The convention center was saying "I don't care what your use of the wireless spectrum is, your hotspot, whatever, I'm going to interfere with it so that my SSID is the only one usable (oh, enter your credit card number here)".
Your contortion of logic, willful and disingenous ignorance of contradictions and interpretations don't change these facts. The issue was discussed many times, many lawyers were involved, and the outcome was decided - whether you think it should be or not (your perfect right), it -is- illegal.
Why would it be legal to order your computing device to disrupt someone else's computing services?
Just for reference here, under US Federal law:
> knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
> the term “damage” means any impairment to the integrity or availability of data, a program, a system, or information;
A protected computer is any computer connected to the internet.
Taking any action to impair the availability of data, a program, or a system to any computer connected to the internet is a felony in the United States.
There's probably a way to use the CFAA against someone setting up a fake AP, too.
Then contact law enforcement. Building out some vigilante feature into AP's is completely asinine. This is like me seeing someone speed on the expressway and trying to pull them over myself. Of course, we'll abuse that power if given to us!
The FCC needs to up its game. Either allow us to do whatever the hell we want or stop the bad guys. You either have police or you don't. This middle ground of outsourcing enforcement to Cisco and Aruba and other deep pocketed enterprise players was, predictably, abused by terrible corporate citizens and puts home users as a disadvantage as their equipment doesn't have these features.
Or heaven forbid the FCC get off the big donors/money train and strongarm some spectrum so we have more for wifi in the ISM band. How much spectrum is wasted right now on analog radio or other dinosaur services that can be downsampled into bandwidth efficient digital transmissions? Its incredible we have so few bands for our most used infrastructure. Hell, give us channel 14 at least. Figure out a safe way to do this here. We're dying for spectrum yet deep pocketed players buy all they need (mobile networks, clear channel, etc). That's the core problem hereand until we get more wifi spectrum, these shenanigans will continue in one form or another. Smart City isn't knocking you offline because you're some kind of wifi pirate, they're doing it because they want to hog the limited spectrum for their convention customers.
If pirating ssid's were a real problem, we'd all be proposing an ssl-cert like system to verify identities or at least some kind of web of trust to avoid rogue AP's. But its not, its a complete red herring. The real issue is the stingy amount of spectrum allocated to us.
No, it's like any corporation's private security asking you to leave. (Which they absolutely will.)
Similarly, you don't have any rights over the airspace above your land - the FAA does.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_47_CFR_Part_15 (see: subpart .5)
In places where the public goes (hotels, convention centers) they are absolutely wrong but they're still important to enterprise security on corporate campuses.
Where I think Smart City's argument falls down is not that managing the network within their private space is generally wrong or illegal. Their failure seems to have been that the users whose hotspots they were killing had entered into no agreement not to bring or use those devices. Had that been a part of the event registration, I for one might have declined to attend, but I also think the FCC might then have been right - per the law - to have decided differently.
> No evidence exists that the Wi-Fi blocking occurred in response to a specific security threat to Smart City’s network or the users of its network.
A corporate network could probably meet that hurdle, it's not clear however they'd get away with it if it also shut down the neighbor's wifi...
Wifi spectrum is shared with other services. I am aware of at least the following services that use all or part of the same spectrum that 2.4 GHz wifi uses:
1. Radiolocation services (e.g., radar).
2. Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) devices operating under Part 18 of the FCC regulations.
3. Amateur radio (ham) operators operating under Part 97 of the FCC regulations.
4. Wifi, RF remote controls, Bluetooth, microwave ovens, cordless phones, wireless microphones, and many other things, operating under Part 15 of the FCC regulations. (Note: note all instances of all of these devices will be in the 2.4 GHz band. For instance. There are other bands available for most of these, and which a particular device uses is up to the manufacturer).
There may be other services operating under other parts of the FCC rules that I did not list (because I don't know about them).
The above are listed in order of priority. The rules are simple:
• You cannot interfere with users of services above yours the list. For instance, if a ham radio operator interferes with an ISM user, the ham has to stop the interference. How he does that is up to the ham...he could reduce power, or use a directional antenna aimed away from the ISM device, or move to a different frequency, but if he can't stop the interference by such means, then he has to stop transmitting.
• If a user of a service above you on the list interferes with you, it's entirely your problem, not theirs. They have no obligation whatsoever to take any steps to reduce or eliminate their interference with you.
So here is the hack. Get some part 18 certified ISM device that is very sensitive to interference from wifi--so sensitive that it is pretty much impossible to operate wifi near it without interfering--and operate it on site. Now anyone who fires up wifi will interfere, and you can ask them to stop and if they do not they are violating FCC regulations.
47 CFR 97.301 says that the sharing requirements for hams in 2.390-2.450 GHz are given by 97.303(d), (e), and (p).
97.303(e) says: "Amateur stations receiving in the 33 cm band, the 2400-2450 MHz segment, the 5.725-5.875 GHz segment, the 1.2 cm band, the 2.5 mm band, or the 244-246 GHz segment must accept interference from industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) equipment".
So, hams must accept interference from ISM in that band, which would put hams equal or below ISM on my list...BUT I cannot find anything that says hams must not interfere with ISM, which would indicate hams should be equal or above ISM.
It doesn't matter if you own the land. Land ownership does not confer rights to the airwaves, the air space, and often things like mineral rights.
I've been in plenty of buildings with terrible-to-nonexistent cell reception. I somehow doubt that they'd be held liable if I wasn't able to get reception to make a 911 call. I can't see that the large Faraday cage example is appreciably different.
A purely passive barrier to electronic signals is a completely different thing. There are no rules against Faraday cages, and the FCC is perfectly aware of them and what they are for; it OKs the use of Faraday cages for use with experimental radio technology that would otherwise require a special permit.
I'd put big signs up announcing that fact, and it would be awesome to see the kinds of people that actively want to hangout where cell phones don't work.
Among other interesting points is that they seem to have been using the same "de-authentication" trick that Marriott had used in a similar case a while ago. Also, they make an argument about density and interference that IMO shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. I still think they were wrong and deserved the fine, but it's worth keeping in mind that mobile hotspots can fall afoul of the very same principle and law behind that fine.
That's not how WiFi works. They cannot know for a fact that these WiFi hotspots are within the convention space, they could and likely are, blocking WiFi located outside of that space.
Additionally they're claiming that they literally own the radio spectrum within a "proprietary space" which is a dangerous line. What is stopping them from blocking all cellular signals or worse charging cellphone companies for the signal travelling through their space?
Their point about security is nonsense. The technology they're employing is DESIGNED to secure WiFi networks by disconnecting actually rogue APs (i.e. devices squawking the same SSID as their network), that is still legal, the problem they and the Hilten ran into is that they took tech' designed for security and mis-used it for monopolising the WiFi spectrum within their convention centers.
So, sorry, no. If your WiFi network is called SmartCityWiFi and you disconnect MyHotSpot then you're breaking the law and have zero security arguments to make.
Good on the FCC for giving these guys a fine. Too bad it wasn't more. I read their arguments and it has only made me side with the FCC more. What they're asking for would make the world a worse place in general and only helps their bottom line.
To play devil's advocate, some APs support rogue triangulation. Ours plot any rogues on a building map so we know exactly where they are. When combined with a proper wireless survey, you could ensure that they don't deauth anything beyond the building perimeter. Not that I recommend that, since at the very least someone should be able to tether their phone if they want. But also because it puts additional overhead on your APs, which are usually already taxed in high-usage areas.
Why is this legal while the other practice is not? Say the conference center uses a wifi named HallWifi. Why are they allowed to block me from using the same SSID but not HallWifi2 or else? Also, what about blocking similar SSIDs like Hal1Wifi?
This seems one of those things where you have to write a 'I can't define exactly what is illegal, but I know it when I see it' law. I really don't like those types of laws.
Cell phones use licensed spectrum. If you want to operate a jammer, you're going to need permission from Sprint, which they're not going to give you.
Now, if Sprint wants to operate a cellphone tower on your property, then you can charge them out the nose.
If attendees were naming their personal hotspots "SmartCity" then SmartCity would have a point. They weren't.
Instead the law in the United States is that you aren't allowed to jam anyone, aren't allowed to interfere with the operation of other computers on the internet, and whether the computers are on your real estate or not has nothing at all to do with it.
They have a trademark on the phrase "Smart City Networks" within the area of wireless high-speed Internet.
What happens if we both have the same SSID and move into the same area? Who 'owns' that SSID? Smart City gets to just roll into town taking over any SSID it wants?
You don't think triangulation can be that accurate?
> they could and likely are, blocking WiFi located outside of that space.
You have even less basis for that statement than they had for theirs.
> They're claiming that they literally own the radio spectrum within a "proprietary space" which is a dangerous line.
Absolutely agree. That's why we need to have those conversations, instead of just oversimplifying into "bad guys" trying to meet their SLAs and "good guys" bringing whatever gadgets they want to the party.
> If your WiFi network is called SmartCityWiFi and you disconnect MyHotSpot then you're breaking the law
> Good on the FCC for giving these guys a fine
I agree. In my opinion spoofing de-auth packets should be legally equivalent to jamming (currently it's not) and should be severely punished. The fine was deserved. On the other hand, let's not rush to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is a serious issue here, which won't go away until we face it.
Does Cisco's anti-rogue AP tech perform triangulation? Why would it when it isn't designed to limit what people can do in physical spaces?
> You have even less basis for that statement than they had for theirs.
I know how the tech works. I know how the anti-rogue AP tech works. I have plenty of reasons for believing that they're disconnecting APs outside of a physical zone (since it isn't designed to do accomplish that to begin with).
>> If your WiFi network is called SmartCityWiFi and you disconnect MyHotSpot then you're breaking the law
> 
Literally the article this entire thread is about... The FCC's fine of Smart City today that we're discussing is the citation. I cannot believe you even asked for that... Wow.
As another commenter so politely put it, and received no censure, absolutely wrong. You're trying to make a distinction based on SSIDs, and SSIDs have no legal standing. The string "SSID" doesn't even appear in the FCC's decision. Reasonable people can disagree on whether this was the right decision, and as it happens we do agree. Reasonable people can disagree on which statutes, definitions, etc. apply. However, reasonable people can not claim that the entire thread is about SSIDs. To quote you, "Wow."
> Rogue AP-connected clients, or rogue ad hoc connected clients, may be contained by sending 802.11 de-authentication packets from local APs. This should be done only after steps have been taken to ensure that the AP is truly a rogue AP, because it is illegal to do this to a legitimate AP in a neighboring WLAN. This is the reason why Cisco removed the automatic rogue AP containment feature from this solution.
You're arguing that it is illegal in all circumstances, Cisco disagrees. The FCC also has not brought a single enforcement action against anyone utilising rogue AP containment the way it was designed, they have only brought it against businesses using it to shut down third party WiFi (that wasn't pretending to belong to the same network).
Your Cisco quote is a complete non sequitur because you're assuming a very particular definition of "legitimate AP" when none is present or implied by law. A "legitimate AP" is one that is not itself being operated in violation of the law, and a "neighboring WLAN" is one that you do not own or have consent to manage. With correct or reasonable definitions, that quote doesn't support your position at all.
No, its not. This is quite obvious from the time of the documents (The January 15 document you point to could not, even without looking at its content, be a response to the settlement the FCC just announced with Smart City.)
If you actually read the content of the thing you say is "Smart City's response", its Smart City's response comments in support of a petition filed by Marriot seeking to have the FCC repudiate the principle that formed part of the basis for the judgement against Marriot and Smart City.
But note that even in that response, Smart City does not take the position that the actions for which it was being investigated, which it admitted to in the Consent Decree and claims to have discontinued when it learned of the investigation in 2014, should be permitted, instead taking a position that de-authentication should be allowed when based on specific objective measures indicating a threat to networks, whereas what they were doing (by their own admission) before, and were fined for, was indiscriminating sending de-authentication packets shut down WiFi access points that they did not control.
 which Marriott withdrew later the same month as the Smart City response was filed; the FCC file on that petition is http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?name=RM-11737
Time did, and part of time is that responses don't occur before the thing they respond to.
> It was a response - just to an earlier round of the same debate
Its not even that; its a response in a parallel but tangentially related proceeding that started after the complaint on which the current Consent Decree was filed, addressed a different issue, and was never resolved because the party that filed it (Marriott) later withdrew it.
And Smart City's response in that proceeding essentially argues that the FCC can and should prohibit the conduct which Smart City admitted to in the consent decree, though it argues that the prohibition should be based on a different legal foundation than the one cited in the Marriott and now Smart City consent decrees.
(It also argues that the FCC should not prohibit a different, more targeted practice of de-authing that is actually based on more specific objective indicia of a threat to an existing network, which no FCC enforcement action as yet has targeted.)
Absolutely wrong. Mobile hotspots do not actively transmit deauth packets into their surrounding environment.
> 47 U.S. Code § 333 - Willful or malicious interference
> No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with
> or cause interference to any radio communications of any
> station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter
> or operated by the United States Government.
> What is the legal definition of "interference" with respect to this statute?
The legal problem isn't the effect of interfering with others' communication, its the active intent to interfere with others' communication.
So, no, a noisy environment because lots of people set up WiFi hotspots with no intent to prevent use (even though it may prevent some uses) does not pose the same legal issue as an environment in which someone is intentionally actively denying people the use of WiFi hotspots by spoofing de-auth packets.
Please don't be personally abrasive on HN, even when another comment sounded rude. This comment would be great without the first sentence.
Personal attacks are frowned upon on HN.
That system is called "licensing" and SmartCity is completely free to apply for a license to own their own slice of spectrum. When you are talking about single-building uses or point-to-point links they aren't even that expensive (unlike regional or national cellular frequencies for example). Good luck getting hardware makers to adopt your special snowflake system!
WiFi operates on unlicensed bands. By using such bands you are bound by various rules (like power transmit limits) designed to ensure everyone has shared access. WiFi itself is designed to scale down power and share transmit time to keep the noise low. In fact using a personal hotspot isn't likely to cause much interference since the devices are likely right next to each other and transmitting at very low power levels.
What you can't do is take the spectrum, protocols, and devices designed to allow everyone to share and hijack it to stop other people from using it.
You might make the case that officially certified WiFi devices should include some frequency bands that are license-only so that large venues could apply for exclusive use of certain frequencies* but unless and until that happens you are legally required to abide by the same rules as everyone else, even on your property.
* As radio chips get better it becomes more and more feasible to include the hardware for a multitude of frequencies (chips, amps, filters, etc); eventually SDR will make it possible to support a huge range.
In this context, (hotel internet) it doesn't seem reasonable to ask them to start manufacturing their own wireless cards that support a wider spectrum, since everybody staying at the hotel would need one.
Right now, hotels have two choices. They can support cheap commodity equipment that uses unlicensed spectrum, but they have to accept that everyone is allowed to use that spectrum as they wish (within the rules) and this might impact the hotel's use. Or they can use expensive specialized equipment that nobody owns, and have guaranteed exclusivity to their bit of spectrum in that area.
I think a third choice would be great, to have commodity hardware that can access licensed spectrum so that venues who want to guarantee exclusivity can obtain a license while allowing their users to use standard hardware.
But that third choice isn't available, so the reality of the situation is the two choices above. Naturally, venues pick the option with commodity equipment and no exclusivity. And that's totally fine. But they can't then try to force exclusivity into the situation afterwards.
I think this raises an interesting point. There ought to be some frequency bands accessible by common WiFi hardware which require a license to use. Then big venues like this could set up their networks on licensed bands, after obtaining a license, and be free from interference by people's mobile hotspots and such.
Although I have a feeling that approximately nobody would actually go through the process of getting a license, because the whole "interference" thing is just a cover, and their actual motivation is a cash grab by attempting to force people to use their spectacularly overpriced service.
Thank you for keeping this constructive. That's exactly the kind of discussion we need to have. Certainly there are likely to be all of the problems we've seen in every other aspect of spectrum allocation and licensing, but at least exploring the possibilities might lead to a better solution. Certain others' insistence on denial and bluster won't get us anywhere.
The local physical property owner has no more right (and no less right) to use the unlicensed bands than anyone else does.
The point isn't worthless in general, but it's worthless in the context of the text and principle of 44 US Code 333. In that case, I will dismiss it out of hand.
it's worth keeping in mind that mobile hotspots can fall afoul of the very same principle and law behind that fine
What mobile hotspots maliciously interfere with eachother's operation?
Key point here: there is no real estate "private property right" to RF spectrum under US law. This is well established.
Absolutely it should. It might make for a shitty experience, but the whole (un) license of the Wifi spectrum is "it's a free-for-all, suck it up". However many users are there, microwaves, you name it. "May not produce interference to other users, must accept any and all interference".
Also similar to airports, I doubt that the local monopoly is illegal since it's usually the city that sets it up. The problem here seems to be that they were messing with transmissions, which the FCC has control over.
Although I agree, just because it's legal doesn't make it less of a pain. Back when I was an exhibitor at conferences, we used to get Ikea furniture delivered to the hotel, carry it in, assemble it ourselves, and just leave it at the end of the conference. It was about 1/8 the price of rental furniture.
Different convention centers have different rules, but the ones I went to used to allow you to assemble anything you could bring in the front doors. If it came in the back doors you'd need to pay drayage and assembly fees. We had a collapsible booth that was very useful in this regard.
___Municipal facilities___ are often built with ___municipal obligation/revenue____ bonds, and then the monopolies used as ___opportunities___ to local unions and service providers.
Conference organizers who book these venues are making a conscious choice that the inconvenience and cost to their exhibitors pays off in increased attendance.
Unfortunately, there's really no market-based solution to convention-center practices. Competing for desirable locations -- say, by building your own convention center and charging less/having better practices -- is close enough to impossible that we can just call it impossible.
And given how often convention centers are funded by the taxpayers, it's only fair for the taxpayers to impose conditions on how their money will be used.
I get that the situation sucks. I've been there too. But ultimately you're paying this tremendous premium not because there's literally no choice, which is what a monopoly would entail, but merely because it's worth it over the alternative.
I think the fact that these things are often owned by the local governments is a good reason why they shouldn't be doing stuff like this, but that seems like a remedy to ask for from the local governments in question, rather than some sort of federal investigation.
I've seen conferences charge really high prices for data at a convention center, namely because so many people attended, that it would have overwhelmed the convention center's (likely underpowered) network. Price kept usage low.
This is one reason I've began to like the smaller conferences more. More variety in venues and free data. Plus it's easier to be known among a smaller group of people.
That makes it (Moscone) a near monopoly.
They were sending deauthentication packets.
the complainant alleged that Smart City transmitted deauthentication frames to prevent the complainant’s customers’ use of their Wi-Fi equipment
- On your property? Doesn't matter. Still illegal.
- They're using your SSID? Doesn't matter. Still illegal.
- You entered into a contract to block all other signals? Doesn't matter, you entered into a contract to do something expressly illegal.
- Too many radios will make the local spectrum unusable? Doesn't matter, the band is unlicensed. Still illegal.
We can talk all day about the should haves and the would haves, but the practical and legal facts of this case are quite clear.
Incorrect. There are many things that are illegal without consent, but legal with it. Sex, for example. In this case, as soon as you enter into an appropriately worded contract, that de-auth packet stops being interference and starts being an agreed-to part of that contract. Therefore it's none of the FCC's business. It might be the subject of a civil suit, but that's a different matter.
That's why I've said repeatedly that Smart City's misdeed (and Marriott's before them) was not the mere sending of de-auth packets. Condemning de-auth packets is like condemning screwdrivers. The real problem is that they did not obtain consent for that use of the tool. They could have made that part of the convention registration, and they would have been OK (though they would almost certainly have faced an outcry). It's no different than a company forbidding the same thing within their corporate HQ building, which almost everybody here seems to believe is OK. I see a lot of people throwing words like "legitimate" and "illegitimate" around today, but nobody seems to have a realistic definition handy. I find it amazing that so many here want the government making technical distinctions for us, which they never do well, instead of relying on the simple notion of consent (or lack thereof) between parties.
Please point to the specific portion of case law or FCC law that shares this definition, because as far as I can tell, it doesn't exist.
I'm not sure why you insist on muddying what is a pretty clear law and also a pretty clear decision based on that law. The "permission" point you're stating has no basis in law.
You cannot willfully interfere with another user's lawful transmission on an unlicensed band.
It is that simple.
What they could do, and probably should have done, is post notices saying that unauthorized wifi is against the venue rules and will lead to ejection, and then go around with a laptop, find the people, and boot them out. That would have been perfectly okay and perfectly legal.
Your contract as a private party, with another private party, does not absolve either of you from your obligations under law. The FCC is a third party to this contract, and your 'sex' example is irrelevant (on many different levels).
This is unlawful interference, pure and simple.
Then it's a good thing nobody here is expressing that attitude!
Everyone (venue owner, hotspot owner, mobile tethering user, etc) gets to use unlicensed spectrum as long as they follow the rules. One of the rules is no jamming / intentional interference. It's just not as complex as you seem to think.
If you think that my hotspot is interfering with their ability to do business/profit, well, I'm not sure where anyone is entitled to profit.
Roaming customers are very, very profitable and devices will frequently connect to the first, strongest signal they see.
That is worrisome, someone could build a portable station to hijack people's phones, do some phishing then move on to another location.
There are only 11 Wifi channels available in the US, and since the channels are considerably wider than the center frequency separation each overlaps with several adjacent channels--meaning that in a given area at most 3 wifi hotspots can operate before you start to get overlap.
Unless the power is kept very low, so that only devices very near you can see your hotspot, I'd expect performance to be terrible if more than a handful of people fire up their hotspots.
Have I overlooked something?
Even after paying all that we were still blocked with deauth packets until we begged their network engineer to whitelist our MAC addresses.
Moreover, if Smart City chooses to block WiFi signal on their own private property, that is their business and not the FCC's. Of course they probably did this nefariously without the knowledge or consent of the private property owner.
Still pretty crummy of them to do that.
Not that I condone their behavior.
The cage may block avenues for that LAN's access to the Internet, but in the worst case scenario, someone could operate a sneakernet bridge by shuttling large storage devices between the wifi LAN inside the doors and the WAN access point outside them. Latency would be terrible, but you could get the packets through eventually.
(for phone service, people just have to give up and go outside)
"Why is the gov't punishing a successful business model?"
"The gov't should stay out of SmartCity's Freedom To Contract with the convention centers."
"If people don't like it, they can go outside the convention center, or not attend conferences at that convention center. No one is holding a gun to their head."