That might be the case but it's also nuts. It encourages litigation over better design and makes public enemies out of security professionals, ultimately driving away those professionals from the US and making US developed tech weak.
It's illegal to come into my house and take my stuff even if I forget to lock my back door.
If we want to protect security professionals, we should write laws that do so.
The internet has different cultural norms than physical space. One-to-one analogies are useful for exploring those differences, but not for arguing what they should be. If I have a WiFi connection, leaving it without a password is implicit permission to use it. If I have a server that provides HTTP without authentication, that is implicit permission to access the contents.
That is not to say that people should take advantage of these social norms. If I find a bowl of car keys left on a front porch, even if it is Halloween, I should inform the owner of the house that they probably don't want to do that. If I find incremental IDs that lead to other customers' personal information, I should inform the company, and the other customers if necessary.
There's not a matter of perception or culture as the candy was intentionally left out for a trick or treater to take. And since it's a well known holiday, the intent has been communicated.
If your door is open can I take a shower and cook a meal for myself in your house?
Lol. I don't know where you got this impression, but no, it absolutely is not.
Not only is it not, but you can absolutely be prosecuted and imprisoned for accessing those networks/servers without permission.
Furthermore, that doesn't really apply in this case because not only was he not given "implicit permission to use it", the in-flight WiFi system explicitly bars you from using the internet without paying for it.
Open WiFi is like a water fountain, or a bench, in a pubic place to me. There's no explicit sign telling you to use it but who'd put it there of it were not to be used? I'm in the UK.
So, for example if I'm out and about and there's an open WiFi I'll connect to it without seeking permission .. in fact I think it would be weird to go and ask (if you could work out who to ask).
(It's also very, very, very terrible practice for your own security. Don't do it.)
If you place a bench in public and you don't want anyone to sit on it then you need to notify people explicitly ... it's the same, I don't find the owner of benches and ask them.
Are there any attacks that work just by connecting to someone's wifi, obviously I'm only using it for non-sensitive traffic unless it's a recognised provider, it's certainly part of my security considerations. Are there specific attacks you're thinking of? Such attacks would work equally if I had explicit authorisation, of course.
Re your link, last time I looked it was allowed to have open shared wifi, and the way you indicate it's open for sharing is having it open and shared. That's probably why the police gave cautions, it placates the complainant and they didn't have to lose in court.
Then it should do so. If I connect and I can use the network without paying, that's not my fault.
I honestly can't believe we're even having this conversation. It is theft, period. Not only is it illegal, it's blatantly immoral.
It's not theft. It's not immoral either. Open wlan means exactly that, so where is the sign? You are on HN, so using something like a VPN is not uncommon, regardless of what network you are using.
For some reason, on HN when I've made this argument before, the resulting comments have been that the internet is somehow different, and that real-world analogies don't exist. Using equipment that you don't own in a way the owners don't intend is apparently well-accepted.
What he did would be more akin to someone entering your property, having their lunch in your garden and cleaning up before leaving.
A better analogy would be going into a restaurant with big “No Outside Food” signs with a sandwich you made at home, hiding the sandwich in a false compartment to get past a check at the door, printing the restaurant’s name on your sandwich wrapper so it looks like you bought it there, and then eating it at a table meant for paying customers.
Regardless of the criminality a real world analog would be more akin to someone taking a chair in a starbucks without paying - maybe there's room, and maybe it doesnt burden them unduly - but the company definitely pays a cost for each table aggregated across its customers.
How is this a victimless crime?
Thus: let's switch who is penalized: everyone else on the flight. Bandwidth isn't unlimited, without payment it's hard to justify increasing bandwidth if it isn't profitable.
What should the author do? Report it. If he didn't, maybe you can submit it to the company. If they have a bug bounty, you may get paid (if this happens: would you give the money to the original author?)
If you run a company: you should determine how to insensitivise reporting, it's possible in this case: not fixing it spreads awareness, most people can't/don't exploit it.
Only if everybody else on the flight was paying for WiFi (doubtful) and bandwidth was maxed out during the flight (plausible.)
Because it looks like it causes a infinitesimal harm to a corporation whereby no person is harmed to any noticeable extent, aka a victimless crime.
"Victimless crime" doesn't mean there are no negative effects, it means no _person_ is a victim.
In the U.S., property law is about the right to control access and use -- harm is a secondary concern.
It's really weird that this is presented as normal so frequently in a virtual context.
When you first try to communicate with a computer, you can't even know it exists until it replies to you. For the analogy with entering buildings to hold, everybody must be blind and deaf and all buildings must be the same from the outside. Under these conditions, you need to lock your doors, because the only way for anyone to be able to differentiate a house from a store is whether or not the door is locked (TCP connection accepted or rejected). When they approach a door, they can't even tell if the door is really there. They might just grasp the air when they reach out with their hand (TCP timeout from lack of response).
A better analogy is people talking. Everybody is still blind but not deaf. Let's say your robot slaves are talking. Your robot, probably bored, calls out to somebody, "Robot 10?". A robot replies, "yeah?". So, now you know they exist and they're willing to talk to you; you've initiated a TCP connection. "So, how's it going?" your robot asks; HTTP GET /. "My master got married last week.", he responds; HTTP 200 OK. Then comes out his master from behind the curtain, and says "No! It was never my intention for my robot to give out this information. In fact, it was never my intention for my robot to reply to anything anyone ever said. This is your fault!", pointing at you. "You called out to Robot 10, and he replied when it was never my intention for him to reply. He should have said, 'Sorry, I don't talk to strangers' (TCP connection rejection or HTTP 403 Forbidden) or refused to talk (TCP timeout from lack of response) or something. I could have told him to keep quiet, that such things are confidential, but... but... but you should not have called out to Robot 10! You're a criminal! Don't ever do that again. I may just have configured him incorrectly to die whenever he hears a greeting and that will be your fault too if you greet him! I'll charge you with murder for greeting him! and I'll sue you for compensation for the damages I incurred from my robot not being able to do some work for me while being dead."
We could disregard a computer's configuration as indication of their master's intent. However, that doesn't mean not entering someone's house via the back door. It means not talking to anyone ever for fear of them turning around and accusing you for talking to them or for hearing stuff they willingly told you.
Sure it's illegal, but hardly worth 5 years and I doubt there's a judge who would give more than community service for a stunt like this. But who knows, people get a lot more sensitive when it happens with computers or if it involves air travel.
Trouble is, the judge doesn't get to decide. Judges have to follow the federal sentencing guidelines. These can produce some bizzare results. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/03/41-months-weev-underst...
This is such a poor analogy. You are conflating access with use... someone "steeling your stuff" is what they do with the access, access is figuring out how to open the door which is the focus of what this guy was doing...
This is where all physical world analogies basically end, the closest would be a lock picking enthusiast, but digital access is a huge complicated world that is conflated with the concept of selling communication.
The so-called US law talks of intent, so why not talk about intent of the "accused" here: This clearly isn't some average freeloader interested in saving $12, the interest is far deeper, the challenge in overcoming the access and then presenting what he found out "isn't this interesting" - is that really the behavior of someone intent on "steeling your stuff". No.
If you really want to talk about what he "stole" as a process of that intent, it's literally utility, like a bathroom with a $12 lock... of which it is of course not even clear how much he used, the focus was all about figuring out how to gain access, not seeing how much netflix he could download.