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Manufacturers will have to warn on wireless security

September 1st, 2006

From 1st October 2007, manufacturers must place warning labels on all equipment capable of receiving Wi-Fi signals, according to the new state law. These can take the form of box stickers, special notification in setup software, notification during the router setup or through automatic securing of the connection. One warning sticker must be positioned so that it must be removed by a consumer before the product can be used.

The warnings would have to contain information on how to secure files, folders and connections. Wireless internet connections can be used by anyone with Wi-Fi capability within the range of the transmitter unless they are secured. While many users have traditionally shared their connections, leaving them open for others to use, other users are becoming increasingly concerned about the implications of ´piggybacking´ on networks.

The legislation acknowledges disagreement in the US as to whether it is legal for someone to use another person´s unprotected Wi-Fi connection. “While Section 502 of the Penal Code prohibits the unauthorized access to computers, computer systems, and computer data, authorized use is determined by the specific circumstances of the access,” it states. “There are also federal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act […]that prohibit the intentional access to a computer without authorization.”Read Full Story

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