Wi-Fi Liability: Potential Legal Risks in Accessing and Operating Wireless Internet

17 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2005  

ROBERT V. HALE II

Independent

Abstract

Suppose you turn on your laptop while sitting at the kitchen table at home and respond OK to a prompt about accessing a nearby wireless Internet access point owned and operated by a neighbor. What potential liability may ensue from accessing someone else's wireless access point? How about intercepting wireless connection signals? What about setting up an open or unsecured wireless access point in your house or business? Attorneys can expect to grapple with these issues and other related questions as the popularity of wireless technology continues to increase.

This paper explores several theories of liability involving both the accessing and operating of wireless Internet, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, wiretap laws, as well as trespass to chattels and other areas of common law. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of key policy considerations.

Keywords: Wi-Fi, WLAN, WAP, wireless, IEEE, 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, CFAA, HotSpot, VOIP, Sablan, Verio, AOL, Security, encryption, internet, ISP, wardriving, warchaulking

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K12, K13, K14, K19, K2, K20, K23, K2

Suggested Citation

HALE, ROBERT V., Wi-Fi Liability: Potential Legal Risks in Accessing and Operating Wireless Internet. Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, Vol. 21, p. 543, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=692881

Robert V. Hale II (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Paper statistics

Downloads
5,637
Rank
877
Abstract Views
28,790