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Author Topic: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi  (Read 3022 times)

Fansome

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Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« on: January 04, 2015, 0622 UTC »
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/opinion/sunday/brazen-attempts-by-hotels-to-block-wi-fi.html

Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi

By THE EDITORIAL BOARDJAN. 3, 2015

Some large hotel chains want to block guests from using their own wireless Internet devices. It’s a blatant attempt to limit customer choice, and the Federal Communications Commission should say no.

Marriott International and the American Hotel and Lodging Association are asking the F.C.C. to give hotels the green light to remotely disable the Wi-Fi devices that some travelers use to connect their laptops and tablet computers to the Internet through cellular services from companies like Verizon. This would force guests to buy the wireless Internet service provided by hotels.

In its petition, the hotel industry asks the commission to create an exception to rules that prohibit anyone from “willful or malicious interference” with wireless communications that are “licensed or authorized” by the government. The industry asserts that because Wi-Fi signals use unlicensed frequencies, they do not deserve the same protection as licensed services like cellphone networks. That is an absurd argument, since the government has authorized unlicensed Wi-Fi devices and networks. Other countries, like Britain, prohibit “deliberate interference” of wireless communications.

In October, the F.C.C. fined Marriott $600,000 for preventing customers from using their own Wi-Fi devices at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville. The commission said the hotel was charging people attending and exhibiting at a conference $250 to $1,000 per device to connect to the hotel-operated Wi-Fi service. Previously, the F.C.C. prohibited Boston’s Logan International Airport from blocking Wi-Fi networks set up by airline clubs.

Hotel industry officials say they want to protect guests from rogue Wi-Fi networks that are designed by criminals to look as though they are part of hotel-operated Wi-Fi systems and that are used to hack into travelers’ computers. They say this issue is a particular worry at conferences where dozens of exhibitors and thousands of visitors are using Wi-Fi.

Some of these security concerns have merit. But the best way for hotels to deal with rogue networks is to inform law enforcement agencies and help them apprehend criminals who are trying to steal information. In justifying its request, the industry likens what it wants to do to some universities’ restricting the amount of data that students can send and receive over campus wireless networks. But while universities may restrict the use of their own systems, they generally do not prevent students from setting up and using their own networks.

Marriott and the hotel association say that if the commission rules against them, some hotels might prohibit guests from checking in with Wi-Fi devices or restrict such equipment from some parts of their properties, a move that would only alienate their customers. The F.C.C. should not give hotels the power to block Wi-Fi devices that many customers rely on.

Offline BDM

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 1855 UTC »
Like grandpa said, follow the "buck" >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Radios -- Perseus SDR // SDRPlay RSPdx // Icom IC-7300 // Tecsun PL-660 // Panasonic RF-5000A --Antennas-- Pixel Pro 1B loop - 82' fan-dipole at 40' - tuned MW/BCB 40" loop and 100' receive only dipole
-Brian--North of Detroit--MI-
1710/KHz the MW Pirate Clear Channel (not so much anymore "sigh")

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 2213 UTC »
This must be about the "No Goat Porn" policy most hotels put in place re; pay-per-view television, a number of years back. Now, without wi-fi access goat porn aficionados, are out in the cold.

It looks like you'll have to stay in the manger if you're a goat porn fan. (Like someone I know.)

Offline ladderline

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2015, 0157 UTC »
Make sure you renew your membership of your Amateur Club and make sure they cover insurance just in case your ham radio causes damage to electrical appliances in the hotel caused by radio interference. I don't do them in hotels. I rent a cabin in a campground and tape my ladder line all over the ceiling. My 1 cent opinion.

Offline John Poet

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2015, 0409 UTC »
Make sure you renew your membership of your Amateur Club and make sure they cover insurance just in case your ham radio causes damage to electrical appliances in the hotel caused by radio interference. I don't do them in hotels. I rent a cabin in a campground and tape my ladder line all over the ceiling. My 1 cent opinion.

Nah, it appears to me that the hotels will have no problem whatsoever with you choosing to cause interference to their WiFi system-- or jam it altogether.  After all, it's nothing that they wouldn't do, and they don't seem to see anything wrong with doing it.


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Offline ladderline

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2015, 1242 UTC »
http://www.arrl.org/interference

You must have lots of money. So no problem. Personal injury lawyers have fertile imagination. They can find anything worth subject of a lawsuit like a radio enthusiast who had a neighbour-patient with pacemaker killed because of EMI interference. I've been there.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 1535 UTC by ladderline »

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 0605 UTC »
Al, I spoke with a member of Marriott's B.O.D. yesterday morning. He told me they were having problems with hipsters hanging out in the lobby, taking advantage of free wi-fi, and raiding the breakfast bar. He said if they had known they were interfering with paying guests getting their goat porn fix, they would have never considered it.

They tabled the proposed wireless ban today. You can thank me later.

Fansome

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2015, 0858 UTC »
He's gonna lock himself up in his room
And when he emerges have a new change of style,
He keeps saying things like it's me and Howard Hughes
You'd wana watch out for that dangerous smile.

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Brazen Attempts by Hotels to Block Wi-Fi
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2015, 1531 UTC »
Al, a simple "thank you" would have sufficed. You didn't have to write a song.

 

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