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Warchalking plus wardriving equals potential warcrime: We'll need a new term, like warjailtime, for someone who combines surveying wireless networks with marking their presence and then using them. I think the FBI agent who wrote this email is entirely reasonable, especially when identifying a widespread survey that might be used by folks other than mere wireless enthusiasts for technical interest.
Note, for instance, the very specific case in which he says that there might be a problem: Identifying the presence of a wireless network may not be a criminal violation, however, there may be criminal violations if the network is actually accessed including theft of services, interception of communications, misuse of computing resources...
One implicit connection should be explicitly severed, though: Wardriving is accomplished by driving around in a vehicle using a laptop computer equipped with appropriate hardware and software...to identify wireless networks used in commercial and/or residential areas. Upon identifying a wireless network, the access point can be marked with a coded symbol, or "warchalked." This symbol will alert others of the presence of a wireless network. It should be clear that many uses of warchalking will identify open community or personal nodes specifically available for sharing.
This shouldn't spread a chill over us: the FBI is a great resource to help businesses and individuals avoid being victims of crime, and their associated cybercrime division, NIPC (National Infrastructure Protection Center) is a good technical and legal resource. What we should do is watch our own activities: are you using resources that don't belong to you? You may still not be violating the law, but there are more eyes watching now.
Give me an A, give me a B, give me a W-E-C-A: News.com's Ben Charny interviews WECA (Wi-Fi's certifying trade assocation) head Dennis Eaton. Eaton runs through a number of the issues confronting future Wi-Fi branding and WECA certification, as well as the state of various 802.11 committees.
Tell Me When: contribute to the open-source Wi-Fi timeline with the dates of significant events from the industry or your own organization. The timeline is open source in that anyone can cite it, copy it, add to it; just send me back changes and improvements.