28/07/2005

BBC NEWS | Technology | Wireless hijacking under scrutiny

BBC NEWS | Technology | Wireless hijacking under scrutiny

Probably the interesting part of this is that the party was charged under the Communications Act for dishonestly using an Electronic Communications Service. He could have been charged under the Computer Misuse Act for not having express permission to utilise resources of a remote computer (that would work just for the Access Point let alone any other kit along the way) and possibly for breaking the RIP (Regulation of Investigatory Powers) Act as by decoding WiFi beacon packets that you're not meant to (though that's hitting grey areas as beacon packets are what identify a WiFi network and most systems will list them automatically, but maybe if you join the network then you can be charged).

Unfortunately too many people run insecure networks without any protection turned on, or the defaults as the WiFi unit comes in the box. People need to change passwords, SSIDs (and if possible hide them) and turn on at least WEP and if possible WPA or something with strong encryption.

It's likely this may provoke further arrests and convictions.

Ofcom Website | Award of available spectrum: 1781.7-1785 MHz paired with 1876.7-1880 MHz

Ofcom Website | Award of available spectrum: 1781.7-1785 MHz paired with 1876.7-1880 MHz

This covers two sections of spectrum (known as the GSM guard bands) and it seems Ofcom have wimped out, initially it looked like they might offer the spectrum on a license exempt basis but they've gone for the auction approach.

There will be between 5 and 10 national licenses (depending on how the bidding goes, and the consultation now in operation) with a reserve price of £50,000. Licensees will have to cooperate in terms of interfering with each other (there will be no protection against other licensees) but what a licensee does with the spectrum is up to them. There are limitations in terms of power (23 dB per carrier with a GSM mask).

It's likely that the existing GSM operators will bid, so that realistically only leaves between 1 and 6 licenses available to other parties, but since they're sealed bids, they could go to anyone. Ofcom will try to ensure there is no unfair bidding or collusion between bidders. Unfortunately £50,000+ puts bidding in the realm of larger players and smaller operations are likely to be scared away. Spectrum trading will be allowed, but only for reselling the license in total.

The technology is suitable for operating in-buiding (or localised) pico cells, but could be used for other purposes such as wireless broadband etc.

There will be possible interference in areas by the MoD, but licensees will have to live with it.

It's a shame Ofcom didn't make the bands license exempt (with strict licensing in terms of the radio parts i.e. specifying GSM only type equipment) as that would have allowed organisations to install their own GSM pico cells in their own buildings using kit from vendors such as IP.Access who make a self-contained pico cell for about £2,000 (there would be other GSM equipment required, but this could have been a shared resource).

27/07/2005

57% of businesses apprehensive about adopting VoIP

Net4Now :: News Story

Switchvox are recommending that users find a reliable VoIP provider, know your bandwidth capabilities, get a static IP from your ISP, investigate QoS, get the right kit.

They recommend at least 100Kb/s for every call. Considering broadband in the UK is only 256Kb/s and contended - that doesn't look good.

Businesses should really look for SDSL or VoIP provided as a by product of another connectivity option such as LES (LAN Extension Services) or high bandwidth IP leased lines.

Until BT guarantee QoS on ADSL it's a losing battle.

Child porn: ISP regulations set for Commons debate - Government & Law - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

Child porn: ISP regulations set for Commons debate - Government & Law - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

A labour MP want ISPs to declare whether they have taken steps to stop child porn.

Unfortunately as soon as child porn is mentioned everyone has "a moral obligation" to agree with the policy however dumb or look to be a supported of child porn.

This is one step down the road to censorship, not all ISPs can filter web traffic (if any traffic) and this would add huge costs, who should foot the bill?

There are already processes in place with organisations such as IWF and these generally work.

Ofcom Website | Notice of Ofcom�s proposal to make regulations to inspect and restrict the use of certain Wireless Telegraphy licence exempt apparatus

Ofcom Website | Notice of Ofcom�s proposal to make regulations to inspect and restrict the use of certain Wireless Telegraphy licence exempt apparatus

Err, Ofcom want to change the legal bits on how the can inspect and restrict usage of kit that is license exempt.

Try reading the page, it's not easy. But maybe that's just because it's late.