Legality of posting ap maps

Configuration and operational information about stumbled AP's

Legality of posting ap maps

Postby ncb_802org » Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:57 am

I am starting a site dedicated to the study and applications of wireless networks and would like to know if anyone has information on what I can, and cannot post online. I want to post an Arizona map showing my stumbled areas throughout the greater phoenix metropolitan area. I would only post lat and long details and nothing more. Can I even legally do this? The detailed file would be available, but only to trusted members.

az802.org (still constructing)
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Postby G8tK33per » Wed Aug 13, 2003 1:01 pm

Well, it's kinda like the phone book I guess. If you don't want folks to know your address and number, don't publish it.
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Postby The Others » Wed Aug 13, 2003 2:17 pm

I've seen some sites have a note saying:

"if you want to be removed from this map/list, send us your MAC address"

Maybe you could do something like that? That way no-one could get annoyed at you.
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Postby renderman » Wed Aug 13, 2003 2:40 pm

If these units are broadcasting then they are shouting out thier location, people have no right to complain.

There are laws about aiding and a abetting criminals, but I'd argue that it's faster just to go find an Open AP yourself rather than on my maps.

My policy has been one of politness. I don't post raw data out of kindness for the stupid masses. Also, any maps I do post are usually zoomed enough to be vague enough to give an idea of coverage, but not pinpoint the local (the icon covers a few blocks).

I do upload my data to Wigle.net and the likes but the general public does'nt usually look there.

If you are posting RAW data, I'd obscure it for GPS data and/or SSID's since they can both give away information about the AP (company name in the SSID, etc)

Just my $0.02
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Postby ncb_802org » Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:07 pm

I want to show the relationship b/w wepped and unwepped ap's throughout az. just to give some idea of the amount of unprotected networks. It would be a visual representation using mappoint. one could not get any data other than its marked location on the map. any 'good' data would be saved offline. i am trying to figure out if i can legally post this map with marked ap's although i am not giving specific data out.
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Postby G8tK33per » Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:19 pm

Originally posted by renderman
Also, any maps I do post are usually zoomed enough to be vague enough to give an idea of coverage, but not pinpoint the local (the icon covers a few blocks).


Zactly, I think the R-man hit it on the head. It's a matter of scope and context. Sorta like the aerial neighborhood photos...seen one of those? Can you actually pick out YOUR house...gimme a f-n break...and if you can, does it really tell you anything? Pffft, hell no. If folks really knew how much of and how many of their home and cell phone conversations and emails drew the 'attention' of Big Brother due to a word(s) or a phrase taken out of context they'd REALLY be pissed. Kinda likened to a network intrusion detection system...it merely alerts on a specific string, someone with a brain familiar with the context in which the information was received has to make the decisions. Yeah, yeah...I'm rambling...I get that way towards the end of my 16 hour days. :D
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Postby G8tK33per » Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:21 pm

Originally posted by ncb_802org
I want to show the relationship b/w wepped and unwepped ap's throughout az. just to give some idea of the amount of unprotected networks. It would be a visual representation using mappoint. one could not get any data other than its marked location on the map. any 'good' data would be saved offline. i am trying to figure out if i can legally post this map with marked ap's although i am not giving specific data out.


Well, that should show in MP with the red and green colors. If you save the map as a jpeg and then post it I don't think, not sure though, that anyone would be able to see the balloon info that you can see as the creator of the map within Mappoint...does that make sense?
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Postby renderman » Wed Aug 13, 2003 9:26 pm

Take a look at my site at http://www.renderlab.net/projects/wardrive/ and I think your looking to do something similar (though probobly with a little better web design skill than I posses).

I use the same icon for WEP and NON-WEP mostly because Stumbverter is a little too beefy for my current system.
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Postby ncb_802org » Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:26 am

renderman, your right, this is what i am looking to do. your site looks good. i will be using different icons for wep and non-wep.
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Postby cyphz0r » Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:46 am

i have my maps posted on my site (http://geek.efreestylin.com) just like rederman does although I do like ncb_802org says and have different icons for each. Although I do have that fun little disclaimer at the bottom of my site :)

I really dont think there is an issue with posting maps, as long as you don't say here's how you exactly connect to this persons ap. Besides I do this for fun, not to find where I can steal bandwidth from other people, if I come across a public hot spot great, but I haven't had the urge to sort through my logs and mark those a special way.
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Postby uhtu » Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:00 pm

as a guy who likes drawing maps and then drawing things on maps, i would note that cartography has always been legal here in the united states. :-)
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Postby Madhadder » Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:10 pm

Originally posted by uhtu
as a guy who likes drawing maps and then drawing things on maps, i would note that cartography has always been legal here in the united states. :-)


CNN Headline News:

WASHINGTON DC: Today after much debate in the House and
Senate, a bill proposed by the Department of Homeland Security
was passed into law governing the science of cartography.

This new bill will severly limit the freedom to create maps and
other useful products, stated Chris Johnson, Pres. Rand-McNally
Mapping Div. The bill (DHS-D0452) would restrict or outright
forbid the mapping of any landmark,elevation data,natural
resource or any "Bad", within 200 miles of Gov. building or
US infrastructure, such as powerplants, telephone exchanges
and Military bases. Instead there will just be blank ares on
new maps starting in 2004. The DHS as commented that this
is nessary to "Protect the American People"...
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Postby G8tK33per » Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:24 pm

Nothing personal but I think you may have missed the point of the posts within the thread. Our mapping, the hobby of wardriving to be more specific, is somewhat of a sticky subject with some folks...mainly the press types that pleasure in the attempts to write stories that border on fear-installation to the unknowing public that their unsecured wireless access points are open to the warchalking-hacker-wannabe's. Certainly the process of mapping and charting are legal but the concerns intimated in the previous threads revolve around the supposition that mapping the information found on a wardrive and the NS1 files being posted with location specific information might be akin to something along the lines of posting addresses and a description of all the single ladies/men/animals (whatever may float ones boat) within a specific geographic area. More simply, at what point have you crossed the line into something potentially illegal by posting/mapping/charting information that someone else may use to their advantage for nefarious purposes. You know...here's the combination to the safe at THIS bank which, by the way, doesn't lock their front door at night. Granted there are those that take this information for free internet access or whatever their intent may be, but those of us here are mostly concerned with creating/developing/maintaining the hobby and security awareness outlook towards wardriving/walking/biking. This was the concern behind the posts.
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Postby fordem » Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:05 pm

If my memory is correct, back when scanners first came on the market, the law allowed you to listen to any transmission, BUT not to use/repeat the information so obtained.

I'm pretty certain those laws have been updated, but I'll take a bet that it's still illegal to repeat (regardless of whatever media you use) that information.

Stands to reason then, that charting the location of a radio transmitter doesn't break the law, but providing the ID of said transmitter - in this case the MAC address - would be.
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Postby Madhadder » Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:14 pm

And if I was listining to WKRP's "All Country" Mix, and I just happened to know where the WKRP transmitter/broadcast site was that this would also be "Against the law" if I also told a friend?

I think your logic is flawed, as are most US Laws....
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