FCC to hotels: WiFi blocking is prohibited


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Wow, the FCC suddenly acting like it has the power to regulate corporations?

What’s next, sensible policies regarding net neutrality?


It’s called radio signal jamming and it’s been illegal for 81 years now.

Federal law prohibits the operation, marketing, or sale of any type of jamming equipment, including devices that interfere with cellular and Personal Communication Services (PCS), police radar, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and wireless networking services (Wi-Fi).


But our lobbyists are already re-writing the law to allow for internet ‘filtering’. Such discrimination!

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What’s next, sensible policies regarding net neutrality?

Don’t get your hopes up. There just wasn’t enough money behind Marriott’s argument.



Well sort of…

When you live in a country(USA) where mobile telephony and data are so profitable that the corporations become major regulatory capture problems you pretty much can’t declare victory without a major revolution. Instead the market does not discount to competition based around cost but rather a collusive oligopoly based on how much can be extracted from the average consumer.
Mobile services are cheap to provide; even in western Europe $20/month gets you unlimited service for the following; voice, SMS, in’tl calling, a few foreign ‘local’ numbers, unlimited data throttled after say 6-10Gb, even this is VERY profitable.

In this case with hotels the obviously right decision is made with backing from an industry which rivals or eclipses the military-industrial complex in law dictating power.


I would imagine it’s not hard to do it anyway, in a way that’s hard to trace. Hey, maybe that’s a business idea…

But they weren’t jamming radio signals, they were using devices/software that sniff out “rogue” access points and disrupt connections to them through the normal 802.11 protocols (or something like that). It’s all described in great detail at the “previously” link in the post.

How is emitting RF noise specially crafted to prevent the operation of another radio system not textbook ‘jamming’?

Yes, the easiest(and possibly best, against things like AM/FM radio that don’t really have protocol features to exploit) flavor of jamming is just really loud noise aimed at approximately the right frequency range; but nothing makes that the only form of jamming.

Using spoofed 802.11 management frames, or flooding a device with spurious connect requests, is more elegant and targeted than just firing up the spark gap; but more elegant just means more premeditated.


In case you aren’t aware, wifi uses radio signals. But let me trim the relevant section down for you to make it clear.

including devices that interfere with… wireless networking services (Wi-Fi)

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