Nokia says warchalking is thievery:
- Phone maker Nokia has come down strongly against warchalking.
It has condemned as theft the placing of chalk symbols on walls and pavements at places where people can use wireless net access.
An advisory issued by the handset maker said anyone using bandwidth without the permission of the person paying for it was simply stealing.
The criticism follows a warning by the FBI about the potential dangers of warchalking.
The idea for warchalking first started circulating on the internet in July it has become something of a geek hobby.
The website set up to support the growing community of warchalkers hosts details of places that have been warchalked and advice to people who want to chalk their own networks.
Some security experts have raised questions about warchalking saying that it could encourage hacking.
Now Nokia has joined the chorus of criticism by saying that anyone who sits outside an office and uses a company’s wireless network to do their own web surfing is stealing.
“This is theft, plain and simple,” wrote Nokia in its advisory.
The company said that anyone using a company’s bandwidth without permission is reducing the amount of a valuable resource available to the workers in that organisation.
The advisory was brought to light by technology news magazine Computing.
Nokia warned that if too many warchalkers log on together, the whole network inside a company could slow down.
It also said that unscrupulous spammers could use a network as a proxy to despatch millions of unwanted e-mail messages with no danger of being traced.
Aaron of the warchalking site disagrees:
- Now obviously I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with Warchalking, but for those of you who are new, here’s why:
1. Warchalking just provides information. Anything you can get from a warchalk you can also easy get by opening up your laptop. It’s not like we’re asking people to write down passwords on street corners or something.
2. Warchalking is designed for people who want to share their networks. Most warchalks are created by the owners of the network, not third-parties.
3. It’s easy to see and fix a warchalk. If you notice a chalk mark outside your house, that’s a good signal you should put a password on your network, something that’s extremely easy to do in every system I’ve used. Not doing so is like keeping the door open and complaining when someone comes inside to ask for a glass of milk.