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November 4, 2005

Westchester County NY Wants to Make Unsecured Wireless Networks Illegal

The Journal News of White Plains, New York, is reporting that County Executive Andrew Spano is proposing a law that requires business wireless networks to have secure firewalls in place to protect public users.  Firewalls would also have to secure business data that contained customer information.  Businesses would have to file a note of compliance with the county.  Violation of the law would bring a warning on the first offense, a $250 fine on the second, and a $500 fine after the third.  There are no reports on what would happen to a noncomplying business after the third offense, nor how an offense is defined.

The County sent a team through White Plains in a van with a laptop and recorded 120 unsecured networks out of 240 detected signals.  A second trip with reporters found 24 potential security risks out of 52 wireless networks within the first block and a half of the trip. 

Spano was quoted as saying "We think that it's important to protect people's privacy, to protect against identity theft and to protect people in general."  This is the first law of its type to be proposed.

November 4, 2005 | Permalink

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