*Hello to all of the folks from librarian.net who followed the link from there to here.
In July, I took advantage of one of the WiFi Hotspots in Nantucket and I posted a blog entry from outside of the Atheneum Library. Apparently I was breaking the law...possibly even violating the ironically named "Patriot Act." AKMA tried to do the same thing and was harassed by the Nantucket Police.
The comments section of AKMA's post debates the legality of enforcing the supposed law.
Right now, if I turn on my Powerbook and leave it on as I drive down Olympic Boulevard, I can detect dozens of signals from offices, homes and even bluetooth phones (if they happen to be on and in cars close enough.) Isn't it the responsibility of the signal or device owner to password protect their signal or device? I could pull into a parking space next to an industrial park and browse other bluetooth enabled devices, surf the net and send e-mail via any of the many signals that appear in my airport pull-down menu. Obviously, that's theft of signal.
But the library? They are providing their service at no charge and in my case, I asked to use it. They made no qualification that I stay within the walls of the library. I don't see how that can be illegal.
I'm sure we have not heard the end of this debate. Wireless is just getting warmed up.