Wireless networks come with provisions that allow users to assign specific names to the networks that has seen arise in the use of offensive names.
Wireless networks come with provisions that allow users to assign specific names to the networks that has seen arise in the use of offensive names. In October 2012, BBC News Magazine noted that Wi-Fi users were using Wi-Fi names to send what it termed as snide messages to their neighbors. Currently, you’ll find wireless network bearing funny names such as love your wife, side chic upcoming together with others. Inasmuch as there are no specific laws that guide users on how they should name their wireless connection, lots of wireless subscribers have got themselves in hot soup for using names that depict violence in society.
More than two years ago, a Planet Fitness gym attracted the attention of Michigan police unit for possible terrorist attack. The action that turned out to be a practical joke was brought by one user that named his network as Remote Detonator. According to information that was posted on bleedingcomputer.com, it was the gym inspector that spotted the incident that forced him to call the police unit. The incident made the gym to be closed for more than three hours to allow for investigation that saw the use of sniffer dogs. While talking to a local paper after the incident, Saginaw Township police boss downplayed fears that there was a threat at the fitness center. The police commandant revealed that no legal action will be taken against the user the naming of wireless connections fall under the First Amendment that protects freedom of speech.
According to the Walters Law Group that runs the First Amendment website, any speech with a sole purpose of passing a specific message is protected by the First Amendment. The spokesperson of the law firm admitted that things can be more challenging when mobile phone numbers, addresses and not to mention a domain name come into equation because they do not enjoy such protections. While naming of a Wi-Fi is important in identifying a network, it can be used to covey wrong information that could lead to violence. Although there are no cases that could be used in addressing the dangers brought by illegal naming, there are greater chances that you can be convicted depending on whether the First Amendment applies.
Similarly, a Qantas flight was forced to be grounded after it was discovered that one passenger had used a mobile detonation device as a name for his data hotspot. The incident that happened more than four years ago made the flight to be delayed for several hours before being allowed to take off. Similar scenario was reported more than three years ago in a Turkish airplane where one passenger discovered a network named a bomb on board. Equally, serious investigation attempt on an offensive data network name happened nearly eight years ago by Teaneck law enforcers. Even though police did not disclose the nature of their investigations, sources told the New York Daily News reports that it was racist in nature.
Undoubtedly, subscribers have mastered an art of creating personal data hotspot from their electronic devices such as smartphones and giving them any name. This was evident in three incidents that happened at a Planet Fitness center, a Quotas flight together with the Turkish airplane respectively. Although all three cases turned out to be jokes, legal professionals believe that thereis need to be a limit that should be imposed to speech. The actions of this caliber could easily attract unsolicited reactions from others.
Above all, the action of naming your data hotspot is protected by several acts that touch on freedom of expression. However, every freedom comes with its limitation especially when used to convey information that can cause harm or threats to others. Giving your Wi-Fi an extremely dangerous name such as remote detonator or even bomb on board can be considered to be an act of a crime. This means that you be charged for various criminal offenses, including intention to cause harm. It’s worth noting that although no user has been charged for having an offensive hotspot name, there are higher chances that you can still stand criminal together with civil charges. This will happen more so when there are sufficient proof that your name has intentions to cause harm or elicit reactions that could harm others.