California Wi-Fi law waits on governor’s signature | SC Media
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California Wi-Fi law waits on governor’s signature

September 12, 2006

After passing through California's state legislature, a law requiring wireless local area network (LAN) vendors to warn customers about security configurations now awaits Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's consideration.

Written by state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles), the new law will require manufacturers of WLAN products to advise consumers to use a password to protect their networks before use.

The law allows manufacturers to protect consumers in one of four ways:

  • With a sticker warning placed on the ports of the wireless router;
  • Through a warning window during the configuration process during installation;
  • Requiring the consumer to take some kind of action before allowing use of the device;
  • Providing other protections that safeguard the wireless connection that is enabled without action by the consumer but occurs before the device can be used.

The new law does not outlaw wireless piggybacking, but it does mention that password-protected wireless networks are covered under existing laws that cover unauthorized access of computers.

Lawmakers hope that this new law will increase consumer awareness of password protection and increase the instances that consumers change their default settings to prevent unauthorized users from stealing access.

Click here to email West Coast Bureau Chief Ericka Chickowski.

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