Is NY county on the cutting edge of WiFi legislation or holding back the tide?

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

April 25, 2006

1 Min Read
Securing the Burbs

7:00 AM -- Some of you will no doubt have seen the new law from Westchester County in New York that requires businesses to lock down their wireless LANs.

The county is asking any business that uses a customer's financial information to take "minimum security measures" to protect its wireless network. This could be as simple as changing the indentity tag (SSID) of a broadcasting access point, or installing a firewall. Businesses have been given 180 days to comply with the new law, or they face -- gasp -- hundreds of dollars in fines.

Naturally any attempt to protect user data on wireless LAN networks is a good thing, but I can't help thinking this might not be an easy law to enforce or comply with.

A quick scan of my sleepy Brooklyn neighbourhood this morning revealed six or seven hotspots, at least three of which looked as if they could be business users broadcasting on unsecured networks, so they're definitely out there.

But caught betwixt the prospect of savvy hackers who will quite possibly laugh at "minimum security measures," and fines for not implementing these measures, I suspect some businesses may just prefer to switch their access points off.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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