FCC fines WiFi operator $750K for jamming at convention centers

4 September 2015 by Steve Blum
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It’s kinda like poisoning your water bottle to make you buy a $10 coke.

The Federal Communications Commission has nailed another company for trying to force people onto its own, very expensive WiFi service by jamming personal hotspots created by mobile phones and cellular wireless routers. Smart City Holdings, which sells WiFi access in convention centers for $80 a day, was fined $750,000 for forcing visitors onto its network. According to the FCC consent decree, it was the result of a complaint…

In October 2014, the Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division undertook the Investigation, which included sending a series of Letters of Inquiry to Smart City and reviewing the company’s written responses.


Marriott wants FCC cover for attacks on guests' WiFi devices

27 November 2014 by Steve Blum
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It’s interference, but it’s for your own good.

Lobbyists for Marriott and the hotel industry are asking for permission to use technological attacks to shut down personal WiFi hotspots and other devices on their properties (h/t to the Baller-Herbst list for the pointer). All in the name of security, of course. These are public spirited companies that would never do something so crass just to protect the profits generated from selling Internet access to guests.

As explained by Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth’s ComLawBlog, Marriott combats competing WiFi signals and what it considers misuse of its own network with digital counterattacks…

To address these various problems, Marriott and its friends commonly deploy sophisticated and expensive Wi-Fi network management systems that search for unauthorized or excessive uses of a network.