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CIO  May 2013

CIO May 2013

Subject:

Re: *Suspicious URL* Re: [CIO] Is blocking WiFi legal?

From:

Luke Fernandez <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 10 May 2013 12:41:52 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (231 lines)

Whatever the legal dimensions of this are as an I.T. person I don't
feel that I can simply abdicate responsibility by suggesting that this
is solely the instructor's problem or that it's just his/her fault for
not presenting their material in an interesting way.  After all, we
are implicated in this: it's us who extended the campus networks and
facilitated opportunities for digital distraction in the classroom.

As we've discussed in former threads on this subject, Faraday cage
classrooms may not be something that we can tenably offer but there
are other tools that may help to mitigate the worst forms of digital
interruptions and we can take inspiration from more commercial
institutions for having already developed some of these tools.  For
example the next time you go to a Cinemark theatre download their
Cinemode app (cf.
http://itintheuniversity.blogspot.com/2013/01/cinemode-walden-zone-app-for-movie-goers.html
).  It shuts off the phone while the person is in the theatre.  In the
interest of developing similar tools for use in educational settings
I'm currently creating a mobile app which allows a student to download
their class schedule but also provides the option to automatically
disable their device while class is in session. ( If they elect the
option it also alerts the faculty member to their choice.  :)  )
There are a few other tools we could develop.  More generally,
teaching and learning isn't just about connecting, it's also at times
about disconnecting.  In I.T. don't we have a responsibility to serve
both of these imperatives?

Cheers,

Luke
http://itintheuniversity.blogspot.com

On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 11:50 AM, Chris Michels <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Mark,
>
>
>
> I have often wondered that myself.  From an RF perspective they are not.  I
> donít believe the FCC certification procedures go down to the 802.11
> protocol level.  They cover RF frequencies transmitted, bandwidth,
> modulation modes, and for the digital transmission tests, things like what
> happens in a buffer overrun.  For DSS they make sure you follow the rules on
> channel hopping.   So I would argue that de-auth packets are not harmful
> interference.   I donít know if this has been addressed by the FCC.
> Companies have been doing de-auth for a while and I have heard of no legal
> challenges of the practice.
>
>
>
> Chris
>
>
>
> From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Berman, Mark
> Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 10:25 AM
>
>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CIO] *Suspicious URL* Re: [CIO] Is blocking WiFi legal?
>
>
>
> Exactly... so are Wifi management systems that use deauth packets to
> mitigate rogue APs causing "harmful interference"?
>
>
>
>  - Mark
>
>
>
> On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM, Chris Michels <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> Even though Wi-Fi is unlicensed spectrum you canít do just anything you want
> there.  Itís been a while since I looked at this but I believe these devices
> are operated under FCC Part 15 rules.  Those rules generally say that the
> device must not cause harmful interference and must accept any interference
> from other devices.  Devices operating in that spectrum must still be FCC
> authorized.   The FCC will not authorize jamming devices.
>
>
>
> A useful document on jammers being illegal can be found at:
> http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/jammerenforcement/jamfaq.pdf.
>
>
>
> Chris Michels
>
> Director Computing and Communication Systems
>
> Information Technology Systems, Northern Arizona University
>
> 928-523-6495
>
>
>
> From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Wooley, Travis
> Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 9:31 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CIO] *Suspicious URL* Re: [CIO] Is blocking WiFi legal?
>
>
>
> My understanding is that cellular networks are licensed spectrum. You are
> not allowed to run any device that interferes with licensed spectrum without
> a license for that device. That has always been true. WiFi on the other hand
> uses unlicensed ďpublicĒ spectrum. That is so to speak the wild west. You
> can do anything you want there and the FCC wonít care. Thatís also why your
> microwave or ancient portable landline can kill your WiFi signal but not
> your cellular signal.
>
>
>
> Travis Wooley
>
> Director of IT
>
> Adventist University of Health Sciences
>
>
>
> From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rich Pickett
> Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:25 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: *Suspicious URL* Re: [CIO] Is blocking WiFi legal?
>
>
>
> I believe the case you mentioned is a result of altering or blocking
> frequencies deliberately which is a violation of the FCC laws.  There are
> capabilities to turn off access points in particular areas.  This wouldn't
> involve the actual blocking of a frequency, simply denying service.  In some
> of our buildings the thick walls do an admirable job of attenuating the
> signals themselves!
>
>
>
> I have had a few requests to turn off service in classrooms, which I denied.
> It takes too much administrative effort to support such a request and in my
> opinion denies our students the freedom of access.  If professors can't gain
> the focus of their students turning off wireless access is probably not the
> solution.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Rich Pickett
>
> Chief Information Officer
>
> San Diego State University
>
>
>
> On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 9:18 AM, Berman, Mark <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I know that some institutions have tried various methods of blocking
> Internet access in classrooms to keep students focused on the class. Whether
> you have tried this or not, or whether you agree with the idea or not, I
> thought it would be interesting for people to know about a case where the
> FCC is starting legal action against a company in Alabama for blocking
> cell-phone access for employees during the workday using signal jamming
> technology. It might be a stretch to think this might apply to blocking WiFi
> access, but still puts an interesting spin on it. Here's a link to the FCC
> notice: http://goo.gl/MfAJ9
>
>
>
> Whether or not you consider your campus network a "private" network, WiFi
> operates in public radio spectrum. Notice the $144,000.00 fine!
>
>
>
>  - Mark
>
> --
>
> Mark Berman, Chief Information Officer
> Siena College
> 515 Loudon Road
> Loudonville, NY  12211
> (518)782-6957,  Fax: (518)783-2590
> Siena College is a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts
> education, rooted in its identity as a Franciscan and Catholic institution.
>
> CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail, including any attachments, is for the
> sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and
> privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or
> distribution is prohibited. If you received this e-mail and are not the
> intended recipient, please inform the sender by e-mail reply and destroy all
> copies of the original message.
>
>
>
> ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at
> http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
>
>
>
> ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at
> http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
>
> ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at
> http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
>
> ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at
> http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
>
>
>
> ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at
> http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
>
> ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at
> http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

**********
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