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Marriott agrees to pay $600,000 fine for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspot

By Shawn Knight ยท 16 replies
Oct 4, 2014
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  1. The Marriott hotel chain has agreed to pay a fine of $600,000 following an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission into claims that a hotel guest had their personal Wi-Fi hotspot blocked during an event at one of Marriott's hotel...

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  2. This practice is purely about profits, not protection. Otherwise, they would offer free wi-fi for guests and conference attendees.
  3. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Wow that is so lame on Marriots part to block that man's hotspot.
  4. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Have to agree as every hotel I have attended a conference or training course has offered free wifi. In most cases it is pretty fast.
  5. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 753   +347

    Quote: "He said Marriott has a strong interest in ensuring that when guests use their Wi-Fi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber attacks and identity theft."

    So they want to be an ISP? lol
  6. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,215   +398

    lol yep.

    sounds to me like they are trying to be a nice target for a dos attack.

    which will happen after the class action lawsuit.
  7. $600,000 because of that?
  8. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    So it's a "right" to be able to broadcast your own hotspot now? sure they might have been punks for doing this, but those safety concerns are legitimate. They should just let their terms be known, and if the customer doesn't like it, they can go somewhere else. It's really that simple.
    either way though, 600k? that's retarded. "yes, I think you being unable to share your connection with others for a few hrs is worth a sum beyond what some earn in a lifetime..."
    MilwaukeeMike likes this.
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,837   +1,180

    You forgot the part where the offended party doesn't get a single cent of this money. It all goes to the govt. The 'penalty' for this action, should have been a harshly worded letter from the FCC saying they can't block hotspots, and that's it. After the 2nd or 3rd offense they get a small fine. This is like those stories of people getting fined $10,000 for downloading a pirated song.

    And no, we don't need hotels looking out for our wi-fi safety. They should give you a card with login and pricing info when you check in and that's the end of it. If a customer logs into a network called 'Marriott' that doesn't require credentials and it turns out to be a dude in the parking lot going after rich folks devices, then that's the customer's fault.

    What's next? we block hotspots at malls, airports, stores, sporting events, etc?

    I think the Marriott screwed up and the FCC stuck to them good and hard because they could.
  10. It is illeagle in the U. S. to block any kind of radio transmission, including wifi hotspots, so yes, in a way, it is a right a right to have a hotspot as far as anyone blocking it is concerned. It doesn't make any difference why the hotspot was blocked it was an illeagle act. I believe the fine was justified and reasonable.
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,486   +3,480

    Being a faux animal rights activist, I have to agree about these things being "illeagle." Birds of prey need to be able to communicate with the tower. That's just the way it is.
  12. So I set up computers and networks for conferences and this is actually a growing practice. A company called Smart City which is the largest network provider in most major convention centers does this all over the country. It is nothing new unfortunately, I have had to deal with it for years during setups. They do make it known that you are not allowed to setup your own wireless networks though They do not however mention that they block them, at least not anywhere I have read. It would be hard to charge $125 a day for basic wireless if you could just bring in hotspots. They also claim it is to not allow for network degradation to their paying clients.
  13. It was NSA who blocking it, to prevents information leaked
  14. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 560   +59

    On a side note who the hell calls thier hotel Gaylord!
  15. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 887   +437

    Yeah.... unless they offered the Wifi for free AND had a warning about offending Wifi signals being jammed, then this was all about the money (no surprise)
  16. Marriott agrees to pay $600,000 fine for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspot

    so nice of them to agree to pay the fine , ;)
  17. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,768   +598

    Any hotel should have the right to do as they wish on their own property, I don't see why anyone should have the right to host a hotspot beyond public or personal property, in other words, if your on private property the owner of said property should have the ability to block any foreign signals. If for any reason you don't feel comfortable with these practices you have the right to go elsewhere. Why do people believe it's their god given right to do whatever they please with technology when clearly they shouldn't. I'm not standing up for Marriott's Internet fees, just I don't believe fining them for something they should have full control over is right, especially when it goes to the government and nothing further comes of this. Just put a clause in the TOS saying that personal hotspots are not permitted on the premises and all unauthorized signals will be blocked. How exactly one uses FCC-authorized equipment illegally makes no sense either come to think of it.

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