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  Reply # 707518 27-Oct-2012 16:42
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chevrolux: So when you go to a cafe and buy a coffee and they give you a free wifi voucher would you expect they ask for ID at the same time and note down all your details? It is simply just a waste of time and would be a deterrent for any business offering free wifi if they had to have these kind of access controls.
The type of abuse you are talking about is a fairly small issue in the scheme of things. In reality if someone wanted to be extremely abusive on the internet there are things you can do to be anonymous from your home connection anyway so there wouldn't be much point imposing these access controls on free wifi providers as it wouldn't solve the problem at all.


If you buy coffee and get a free wifi voucher, then in a way they are identifying the user. You have got the memory of the person selling the coffee. They also may have video security in the cafe, and the coffee may have been purchased using a credit card, eftpos etc, so there are ways to partly track the user down if they cause abuse. The police could therefore use those methods to track them down. But I guess they are running the risk of being liable for any activities on their network, eg if someone downloads copyright content, or uses if for spamming. So I guess they will only have themselves to blame if they don't in some way identify the users of the connection. However I was referring to wifi hotspots in the street which anyone on that street can connect to without anyone sighting them.

People who provide fake details to facebook are essentially breaching their terms, and will eventually get their account deleted, and I think at some stage they will get tougher on people confirming eho they really are. However they do already have an identification method, and that is that they link the user to a NZ mobile number, and they can delete your account if you don't provide this. Google have the same system, although their's is voluntary. Maybe a simple text to phone number system life facebook users, maybe a less intrusive way of identifying the user. So they are still anonymous to a point, but if any illegal activity occurs, they could be tracked down.

The police would only be interested in threatening abuse. Not abuse that is just offensive due to resources. My problem is that the wifi provider took over 24 hours to respond, and then confirmed to me that they didn't do any logging at all so wouldn't investigate further.
But with cheap mobile data connections and more and more people having smart phones, the life of these wifi hotspots are probably limited anyway.
Regarding payphones, I haven't seen a payphone for ages and they maybe soon a thing of the past. But depending on how you use it, such if you pay by credit card, they could track you down still.

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  Reply # 709473 30-Oct-2012 21:06
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mattwnz: Recently I received an abusive message through a contact form on my website.<snip>


I think that you have the answer and the solution right there. It is your contact form and it is your website. If you allow anonymous responses on a form, what do you expect? I know that this comes over as blaming the victim and I am sorry for that but I cannot think of a better way to say this. Very few sites now allow anonymous form submission for exactly that reason. You should consider changing your site to allow form submission by registered users only.


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 709479 30-Oct-2012 21:11
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jpoc:
mattwnz: Recently I received an abusive message through a contact form on my website.<snip>


I think that you have the answer and the solution right there. It is your contact form and it is your website. If you allow anonymous responses on a form, what do you expect? I know that this comes over as blaming the victim and I am sorry for that but I cannot think of a better way to say this. Very few sites now allow anonymous form submission for exactly that reason. You should consider changing your site to allow form submission by registered users only.



No, a website form is no different to a phone number. If you get an abusive phone call, the phone company can track it. I also track the IP so I know exactly what ISP the user comes from. I can then report abuse to an ISP, and they should have logs to identify that user to the IP. The problem in this case is that they don't have any logs of their own users. If websites required registered users, no one would use it, and I have never seen a contact form on a website that requires the person to register first.

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  Reply # 709534 30-Oct-2012 22:47
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mattwnz:

No, a website form is no different to a phone number. If you get an abusive phone call, the phone company can track it. I also track the IP so I know exactly what ISP the user comes from. I can then report abuse to an ISP, and they should have logs to identify that user to the IP. The problem in this case is that they don't have any logs of their own users. [...]


Sure. Except, in this case, you actually have the equivalent situation to an abusive phone call made from a payphone. Sure, the phone company can track it, but being able to tell you that it "came from the phone box on the corner of Leafy Lane at 5.30am" doesn't identify the perpetrator either. A free WiFi provider doesn't know who connected at a particular time, but neither does Telecom require ID before someone is allowed to use a phone box. Legally requiring a provider to sight and verify ID in either of these situations, before they are allowed to offer service, is massively disproportionate to the problem you are trying to solve.

Treat the message like you do spam that gets through filters. Accept that some people are prats and that this will happen from time to time, delete the message, and move on.

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  Reply # 709538 30-Oct-2012 22:54
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coffeebaron: McDonald's free WiFi doesn't take any details. Same with most free WiFi spots.


Neither do any of the telcos with pre-paid SIM cards. And, given you can get them for $5 and top them up using cash at any pretty much any supermarket and get 500MB of data for $19, putting one of those in a smartphone is another good way to be fairly anonymous on the net if you want to be.



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