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back to article Jammy b*stards: Admen flog chocolate bars with 'Wi-Fi-free' zones

A Dutch advertising company has set up Wi-Fi-free zones, promoting chocolate bars with what the UK's regulator would certainly rule to be illegal radio jamming. The zones consist of a large sign proclaiming no Wi-Fi within five metres, and a bench where users can enjoy some lack of connectivity, but the promotion begs some …

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WTF?

I just don't get it...

Chocolate and no wifi...what's the link?

That when there's no wifi, it's time for chocolate?`Or that when eating chocolate, I'm supposed to remember to turn the wifi off?

Clue meter reading zero at the moment. Maybe it needs more coffee.

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Meh

Re: I just don't get it...

If you look carefully you can see it's for Kit-Kat. Their slogan is "Have a break" so I'm guessing they are suggesting that this spot is one where you can take a break from all the things that use Wi-Fi to interrupt you. Of course it's a massively silly gimmick and I'd be tempted to take a phone call or use my 3G in that area just to piss them off....

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Holmes

Re: I just don't get it...

Going with their slogan "Have a break, have a Kit Kat" I think they're saying have a break from modern life (i.e. tethered to a smartphone) and have a Kit Kat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I just don't get it...

"Of course it's a massively silly gimmick and I'd be tempted to take a phone call or use my 3G in that area just to piss them off...." and fuck the people sitting next to me.

Considerate!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I just don't get it...

But they'll still want you to follow them on facepalm and twater.

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Re: I just don't get it...

"fuck the people sitting next to me"

Be rude not to, really.

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Joke

Re: I just don't get it...

" Of course it's a massively silly gimmick and I'd be tempted to take a phone call or use my 3G in that area just to piss them off...."

*old school nokia ringtone*

HELLO???? YES I'M IN TOWN.... SITTING DOWN.. TAKING A BREAK.. EATING A KIT-KAT. YOU?

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Anonymous Coward

Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

"The use of any apparatus ... for the purpose of interfering with any wireless telegraphy, is an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006"

So even a portable Faraday Cage counts as 'Any apparatus' and if they set it up 'for the purpose of' Creating a Not-spot ('interfering with any wireless telegraphy' ) then its an offence?

I'd actually like to 'take a break' with some free wifi that worked for a change.

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Go

Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

I suppose you would have to check the definition of 'apparatus'. If the definition is akin to 'an active device or process' then a Faraday cage gets a pass.

Anyhoo, if blocking radio signals by virtue of building a large building with metal in the walls caused strict liability under the Wireless Telegraphy Act, then every shopping mall developer would be culpable. Shopping malls usually have mobile phone booster systems installed to compensate for their Faraday-cage-like construction.

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JDX
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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

They said the law was about intent. So a building which accidentally blocks signal would not have that.

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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

"The use of any apparatus ... for the purpose of interfering with any wireless telegraphy, is an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006"

Assuming AC's quote above is correct, it could be feasible to interpret the rules with focus on the 'interfering' part, i.e. if you're deliberately dicking around with someone else's wireless then you are breaking the law but nullifying your own connection doesn't qualify as interfering as it's your connection to do as you wish. If that's the case you could extend that to a not-spot with the disclaimer that users of the not-spot understand and consent that blocking will occur and hence no 'interference.'

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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage? @AC

OFCOM is the regulator, you need to read the Act. s55 is all about this:

55 Enforcement: use of apparatus

[OFCOM can do nasty things to you if, inter-alia]:

(a) the use of the apparatus is likely to cause undue interference with wireless telegraphy other than wireless telegraphy falling within subsection (2) [essentially police, fire, coastguard etc];

(b) the use of the apparatus in fact has caused, or is causing, such interference; and

(c)the case is one where OFCOM consider that all reasonable steps to minimise interference have been taken in relation to the wireless telegraphy station or wireless telegraphy apparatus receiving the telegraphy interfered with."

So, is it causing "undue interference" is the bit you need to consider, coupled to have reasonable steps been made to minimise its interference.

Also, whilst not explicit (there is no definition of apparatus I can see, but IANAL, I just looked at the Act) the Act is written with the idea of broadcasting/receiving in mind. I have no idea if it would treat a Faraday cage as "receiving" a signal, and therefore be subject to it in the first place. I doubt it, or every building in London would fall under its remit.

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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 is a UK act I think. To apply in the EU it would need to be a directive or something.

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Boffin

Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

> So even a portable Faraday Cage counts as 'Any apparatus' and if they set it up 'for the purpose of' Creating a Not-spot ('interfering with any wireless telegraphy' ) then its an offence?

Big difference between building a device that absorbs/blocks a signal from entering its interior, to building a device that radiates a signal to drown out other signals.

Faraday shielding is rather common in electronic gadgets, if not to keep the outside world's signals out, but also to keep the device's signals in. Building such things is not only legal and encouraged, in many cases it's the only way a device would otherwise meet the EMC requirements for sale.

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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

The question I see looming here is who has actually used a wireless telegraph in the last decade or so..

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Go

Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage? @AC

So in that case, if they're blocking wireless in a 3 metre x 3 metre box within a private building, it's probably not 'undue' interference.

some of the telcos will let you use boosters (If you ask really nicely and wave enough money under their noses) on the strict proviso that the signal is not detectable outside of your premises

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Holmes

Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

What exactly is the difference between a Wireless Telegraph and an SMS ? (Only thing I see is that one uses a Morse key and the other doesn't.)

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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage? @AC

But what is 'interference'?

The OFCOM documents are very much concerned about radio frequency interference, ie. broadcasting of a jamming radio signal, rather than the use and abuse of the communications standards that use those frequencies...

If my AP tells your client that it is the one to connect to rather than the public hotspot AP with exactly the same SSID across the street, then I'm not causing interference with wireless telegraphy, I'm only getting you to connect to my sink hole, which is totally permissible by the 802.11 standard... Additionally, provided I don't serve a copy of the landing page and request user credentials, I also don't fall foul of any fraud and privacy laws...

An interesting case is when (and if) my AP forces your client to switch (for example someone walks out of a cafe whilst connected to a public hotspot and walks into the bench area). It is a well known fact that client devices are very slow at switching AP's and will only go looking for a new AP when it looses signal from the AP it is associated with. This is due to most clients having basic WiFi circuitry and radio's and so only release the radio to do a channel scan when it is no longer able to communicate with the current AP/mac address.

So I for one am very interested to know what exactly is in the box under the bench and any special features of the WiFi Not-Spot sign, as it would show just how much thought really went into this....

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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

Dropping my wireless router in my metal waste basket was enough to cause complaints from the family... I hadn't noticed because my PC was on Ethernet....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

I guess the interpretation "interfering with any wireless telegraphy" meaning that telegraphy was existing prior to "any apparatus" arriving. ie if you set up a cage in a street where no one was actually using "wireless telegraphy" at that time then you would not be interfering.

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Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

> The question I see looming here is who has actually used a wireless telegraph in the last decade or so..

I flick my Kenwood TS-120S into CW mode and use the hand-mic to tune up. Does that count?

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Puzzled re. legal jamming

"Jamming is done legally to ...[do A] .., and ensure that our defence forces could cope if GPS got knocked offline, ...."

I don't understand how the ability to perform jamming would be of any help if GPS went offline. What scenario do you have in mind here?

Also, I thought that using a mobile phone to call in the 'detonate' command was fraught with danger (to the perpetrator and the aim of the mission) and so they used cheap old phones with no SIM card but a calendar event used for the trigger?

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Boffin

Re: Puzzled re. legal jamming

I don't understand how the ability to perform jamming would be of any help if GPS went offline. What scenario do you have in mind here?

This probably refers to using jamming to simulate GPS failure, as in this example.

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Re: Puzzled re. legal jamming

You've got it the wrong way round - they're not planning to jam signals IF GPS goes offline, they practice by jamming everything they can think of (eg GPS), to make sure they can cope if it goes offline. So they'll jam relevant signals over an entire operational area (or vehicle, or people, or aircraft...) during a practice, and see how well they cope.

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Boffin

Re: Puzzled re. legal jamming

I assumed they were jamming the GPS signals so that they could practice what it would be like if GPS was knocked out.

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Boffin

Four Cameras

Please can someone explain exactly how 4 wireless cameras set on different frequencies could block the entire spectrum?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four Cameras

They use the same band of 4 channels, and the devices don't share nicely. So the whole WiFi / ISM / Microwave-Oven / Assorted-Devices Band would be full.

Assuming you don't have WiFi in your devide at 5GHz as well as 2.4 :)

And what if your idea of 'taking a break' is to use WiFi for a relaxing websurf?

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Re: Four Cameras

So the area isn't WiFi free. Its flooded with WiFi to the point of unusablility.

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Whatever.

When I don't want connectivity, I simply turn off (or unplug) the connectivity electronics. It ain't exactly rocket science. Hard as it may be to believe, iFad generation, you really don't absolutely have to be connected 24/7. I go days without my cell phone even turned on, much less carried or paid attention to.

Remember kiddies, these thingies are toys/fashion accessories. They are not tools. Tools exist to get work done, as opposed to whiling away the time.

As a side-note ... KitKat isn't chocolate. It contains palm oil, and tastes like crap. IMO, of course.

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Re: Whatever.

Some people seem to get upset about _other _people_ using their own gadgets anywhere near them. This seems more like a 'come and hide from them with us' rather than a 'you're hopelessly addicted, let us remove the choice from you'.

Now if they wanted to put up jammers in cinemas, that would be just fine with me... or snipers for particularly annoying cases.

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JDX
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Re: Whatever.

OK grandad. You stay out of the modern world and we'll keep off your lawn.

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Happy

Re: Whatever.

PC Paul,

I don't approve of your suggestion to use jammers in cinemas. That would be illegal!

However, I'm very much in favour of your idea of snipers...

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Alert

Re: Whatever.

As a side-note ... KitKat isn't chocolate. It contains palm oil, and tastes like crap. IMO, of course.

And it's made by Nestlé, which we should all boycott.

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Holmes

Re: Whatever.

"When I don't want connectivity, I simply turn off (or unplug) the connectivity electronics. It ain't exactly rocket science."

That Feck you pointed that out for me! For the last few years I've been desperately trying to not reflexively respond to my 'phone's every little beep and warble and now you've let me know that I can TURN OFF WI-FI! Why did nobody tell me this before?!

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Alert

Re: Whatever.

"And it's made by Nestlé, which we should all boycott."

There's no point getting on one's high horse about Nestle if one utilises the services of ANY large multi-national, to my mind. They all have equal or worse skeletons in their closets. It's just Nestle's has been pointed out.

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Re: Whatever.

@ Larry

Should read, Kit Kat made by Rowntrees, then destroyed by Nestle.

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@JDX (was: Re: Whatever.)

"OK grandad."

Why yes, yes I am a Grandad! And happy about it :-)

"You stay out of the modern world"

Actually, I helped build your "modern world" (whatever the fuck that means!), and still get called in out of my pseudo-retirement, when you kids cock things up ... You have issues with that? Why, exactly? Suggestion: look within.

"and we'll keep off your lawn."

No lawn here. Pasture. Lawns are for bored suburbanites.

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Re: Whatever.

>'you're hopelessly addicted

From my observations of people in cafe's, I think many people will sit down and get their phones/toys out because they feel they have to be doing something, rather than just sit and enjoy the break - which is what the advertised Kit-Kat experience is all about.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

"When I don't want connectivity, I simply turn off (or unplug) the connectivity electronics."

For a man who purports to be all things untech with log cabins and sailing trips and family to keep busy etc... I am amazed at how you manage to troll post on here every single day. One might think that you're some sort of saddo office worker like the rest of us

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@AC08:47 (was: Re: Whatever.)

Everybody needs a hobby ;-)

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Unhappy

Re: Whatever.

That would be illegal!

Yes, but it bloody well shouldn't be. You want to make a phone call? Leave the auditorium and go stand in the bloody foyer. If your availability is so important to the world that you cannot be out of contact for the duration of the film, what the fuck are you doing at the pictures in the first place?

I don't think that shooting the bastards is legal either. More's the pity.

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Yes it is totally legal - just read and look!

First read the signs "No WiFi within 5 metres"

Provided the zones are located more than 5 metres from any local WiFi access point, the wording is correct.

Now look at the picture and this is exactly what we see, the zone/bench is located out in the street ~5metres away from buildings. Although given that this is about having a Kit-Kat we also know that there must be a second concession out of picture, serving the Kit-Kats, which could also be playing a part...

As for the small print about blocking, well if you know your 802.11 and hence run an intruder detection/prevention system, you will know how to legally quieten WiFi clients... And if you know about antenna and signal repeaters there are ways of creating blackholes ...

Simple really, but I suspect that also from the photo, the benches have been located away from coffee and other retail premises that would normally offer hotspot access...

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Facepalm

Re: Yes it is totally legal - just read and look!

But it's not in the street, it's in a shopping centre.

You can see the floor plan with the list of shops behind the seats, the floor is the standard white tiles you usually find in shopping centres.

So it may be that the centre has wifi throughout the building, meaning that regardless of where you are (outside of being in stores) there is wifi.

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Stop

Re: Yes it is totally legal - just read and look!

Do they mean "no WiFi" or "no internet connectivity"?

No WiFi would require screening. No connection could be done illegally by jamming, but no connectivity just requires a bunch of access points (one per channel) connected to a local switch, with no outgoing internet link. Shouldn't be illegal, it's just a local network. They could even add a local server to respond to every web query with a KitKat ad :)

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Re: Yes it is totally legal - just read and look!

I suggest "No WiFi" means no neighbouring public access WiFi AP's. Something that can mostly be achieved by careful selection of bench locations...

However, what I find really interesting is given how long this campaign has been running that there seems to be no independent feedback on these not-spots from Amsterdam readers and that it is the same set of photos and basic copy that is being repeated... (please post your original snaps of you and your friends making use of one of these benchs!!)

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Anonymous Coward

Like all advertising stunts....

Made you look/talk.

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But as a viral ad

It seems to be working - at least it got seen (and commented on) by all of us...

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Coat

Maybe they are using jammie dodgers....

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Anonymous Coward

and not dodgy jammers?

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WTF?

FFS

"Calm down dear, it's only a commercial!"

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