Marriott fined $600,000 by FCC for interfering with customer WiFi hotspots

in legal on (#2T6H)
Marriott (since 2012) has been using wireless technology to prevent guests at the Gaylord Opryland hotel and convention center from using their own Wi-Fi mobile hotspots, forcing exhibitors or customers to use Marriott’s expensive Internet services, available at the whopping cost of $250 to $1,000 per wireless access point. Despite popular press reports, this did not involve "jamming" which is strictly illegal in the US, but instead something more like a WiFi DoS attack.

Marriott had deployed a Wi-Fi monitoring system with a “containment capability”. When activated, the system could identify Wi-Fi access points that were not part of Marriott’s own Wi-Fi system (or otherwise authorized by Marriott). Such non-Marriott access points were dubbed “rogues”. When rogues were detected, the system sent “de-authorization” packets to the unauthorized access points, booting those users off their free connections and, presumably, forcing them to pony up for Marriott’s paid Internet access.

Forbid personal hotspots in Marriott hotels? (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-10-09 16:37 (#2T6J)

I am wondering, is it possible for Marriott hotels to forbid the use of personal hotspots? Part of the ToS guests have to sign? Could they then use their Wi-Fi monitoring system not to disrupt the customers hotspots, but to identify them and then fine the customer?

Ok, being able to send “de-authorization” packets does not mean to be able to identify or localize the hotspot. And doing this in the open is surely not a way to get more guests. So this is more a theoretical question.
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