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Caution: Wi-Fi Names Lead to Disputes, Crimes

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Wi-fi names are becoming the new community message boards. But can these cheeky wi-fi names also lead to escalated neighbor disputes and even be illegal?

If you look at the wireless network names in your area, you may see ten to 20 networks available. While most names may solely have a utilitarian purpose like "2WIRE399" or "Home," some clever users have given their wi-fi networks names like "Shut The Barking Dog Up No 7" or "We can hear you having sex," reports BBC.

These names take passive-aggressiveness to a whole new level. Neighbors can now take shots at each other with relative anonymity. But in some cases there may be legal fallout from such names.

Generally, a clever wi-fi name will not break any laws. However, if you cross the line with harassing names or racist names, you may find yourself angering many neighbors and breaking laws as well.

Earlier this year, New Jersey police investigated a wi-fi signal with the name "F--- All Jews and N----". The person responsible for that name faced possible bias crimes and jail time.

Falling short of actually attacking someone's race and national origin, most wi-fi names may be legal even if annoying, inconsiderate, and lame. But just because something is legal, this does not mean you should do it.

Most grown-ups would not walk around with a t-shirt that says "You're an Idiot Apt 10" or "Stop Having so Much Sex," so why would you name your wi-fi that?

Neighbor relations often go beyond what is legal and illegal. You don't want to push all of your behavior to the border of legal conduct, as that will surely sour your relationships with your neighbors.

Next time you have a problem with too much noise or a barking dog, try knocking on your neighbor's door first.

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