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Police Investigate Offensive Wi-Fi Network Name 890

An anonymous reader writes "Police in Teaneck, New Jersey, with apparently too much time on their hands, are investigating an offensive wireless network name. Although the police didn't reveal the name, the New York Daily News reports that it was anti-Semitic and racist in nature. The incident is being investigated as a possible 'bias crime.' It's definitely not what proper people do, but a 'bias crime?'"
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Police Investigate Offensive Wi-Fi Network Name

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  • Re:Name revealed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nick Fel ( 1320709 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @09:53AM (#38760312)
    That's not what TFA says.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:03AM (#38760424)

    Hate Speech is rightfully restricted as infringing on the right of a minority to live unharassed, read TFA, pretty awful message to broadcast

  • Re:SSID (Score:5, Informative)

    by mike10027 ( 1475975 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:07AM (#38760470)
    It's important to note that this isn't somebody's home wifi SSID, this was the SSID of the public recreation center's wifi network. As in, there's a sign outside that says "Free WiFi" and it's funded by the town. These "snooping authorities" are policing public resources, not people's home networks.
  • Re:Name revealed (Score:5, Informative)

    by newsman220 ( 1928648 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:14AM (#38760574)
    Festivus actually pre-dates Seinfeld. []
  • Re:SSID (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ellis D. Tripp ( 755736 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:23AM (#38760708) Homepage

    The fact that the data is not transmitted with visible light but with higher frequencies is irrelevant.

    What is this, WiFi over Gamma Rays or something?

    Last time I checked, radio frequencies were well BELOW the visible spectrum...

  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:24AM (#38760710)

    Except Republicans, conservatives, Christians, people who respect the constitution. They're all free game.

    Oh, cry me a river. If you think the last 6 or 8 years have been bad for the right, try the last 30 as a liberal, socialist, or (the group most discriminated against of all) an athiest. Republicans and evangelists got a free ride for 20+ years spewing hate but receiving mostly reason and thoughtful discussion in return. Eventually they abused their position too much, and triggered a small taste back of what they've been dishing out since the early 80s, if not earlier.

    Hating anyone on the basis of their religion, ethnicity, political stance, etc. is wrong, but for you to wax self-righteous over the backlash against the group most responsible for delivering such hatred (c.f. just about any talk radio, not to mention fox or the politicians themselves, e.g. Mr Frothy Mix Santorum).

    In short, Republicans, conservative, and Christians like to dish it out in droves, but can't take the heat when they get even a tiny percentage of it back. As for your disingenous "respect the constitution" crap, they only respect their one narrow interpretation of the constitution, no one else's. Not unlike certain organizations who interpreted the bible one narrow way, and fought a hundred-year war to burn everyone else as heretics.

  • Re:SSID (Score:5, Informative)

    by SilverJets ( 131916 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:24AM (#38760716) Homepage

    I think almost everyone commenting in here missed that very important fact.

    So, here it is repeated directly from the article:
    The offending signal was coming from a router connected in the Richard Rodda Community Center in the the township, located 10 miles outside New York City.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:26AM (#38760744) Homepage

    Except that you are in fact completely wrong.

    It's legal for neo-Nazis to march through a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, according to the US Supreme Court []. It's legal for the KKK to exist. It's legal to stand around at funerals holding signs that say "God Hates Fags".

    It's legal to hate things, or hate people, or hate groups of people, and to voice those opinions. What's not legal is committing a crime based on those opinions.

    What's also quite possible is that the police have overstepped their bounds.

  • I swear I need to grow up and remove Slashdot from my RSS feeds, just one slanted post after another that invites the most vitriolic discussions and the first posters are such morons for acting like this is a free speech issue, which it isn't.

    1) The network name was, as listed in the fine article: "F--- All Jews and N----" (sic). That should silence you assholes posting like it's no big deal or something.
    2) The router was connected in a public township building, therefore on public property. And the police found the router, but it doesn't seem like they found the culprit. So either someone plugged in a brand new router in the building, or, more likely, someone messed with an improperly secured router. You can't make a case of private property because it wasn't private property.
    3) In terms of harassment, this is no different than someone spray painting the same words on the front door. Sure it's easier to fix, but it's no less offensive.
    4) You have a right to think the way you do, however wrong it is, but you do not have a right to put a sign out on your lawn preaching hate speech just because a bunch of people in your neighborhood are different than you. Everyone else has the right not to feel harassed by hate speech.

    This is a case of vandalism and harassment, i.e a bias crime. If it was some stupid troll who thought it would be funny, he should be rousted by the police and dealt with in a stern but reasonable manner. The courts will decide if the perpetrator was a stupid troll trying to make a joke (which was not funny) or a serial bigot trying to scare people. But how can you determine which if you don't investigate?

  • by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:49AM (#38761098)
    This isn't someones personal access point. It's at a rec center. Either an employee did it, or someone changed it via poor security.
  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:51AM (#38761144) Journal

    You might want to pick better examples to make your point. Eminent domain for malls is pretty off.


    To exercise the power of eminent domain, the government must prove that the four elements set forth in the Fifth Amendment are present: (1) private property (2) must be taken (3) for public use (4) and with just compensation. These elements have been interpreted broadly.

    Even broadly, malls are not 'for public use'.

  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @10:57AM (#38761234)

    Please tell me a time when in my lifetime when it was not considered politically correct to criticize Christians in the U.S.?

    Right now, today, actually. Unless of course you're talking about the tiny percentage of Christians who are the right-wing evangelical anti-science delusional nutbags. They're fair game, and should be, because of their own intolerant hate-spewing behavior. But mainstream Christians really do not get criticized--because there's not really much reason for it.

    Please name the comedian who makes a living belittling atheists? Or even has that as a significant part of their routine?

    Comedians??? Please, that's just pathetic. But hey, off the top of my head: South Park has of course mocked all religions, and Jeff Dunham gets great mileage from mocking the fringe elements of a certain other religion ;-)

    For that matter, when have liberals spent more time using reason and thoughtful discussion to oppose Republicans and not "they want to kill granny" lines?

    WHAT THE FUCK??? It's the right wing, tea party & conservative talk radio, that RIGHT NOW TODAY is circulating false emails about physicians not being "allowed" by the Obama administration to treat various ailments in people over 70!

    Pathetic, and a dumbfuck, and ignorant of what's going on around you--but I'm sure you think of yourself as a fine representation of Christian values in America!

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:19AM (#38761502)

    There are a lot of mindless bigots on both sides as well as reasonable intellectuals. Atheists aren't some elite group, who, through patient and thoughtful deliberation have come to an objective understanding of the universe and the people around them. Some might, but for the vast majority it's a belief system not unlike mot organized religions.

    I'd say you have that exactly backwards. It's only the occasional extremist that holds atheism as a belief system. For most athiests it is simply just not worth a second thought. As the saying goes, atheism is a religion the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby. As an atheist I suspect that such a concept is just fundamentally incomprehensible to a religious person, kind of like explaining the third dimension to a flatlander. So it is much easier to just categorize atheism as a religion-equivalent rather than a no-op.

  • by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:22AM (#38761538)

    How does that make it a crime all of a sudden?

    Trespass at the very least, probably defacing property. Possibly, illegal access to a computer device.

  • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:22AM (#38761540)

    I know, right? Every time I see a stubborn and rebellious child in public, I inform the parent that it is their religious duty as Christians to bring him to the elders so that he or she may be stoned to death [], but I always get such odd looks...

    How can you call yourself a Christian if you ignore such important verses?

  • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:30AM (#38761636)

    And the white bit... well, with one or two exceptions, that's just how it's working out.

    Guns, Germs and Steel. [] That's pretty much why white Eurasian culture rules the modern world, because they were in the right place at the right time...

  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:34AM (#38761674) Journal

    No, a mall is not a public place. It is a place the public can go to. Owned by a private entity.

    Huge difference. Regardless of what the SC said.

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:35AM (#38761692)

    Second reply:

    Something that few people seem to be aware of is the functional difference in the Constitution of the United States between State and Federal governments.

    For the Federal government, unless it is specifically allowed, it is, in general, forbidden.

    For State governments, unless it is specifically forbidden, it is, in general, allowed.

    That's a fairly crucial difference.

    It's also a difference that the Federal government has been doing its best to reverse for the last eight decades, with varying degrees of success.

  • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:40AM (#38761766) Journal

    Pretty far off?

    Then why did the City of New London, Connecticut use eminent domain to take away people's homes and give it to a private developer for some expensive condos? []

    In the end the people lost their homes and the developer gave up the project and turned it into a garbage dump.
    You can't make this stuff up.

  • Re:Name revealed (Score:4, Informative)

    by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:40AM (#38761768) Homepage

    Which in itself is a shame because being Jewish, on it's own, doesn't make one Semitic, and the Hebrew people aren't the only Semitic peoples who get hated and discriminated against.

    Argument from etymology is a fallacy. Words can mean something different from what they once did, or something different from the sum of their parts. Simply because the term "anti-semitic" contains the element "semitic" does not mean it must or should refer to anyone in particular beyond what it is commonly agreed to mean.

    A look at the OED entry for "anti-semitism" will show that from the very first attestations, the term "anti-semitism" referred specifically to sentiment against the Jewish people. The term never made any refer to another peoples of Semitic language, culture or ancestry, and it never made any claim about the genetics of the Jewish people to which it refers.

    Science, bitches. Saussure recognized l'arbitraire du signe over a century ago. You might want to get with the times.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @11:54AM (#38761988)
    sensible end-of-life planning.

    That sounds suspiciously euphemistic. Probably that and 'killing granny' are both half-way descriptive methods of describing the same thing.
  • by Vary Krishna ( 885632 ) * on Friday January 20, 2012 @12:03PM (#38762134)
    As I understand it the problem is not that someone named their personal router something offensive, it's that some unknown person renamed the community center's router something hateful and inflammatory. At least that's what I understand from TFA, although even in the quotes from locals there seems to be some confusion on the point.
  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @12:04PM (#38762156) Homepage Journal

    You're so full of shit. ... You are a pathetic moron.

    I think you just proved his point...

  • Re:Name revealed (Score:3, Informative)

    by SlimyTadpole ( 2556006 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @12:30PM (#38762620)
    He means they are holding cell phones to their ears, illegally. The part in parenthesis "(illegally here)" is a qualifier for what follows.
  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @01:27PM (#38763666)

    I know, right? Every time I see a stubborn and rebellious child in public, I inform the parent that it is their religious duty as Christians to bring him to the elders so that he or she may be stoned to death [], but I always get such odd looks...

    How can you call yourself a Christian if you ignore such important verses?

    Oh look, it's another internet atheist who shits on religion without understanding it.
    Deuteronomy is from the Old Testament.
    Christians follow the teachings of Christ. Christians DO get to pick and choose what parts of the Old Testament to follow. That's why there are so many different sects of Christianity. There are core beliefs that all Christians hold (such as the Genesis story, the flood story), and core tenets they must follow (such as the ten commandments).

    You absolutely can be a Christian and ignore all of the kill this, don't eat this, don't fuck that, etc. from the Bible. Christ's teachings were extremely hippie-like, and the differences between the sects about the belief/following/interpretation of Christ's teachings are miniscule to the differences concerning the Old Testament, or parts of the New Testament that aren't about Jesus.

    And even if this wasn't the case, what would your point be? That Christians should stone their children to death when they misbehave?
    If you want to shit on a religion or religious people, you might want to reflect on the fact that you are the one telling them to stone children, while they consider that to be adbsurd. Christianity is not what you think it is, but iternet atheists like you are every bit the ignorant assholes everyone thinks them to be.

    I am not religious, but morons like you make it so I can't say I'm an atheist. I can't say I'm agnostic because then EVERYONE tries to convert you.

  • by ace37 ( 2302468 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @01:44PM (#38763966) Homepage

    Not at all. When Jesus came around he said he would 'fulfill' the laws of Moses, which the Jews of his day were presently living.

    The law of Moses went out to a people who were pretty wild, so it fit the time. Keep in mind, the retribution-based justice of Ten Commandments are thought to date to about the same time frame as the Code of Hammurabi, so when they were 'new,' they actually were a big step forward for civilization - a written law based on justice. And in more modern times, this system was pretty crude and similar in ways to Sharia law. The law as set out in the Old Testament also includes things like spelling out religious/cultural ceremonies, practices such as not drinking blood and cooking meat, capital punishment by society (they didn't have jails worked out in 5000BC), rules on freedom for slaves and debt every so many decades, and so on.

    Like the saying, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, Jesus came around and said we need to stop this and start incorporating mercy and other good principles into our theocracy or it isn't really God's system. And a lot of that stuff in the books just isn't really the important idea - you're missing the point of it all - so let's just start by having everybody try to play nice and see how far we get.

    Believing in Christianity means you believe Jesus was right and those ancient laws need mercy as well as justice to be right. And a lot of other things, like it doesn't much matter what you eat, but rather what you do. Without believing in Christianity, most first world citizens probably feel the same. That changes what the Old Testament is used for. Since Christians believe many of those old rules no longer apply since they believe what Christ said was correct, those parts of the book becomes a historical record for Christians.

    I'm not going to stone any adulterer because the Jewish culture was commanded to back in 3000 BC. Jesus kind of made a stand on that particular one. I'm not ignoring the Old Testament; it just doesn't apply anymore.

  • by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @03:13PM (#38765642)

    No need to be an asshat. While the UDHR is a mere "declaration", and therefore non-binding, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which is completely derived from it) is a full international treaty, ratified by most major countries, and is an accepted part of international law. Free speech is in Article 19 (thanks Wikipedia!).

    So you might be pedantically correct that the UDHR is "merely" the opinion of the UN General Assembly, it is international law under an only slightly different name.

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.