[LINK] MAC addresses on public wifi

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Sat Jul 17 13:52:53 AEST 2010

On Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 12:03:08PM +1000, Kim Holburn wrote:
> Mail sent from a public wifi system has no real identifying data.  The
> public wifi system may have logs which can identify MAC address with
> local private IP, but it's unlikely.  If it did have police might be
> able to get access or a subpoena.

note also that MAC addresses can be changed on almost all devices
(although doing so usually requires downloading and installing extra
software. the software is readily available for most operating systems)

so, a MAC address is not really a unique or fixed identifier because it
can easily be faked. it's good enough for technical purposes (such as
connecting to a network), but not IMO for legal purposes - the fact that
it's easily changed means there's more than enough reasonable doubt for
a MAC address to be suitable even for identifying a device, let alone a


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

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