I plugged into ethernet (as wifi w/captive portal does not work for me). I think clearnet worked but I have no interest in that. Egress Tor traffic was blocked and so was VPN. I’m not interested in editing all my scripts and configs to use clearnet, so the library’s internet is useless to me (unless I bother to try a tor bridge).

I was packing my laptop and a librarian spotted me unplugging my ethernet cable and approached me with big wide open eyes and pannicked angry voice (as if to be addressing a child that did something naughty), and said “you can’t do that!”

I have a lot of reasons for favoring ethernet, like not carrying a mobile phone that can facilitate the SMS verify that the library’s captive portal imposes, not to mention I’m not eager to share my mobile number willy nilly. The reason I actually gave her was that that I run a free software based system and the wifi drivers or firmware are proprietary so my wifi card doesn’t work¹. She was also worried that I was stealing an ethernet cable and I had to explain that I carry an ethernet cable with me, which she struggled to believe for a moment. When I said it didn’t work, she was like “good, I’m not surprised”, or something like that.

¹ In reality, I have whatever proprietary garbage my wifi NIC needs, but have a principled objection to a service financed by public money forcing people to install and execute proprietary non-free software on their own hardware. But there’s little hope for getting through to a librarian in the situation at hand, whereby I might as well have been caught disassembling their PCs.

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    3 months ago

    The reality despite what you or i might do, is that 99% of people don’t carry around an ethernet or hardwire in when there is available wifi.

    The library might be public, but it’s still a good idea to communicate your intent or obtain permission prior to using someone else’s network in away they might deem to be unexpected.

    “Do you have ethernet or wired internet?” is actually a common library question and the response from whoever works the front desk will likely tell you everything you need to know.

    • wahming@monyet.cc
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      “Do you have ethernet or wired internet?” is actually a common library question and the response from whoever works the front desk will likely tell you everything you need to know.

      Would you trust the reply somebody like the librarian in the OP gave you? Seems like the sort of person who would refuse to admit to any lack of knowledge and just bluster.

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        3 months ago

        Do you trust every one-sided story to be entirely accurate of all details?

        And what does trust have to do with it? Can we use Ethernet here? If the person says no, would you just walk around the building until you found a port and plugged in?

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          Do you trust every one-sided story to be entirely accurate of all details?

          No, but for the sake of discussion in this thread, that is the scenario we’re all going by. We’re not rendering a legal judgement here, we’re discussing the situation as described.

          In a public library, I would fully expect public-facing ethernet ports, especially in sitting / working areas, to be available for public use. I’m not sure why they would be there otherwise. And if they’re no longer meant for public use, it would be on the library IT staff to have disabled those ports.

          what does trust have to do with it?

          Because I don’t trust non-IT-savvy people to even properly understand the question. I’ve met way too many people with no technical clue who refuse to admit to any sort of lack of knowledge when it’s extremely obvious.

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            If the LIBRARIAN doesn’t understand this as a service the library offers - then they don’t offer it - or if you think they’re wrong you need to have an adult conversation that they do and that it should be ok. It’s weird to just assume you can go around sticking your cat5e into other peoples ethernet ports like that.

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              We could discuss all sorts of hypotheticals, including where there’s a secret supervillain base under the library and they’re about to assassinate OP for jacking into their network. It’s pointless because we’re not discussing an event we have any way of obtaining any other information about other than what OP has provided.

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          And what does trust have to do with it?

          I think they mean trust in the librarian to genuinely know the policy and what should work. They tend not to in this case because ethernet has become obscure enough to be an uncommon question, if ever.

          Another library had ethernet ports all down the wall next to desks. They were dead and no one used them. It was obvious that the librarian had no clue about whether the ports were even supposed to function. When I said they are dead and asked to turn them on or find out what’s wrong, they then figured that if the ports don’t work, it must be intentional. So the librarian’s understanding of the policy was derived from the fact that they were dysfunctional. Of course if they were intended to work but needed service, ethernet users are hosed because the librarian’s understanding of policy is guesswork. There is no proper support mechanism.

          I asked a librarian at another library: I need to use Tor. Is it blocked? I need to know before I buy a membership. Librarian had no idea. They just wing it. They said test it. Basically, if it works, then it’s acceptable. The functionality becomes the source of policy under the presumption that everything is functioning as it should.

          Since ethernet has been phased out, modern devices no longer include an ethernet NIC, and there are places to plug into A/C with no ethernet nearby, the librarians and the public are both conditioned to be unaware of ethernet. So the answer will only be either: no or test and see.

      • CyberSeeker@discuss.tchncs.de
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        3 months ago

        As far as people I’d trust to not just make shit up, I’d say Librarian, aka, professional fucking researcher is high on the list.

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          That pretty much depends on where in the world you are, FYI. Librarian == professional fucking researcher is not a thing in Asia.

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        Would you trust the reply somebody like the librarian in the OP gave you?

        I mean, if the answer is “no” would you just go around plugging into random Ethernet ports until you found one that works? Just because you don’t “trust” the librarian who gave you the answer? That sounds like a fast track to getting trespassed (or at least banned from using their public internet altogether) for abuse of services.

        The library isn’t required to provide free Ethernet. They aren’t even required to provide free wifi. But they choose to do so because they recognize that wifi is a big reason people will come to a library to spend time. Which is sort of the whole point of the library. So providing free wifi goes hand-in-hand with the library’s ultimate mission.

        But that wifi is provided on an as-is basis, because they can’t guarantee things like 100% uptime, good speeds, or any kind of troubleshooting. And any potential ethernet connection would also be as-is. And in this case, “as-is” could easily translate to “not available to the public at all.” Because again, the library isn’t required to provide any of it.

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        It’s kind of all that matters though. We don’t need to trust her - we need her acceptance of the act for which she is the gatekeeper of. If we don’t have it - trust over what she said is irrelevant since we don’t even have the basic trust over the act.

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        Yes, because it seems in this instance the answer to the question is “no, please don’t plug into the ports you find.”

        If it’s a supported thing, the librarian may have been less blustery.

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      When I entered I spoke to a different librarian about the locked PC room (due to a holiday or something). They said I could use wifi but need to give a phone number to a captive portal, which I already knew. My phone was not on me so I said: is it okay if I plug in over there by the catalog PCs? They said yes. Revealing what I mean by "plugging in”, well, i was vague for a reason. I know the population has become ethernet-hostile¹ so indeed asking for forgiveness is better than asking for permission in this situation.

      ¹ Another library in the area has ethernet ports but they are just decoys (dead ports). I asked the librarian what the problem is, why they are disabled, and whether we can turn them on. Librarian was helpless, and said “use wifi”, which didn’t work for me for different reasons than the other library. But the librarian basically said in so many words “not our problem… you can just use wifi.” At another library, I was able to connect but Tor was blocked. I tried to get support from the librarian. They had no clue but were also unwilling to lead me to someone who could give support. The way it works around here is the info systems are outsourced to some unreachable tech giant, and the librarians are rendered helpless. If the SSID does not appear, the librarian can send an email to someone to say it’s down, and that’s about the full extent of their tech capability.

      • mark3748@sh.itjust.works
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        Another library in the area has ethernet ports but they are just decoys (dead ports). I asked the librarian what the problem is, why they are disabled, and whether we can turn them on.

        They’re not decoys, they’re just not patched. Because we don’t generally patch anything that’s not going to be in use. Also because some rando will probably attempt to plug their nasty ass laptop into it, which is also why we block port intrusions.

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          They’re not decoys, they’re just not patched.

          Equipment isn’t free, after all, especially if you’re a library.

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        Why didn’t you tell this librarian that you’d asked another librarian and they said it was okay to plug in? Why was none of this included in the original post?

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          The librarian who said it was okay to plugin (which they likely understood to mean plugin an A/C power cord) was young, not as senior as the edgy librarian. I’m not going to take down a kid and get them in trouble for not picking apart what it means when someone asks if they can “plug-in”.

          People like Trump will throw his supporters under the bus when self-defense calls for it. I will not.

          What would the point be? I didn’t need a defense. I got scolded and was walking out. Since I was calm, the librarian became calm. Police were not called and I was not detained. And if that had happened, I would have exercised my right to remain silent anyway.

          • Twinklebreeze @lemmy.world
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            You sound insufferable. You used vague wording to justify not using your phone to get internet, and act like child when you get caught. They’re not hostile to Ethernet, they’re hostile to you and your behaviour.

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              You set a great example of getting mad at a bitch eating crackers.

              I merely tried to get online using an ethernet cable. I didn’t get hostile. I was calm. And because I was calm, the librarian became calm. The only hostility was in the librarian’s single opening comment to me, and what you see in this thread.

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                Could I be in the wrong? No, it must be literally everyone else in this entire thread / national library network.

                Grow up. You set out to get in trouble, you got yourself in trouble, no one is impressed.

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                  Could I be in the wrong? No, it must be literally everyone else in this entire thread / national library network.

                  Is your position so weak that you need to resort to a bandwagon fallacy?

                  Grow up.

                  and an ad hominem?

                  You demonstrate being a grown up by avoiding ad hominems in favor of logically sound reasoning.

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                    Is your position so weak that you need to resort to a bandwagon fallacy?

                    It’s not a fallacy. Your social skills are toxic and that’s been confirmed by everyone here. You aren’t in a position to judge how your actions are perceived by society.

                    If everyone says you’re being an asshole, you’re being an asshole.

                    and an ad hominem?

                    This isn’t a formal debate. It’s me and everyone else booing you for your bad behavior.

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          I know right? Everyone cheering them on, meanwhile I’m reading the OP and find them to be pretentious and maladjusted. Who talks about the ‘clearnet’ like it’s the internet of normies?