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Re: [Captive-portals] Starting to discuss Captive Portals

> On Mar 30, 2015, at 10:07 PM, Warren Kumari <[email protected]> wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 7:41 AM, Patrick McManus <[email protected]> wrote:
>> I really appreciate the draft.
>> There is one thing I really like about the draft, as it operates at a dhcp
>> level the first hint I'm in a CP happens strictly before any connections are
>> formed.. that should help keep things orderly without imposing delays on
>> non-CP scenarios. Unfortunately, because it doesn't help with CP state (just
>> CP enabled network or not) it does add delay for determining state with
>> some, potentially slow, internet server for hosts behind CP that are already
>> whitelisted. For instance, every time I open my laptop in a hotel for 24
>> hours after signing the T&C.
>> I also agree with Yaron's thoughts. I think the document acknowledges a few
>> problems that it needs to actually deal with to make this practical
> Fair. I'm (always) happy to accept suggestions on how to address
> these... and, of course, even happier to get text :-)
>> * Capture status
> How about something like requiring that the "Congratulations, you are
> now connected to the Internet" page contains a magic string (e.g:
> "CP_SATISFIED_JABBERWOCKY" or "The Magic Words are Squeamish
> Ossifrage") ? This allows the client to know when it has satisfied the
> Captive Portal.

Not sure the portals want your client to know. It took me a while, but I finally figured out why Apple’s scheme was not working in my hotel. When a Mac goes on a new network, it sends a request for one of several pre-defined URLs. They all return the simple string “success”. If they don’t get that, Mac OS pops up a window and shows the user whatever it got instead.

My hotel would let those requests through so that the system got “success”. After that nothing worked until I browsed to some HTTP site and got the captive portal. So I filled in the super secret password that I got with my room key, and got to a web page about all the great stuff at my hotel. So why did my hotel do this? It’s because they wanted me to see that page. With Apple’s scheme, the moment the system detects that I’m on the real Internet, it makes the special window go away so that I can get some work done. Your CP_SATISTISFIED_JABBERWOCKY would allow the OS to remove the special window, and then I don’t get to see what’s on that page. 

I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to specify, but we should realize that captive portals, much like websites and OS vendors want to control your experience.