Marriott did not admit to any wrongdoing. Instead they claim they were using a known feature in their FCC approved hardware that allows the user to send de-authentication packets to Wi-Fi Internet access points that have been deemed “rogue”.
Why would they do that? Some feel it was just about making money – the described practice rendered personal hotspots useless, forcing guests to purchase expensive internet access from the hotel. There is no doubt it was – until the fine – generating additional revenue for the hotel.
But hotel rep insists that it wasn't about the money, and that their intentions were good, that they were trying to protect guests from "rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft.”
He's right. That argument does hold up. And the same "jamming" practice described in the FCC filing would have protected guests from things like "evil twin" attacks, and that kind of attack can lead to things like identity theft. But the practice was also very efficient at generating additional revenue for the hotel.
The real problem is not the practice but the lack of discretion on the part of Marriott. The filing makes it seem like the same feature could have been used to selectively target specific access points (like those that appeared to be evil twins) without affecting legitimate personal hotspots that belonged to guests.
Targeting everything made a lot of money, enough to call their credibility into question, but the practice did provide a measure of protection.
Marriot WiFi 'Jamming'.... Why It's Not All Bad