Singapore Busts Second WiFi Stealing Criminal Mastermind

from the Disneyland-with-the-death-penalty dept

Whether or not leeching bandwidth from an open WiFi hotspot is legal may be an endless argument here in the States, but in Singapore there’s no argument. WiFi freeloading is illegal, as made evident by the recent arrest of a teenager who piggybacked on his neighbor’s hotspot. While the teen faced up to three years in jail, the Judge in the case is instead nudging him to enlist early in Singapore’s mandatory national service “as a way to stay out of mischief.” Now a second person has been arrested in the country, this time for using open hotspots in order to make bomb threats. The “threat” doesn’t seem like much of a threat at all — instead it appears he just posted a dumb, and fake, news headline on a technology website that declared: “Breaking news _ Toa Payoh hit by bomb attacks.” The user not only faces up to seven years in jail and fines of up to $32,500, but is also looking at 60 charges of WiFi freeloading — each of which carry the maximum penalty of three years in jail and a fine of up to $6,500. As with the first case, it’s still not clear how exactly authorities proved he was WiFi piggybacking. In a country with no shortage of draconian rules, the Singapore government might want to take a page from Arnold Schwarzenegger, and pass laws aimed at getting people to change their default hotspot password — lest their prisons be overrun by teenagers who forgot to disable WiFi network auto discovery.

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Comments on “Singapore Busts Second WiFi Stealing Criminal Mastermind”

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misanthropic humanist says:

not very sensible

None of these punishments have actually been handed down though.

As I’ve said before, disproportionate draconian punishments work against law enforcement. I would not like to be an unarmed cop in Singapore tasked with arresting someone who will get less for murdering me, or for whom the risk tradeoff favours doing so.

I wonder if the Singapore legal system has the concept of mens rea, because if it does the only way out of the auto-discovery issue is to ban devices which have this capability from the country.

Afaik, Singapore is a place where you can do jail time for chewing gum. Not exactly a place I would like to visit or do business with.

eq2 says:

Come on

I had a friend when I played Everquest 1 that played the game and lived in Singapore in real life.

She said they weren’t allowed sex toys over there, and something like either 7 years jail or your privates sewn shut if you were caught with a dildo.

I think that country has problems if they are afraid of unrest from people playing with sex toys….

Hulser says:

Could the

Here’s a scenario that turns the whole WiFi “freeloading” think on its head…

What if you catch your kid bypassing the safety filters you have in place on your home network by using your neighbor’s unsecured wireless network? If there’s a law in place where you live against using the neighbor’s network, then you’re busted. But wouldn’t the neighbor also be liable for civil damages for letting little Billy surf porn?

I don’t have any kids, so I’m not up on all of the parental filtering technology. Maybe this is a mute point because they all lock down the client machines instead of working throught the ISP or the network level. But it just seems like an unsecured wireless network is an open invitation to bypass the parental filters.

It’s probably just a matter of time before someone who had their bandwidth “stolen” gets sued for irresponsibly leaving their network unsecured.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Could the

They better not. Mine is wide open. SSID of “OpenNetWiFI” is broadcast to anyone who cares to look. Transmits, via SRS repeater in the Garage, halfway down the friggin’ block.

Most of my neighbors use it, and we either have a few drug dealers on my block, or folks are parking to use it.

I have no problem with this, in fact, I encourage it. The only time I *ever* limit the bandwidth to all but my in-home devices is when I am downloading a rather large file I need ASAP.

The internet wants to be free!

Solo says:

*Your* wifi signal is passing through *my* walls and waving it’s little hands right in front of my eyes: “use me! I’m free internet! use me”

Just like my neighbour’s apple tree: the branch that leans over *my* property bears apples that I can pick. They are mine. They are in my property.

If you unsecured wifi is all over my house, it’s free for me to use.

You don’t get arrested for listening to your neighbor’s loud music finding its way to your ears…

|333173|3|_||3 says:

You should be allowed to use unsecured wireless connections, but there should also be a class of behaviour whioch is legal, but not reccomended, for such behaviour. THen a law can be passed which states that if you do anything in this class of behaviour, or anything worse (i.e. a misdemenour or crime), then whatever happens to you in the process or as a result is entirely your problem. THus if you use my hypothetically unsecured wireless, then if you find I have replaced the entire contents of your harddrive with some *nix version in Swahili and a heap of files which are screaming for every local versiopn of the *AA to come after your blood, and which you cannot delete until you first learn enough of the lingo to find out hat it is askinf for a password which happens to be thousands of charecters long…. and so on, that is your problem. I neer told you it was unsecured, after all. Just because you didn’t realise thatI had secured it like this, there is no reason for you to complain. Also, sucha law would mean that if a bunch of kids break into a construction site and one of them falls and breaks his leg, then that is entirely his problem, and not the builder’s. I would hazard that there would be few who could aregue that this latter example is unfiar.

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