Fined For Using Someone Else's WiFi
from the where's-the-loss? dept
While many, many people still feel there's absolutely nothing wrong with piggybacking on someone's open WiFi, the police don't always agree. We've had a few stories in the past about people getting arrested for using someone else's WiFi, or even threatening to arrest people for simply using a cantenna. The latest such story, sent in by Steve, involves a guy in Illinois who was fined $250 for "theft of services" after a police officer spotted him sitting in a car, using the open WiFi of a non-profit agency in the middle of the night. The police go on about how you could get a year in jail for this. Again, though, it's not clear why this is a crime. If the guy were trespassing, that's one thing. However, if he's sitting on public property, using an open WiFi signal that went beyond the property boundaries... it should have been up to the agency to secure their WiFi. Also, there's no way anyone can claim any real loss in this situation. It was the middle of the night. No one else was using the broadband connection. The police are quoted warning others to beware that they, too, can get arrested and spend a year in jail if spotted using a laptop in a car. Can't wait until someone using an EVDO or HSDPA cellular data card in their car gets arrested by a police officer who doesn't recognize the difference.