Blame The WiFi Even When It Has Nothing To Do With The Crime

from the must-be-the-WiFi's-fault dept

There's just something about crime and WiFi that seems to make reporters simply lose any sense of reality. We've had plenty of examples of straight fear mongering about the supposed dangers of open WiFi, but another favorite is to somehow implicate WiFi when involved in crimes. Last year we wrote about two crimes that had almost nothing to do with WiFi, but where the press focused almost entirely on the WiFi. However, the latest story seems to combine both the fear mongering and the crime angle -- but never bothers to check out whether or not WiFi is actually involved in the crime. The article starts out by warning everyone who has a wireless network at home how they could face similar problems, and then goes on to describe a guy who harassed his ex-wife online. He sent emails from her account to her co-workers, and filled out a change of address form to ship her mail across the country. The police insist he did all this using a stolen laptop and a neighbor's WiFi. They seem to be implying that by having access to a neighbor's WiFi he was able to impersonate his ex-wife, though that's a totally separate issue. Using the WiFi was just his method of connectivity. Getting access to his wife's email and sending emails to her co-workers both have nothing to do with his use of an open WiFi connection. In fact, if anything, this story is even more evidence that all those fear mongering stories about how if a criminal uses your WiFi they'll never get caught, are totally ridiculous. Once again, traditional detective methods are used to track down the actual criminal, rather than blaming the WiFi access point owner. Of course, none of that comes out in the article.
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  1. identicon
    I, for one, 24 May 2006 @ 6:50pm

    General media ignorance of everything

    For a moment one wonders whether certain telecom interests might have an influence on the boogieman de jour. But try as I might to dream up an implausible conspiracy theory I just cant get past the more obvious point that the press are utter halfwits and there's no more to it than that. We have a wonderfully entertaining publication in the UK called the Guardian. It stands as an exemplar of tree-hugging Luddite anti-science that positively delights in its ignorance. Here you can read about evil Uranium gas, radio waves that travel at the speed of sound and energy measured in Watts (not Joules). I'm quite convinced they still believe the sun rotates around the earth. Their mathematics is a sham, matched only by their inability to provide the most basic references and a flat refusal to grasp O'Level economics. But here's the kicker, the Guardian is considered an "intellectual" broadsheet and its readers pride themselves on being above average intelligence. In a moment of brilliant irony they started to run a column on "bad science"!

    I, for one am not surprised to find a general hostility to WiFi in a popular press staffed by media graduates. It contains the perfect blend of ingredients, evil cancer causing radio waves, anonymous dirty hacker terrorists lurking in the shadows poised to pounce on your children, and it's complicated, so it must be the work of the Satan.

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