When In Singapore Make Sure To Turn Off WiFi Network Autodiscovery

from the otherwise,-jailtime-it-is dept

For many years, we've put up posts questioning whether or not using unsecured WiFi was a crime or if it even should be a crime. It appears that officials in Singapore decided that it absolutely is a crime and John writes in to point out that a teenager now faces three years in jail for using his neighbor's WiFi. There aren't too many details here, and perhaps there's more to this story. However, from the summary, it sounds like this kid used his neighbor's open WiFi network. There's nothing saying that he got past any security or anything like that -- just that he had "unauthorized access." As many of you probably know, most computers these days have WiFi network auto-discovery, meaning that if you're walking around with an ordinary laptop in Singapore, you could accidentally open yourself up to the potential of 3 years in jail just by waking it up in the wrong spot. The other oddity here is that the article claims the complaint was filed by the neighbor, though it's unclear how he knew that his WiFi was being used by the teen, or how anyone can prove that it actually was the teen. Perhaps there really is more to the story, and perhaps the neighbor did properly lock up his WiFi -- but if it really was open, wouldn't locking it up be a more reasonable response than tossing your teenaged neighbor in jail for three years?

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  1. identicon
    Random_SG, 15 Nov 2006 @ 9:08am

    He's not sentenced yet..

    I'm a Singaporean, living in Singapore, and have been following this case quite a bit..

    Take note guys: HE'S NOT SENTENCED YET.

    3 years is the maximum punishment he would get, that doesn't mean that he definitely will get 3 years. I'll expect him to get off lightly this time only because he's a teen, probably with a probational sentence (yes, we DO have probation, we're not a catch-all-jail-all community) or perhaps a stiff fine.

    Tan going to jail? Most probably not. 1 month tops even if he is. And please, all these seemingly "authoritarian" measures are the main reasons as to why Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. A little harsh perhaps, but if it makes sure I'm living in a safe country, I don't mind, I just make sure I don't get into trouble.

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