by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 22nd 2007 12:41pm
We've had a bunch of stories over the last few years of people getting arrested for using open WiFi access and we still can't understand what crime has actually been committed. Unfortunately, yet another person in the UK has now been arrested for using an open WiFi network, after police saw him sitting on a wall with a laptop and asked him what he was doing. Apparently, in the UK, they consider it a violation of a communications law and a computer misuse law, but neither makes much sense. If the guy isn't physically trespassing and the owner of the WiFi has it open, then what's the problem? You can't assume that the owner wanted it closed. If they did, they would have closed it. It's the access point owner's own fault if they're not securing the WiFi. Since all it is is radio waves, we're again left wondering if police will start arresting people who use the light shining from inside a house to read something out on the street. After all, that's basically the same thing: making use of either light or radio waves that were emitted from within the house, but are reaching public areas.
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