Dale Dietrich
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Another WiFi Arrest – this time in Vancouver Washington

Categories: Police ActionsWiFi Access

Alexander Eric Smith was arrested after a three-month stretch where he periodically parked in front of a coffee shop off-and-on with a laptop and used its wireless Internet connection.

ars technica | Engadget | San Francisco Chronicle | techsearch | EETimes | iTnews.com.au | katu.com

Dale’s Comment: Still another arrest for another victimless crime. See my comments to a similar story on March 23, 2006. In this particular case, if the coffee shop wanted to ensure against external users, then they should have used password access control. Otherwise, if people make their wireless access available without protection, passers-by should be entitled to use it.

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  • http://www.vancouverlaw.net lawyering

    Assuming the coffee shop was giving WiFi access to its customers free of charge, its hard to see how this was any sort of theft of service on his behalf. Securing a WiFi connection takes about 30 seconds if the coffee shop wanted to, its not like this guy is some serious criminal that should be charged with a crime.