Illinois WiFi ‘Freeloader’ fined US$250
Categories: WiFi Access
An Illinois man plead guilty this week to remotely accessing another computer system without the owner’s approval and was handed one year of court supervision and a US$250 fine. David Kauchak was spotted using his laptop inside of his parked car in the middle of the night by a police officer this past January. The officer discovered that Kauchak was using an unprotected wireless access point belonging to a not-for-profit agency to access the Internet and cited him.
Dale’s Comment: This is crazy! These laws are intended to keep people from maliciously using/attacking someone’s computer, not to prevent casual, harmless Internet access. I have long argued that not only should this be encouraged, but WiFi/router manufactures should specifically design their products so that users can safely allocate a user-selectable portion of their WiFi bandwidth (ideally, via an external switch or software slider tool) for third party anonymous Internet connections. This should be done in a way that protects the router-owner from unauthorized access to their internal computer systems/networks. If this were to happen, significant, universal and free roaming Internet connectivity could follow. If someone is genuinely hacking or causing mischief, throw the book at him. If he’s just surfing the net or catching up on e-mail, let him alone!
- Another WiFi Arrest – This time in Vancouver Washington (June 22, 2006)
- Illinois WiFi ‘Freeloader’ fined $US$250 (March 23, 2006)
- Paramount Sues Man for Piracy – But Can’t Find any Evidence (December 14, 2005) – a man cleverly used his unsecured wireless connection as an affirmative defense to allegations that he was pirating movies from Paramount Pictures.
- ‘Stealing’ Your Neighbor’s Net (August 10, 2005)
- Florida Man Charged with Felony for Accessing Third-party WiFi (July 7, 2005)