Dale Dietrich
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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.

Sources: ars technica | Network World | Yahoo! News | The Register | Networking Pipeline | Rockford Register Star | TechSearch | RealTechNews

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!

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  • Roger Dyer

    I totally agree, if people don’t want anyone “tapping” their wifi wep it or wap it. It is not a crime to surf a little or check some email while piggy backing someones unencrypted wifi. This whole subject is just stupid. ISP’s are too expensive as it is, and I don’t encrypt my modem. My dsl modem is wide open, hop on and do your thing, now if you try hacking my system we’ve got a problem, but as for the internet, have at it.