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Arrested For Using Wireless Internet

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posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by RedGolem


To me this does not sound like it should be a crime. I can give a few reasons. Current technology make it so who ever chooses to use a wireless router with there wi fi capable computer, they can chose to encrypt it. Second I think it would be uncommon for some one else using a some one elses router to cause any harm or inconvenience to the router owner. Should this be illegal I feel it is a victimless crime. Sooner or later I feel this will be in the supreme Cort.

news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)


I completely agree with you. I am going to set my computer up for Wi-Fi next year, as I want to get a laptop. My neighbours grandson is getting a Wi-Fi capable laptop. As far as I am concerned, he can link to my Wi-Fi, as my systems will be really secure and he won't be able to read my data.

He has just started work, and can't afford wireless broadband. I don't mind allowing him access, or anybody else to plug into my Wi-Fi when I get it next year, as I said my systems are secure and are hard for others to get into.

Besides, it is wireless networking, which means the carrier waves from my main computer wi-fi networking will be available to anybody. I have no control as to who can access the Wi-Fi transmitter. There is no way of stopping the data stream, once it is open.

The important thing is to just protect the data on your computers by securing it with several gateways that only you can unlock. As for the transmission/reception from the aerial from the computer, I have no means of controlling somebody's access to it. So I think that is just plain stupid to arrest somebody accessing a transmitter/receiver for their own use and not for hacking into somebody else's computer.

There is a lot of Wi-Fi connections available throughout the country. Whose to say that they didn't use one of those portals.

I must apologize if I repeated myself. I have been down with a viral infection for the last few days, and I was up all night last night with it. I just hope that my meaning is clear.




posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by rachel07
I completely agree with you. I am going to set my computer up for Wi-Fi next year, as I want to get a laptop. My neighbours grandson is getting a Wi-Fi capable laptop. As far as I am concerned, he can link to my Wi-Fi, as my systems will be really secure and he won't be able to read my data.

He has just started work, and can't afford wireless broadband. I don't mind allowing him access, or anybody else to plug into my Wi-Fi when I get it next year, as I said my systems are secure and are hard for others to get into.


Key thing there is you have given consent. If that is given, no crime is committed. If you want to let others leach your bandwidth, then who's to stop you?


Originally posted by rachel07
Besides, it is wireless networking, which means the carrier waves from my main computer wi-fi networking will be available to anybody. I have no control as to who can access the Wi-Fi transmitter. There is no way of stopping the data stream, once it is open.


What are you on about? You can lock people out with encryption, or even if someone gets on to your router, you can still shut down the link yourself and prevent them from logging on again.


Originally posted by rachel07
The important thing is to just protect the data on your computers by securing it with several gateways that only you can unlock. As for the transmission/reception from the aerial from the computer, I have no means of controlling somebody's access to it. So I think that is just plain stupid to arrest somebody accessing a transmitter/receiver for their own use and not for hacking into somebody else's computer.


You quite clearly don't understand what is going on here. The bloke was leeching bandwidth without permission. If he had gained access to data on the computer itself, he would have committed another offence uner the Misuse of Computer's Act.

Also, you do have every means to prevent people from accessing your Wi-Fi. I wonder what makes you think you don't?


Originally posted by rachel07
There is a lot of Wi-Fi connections available throughout the country. Whose to say that they didn't use one of those portals.


Router logs from the person who's internet link he was accessing for starters. Logs within his own computer for second. His own admission was the nail, though. Yes, he admitted to accessing a network to which he didn't have permission to use.


Originally posted by rachel07
I must apologize if I repeated myself. I have been down with a viral infection for the last few days, and I was up all night last night with it. I just hope that my meaning is clear.


Not really. You seem to somewhat confused about the whole thing.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by RedGolem
I agree with what you said. The technology is there so every one who has a router can encrypt it. If it is not encrypted it should be considered public domain.
Many cities are getting wired for public access to Internet so I am hoping it will go that way when it gets to the courts.

So I guess if I leave my front door open, my television is public domain?


apc

posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 05:48 PM
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I am AMAZED the legal "debate" on this issue has gone on this long.

I just moved to a new residence... it's quite nice. For the first week my DSL wasn't up, and much to my joy one of my neighbors has a little linksys radio... set to defaults.

My using it for a week was a crime. As it should be... it wasn't mine. Just because I could easily access it didn't make it right. I also have easy access to my neighbor's telco box. But if I were to clip a handset to it, I would be committing a crime. Again, as it should be. It's not mine. I haven't asked to use it. If I used it anyway, that would be wrong. It's really quite simple.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 06:05 PM
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And what if you were someone that wasn't very tech-savvy and you turned your laptop on and it automatically connected to their network without you knowing? The feds would be round taking you away, that seems a bit much to me.

Maybe you should tell your neighbour to put a password on their network so innocent laptop owners in your area don't get arrested.


apc

posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 06:18 PM
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You turn on your laptop.

It picks up a signal.

You're not anywhere near a hot-spot.

Do you scratch your head and say, "Gee. That's awfully nice of whoever owns this to make it available to me."

Unless you're an utter moron... no.

Alas, that is not the situation here.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by apc
 


With me it would be more like I turn on my notebook. It automatically connects to a signal, and I scratch my head and say, it is awfully nice of that person to have a publicly accessible wireless signal.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by RedGolem
With me it would be more like I turn on my notebook. It automatically connects to a signal, and I scratch my head and say, it is awfully nice of that person to have a publicly accessible wireless signal.

That's like letting someone across the street use your cable connection. Nice but illegal.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


A cable connection requires a physical connection. A process requiring tools. materials, and knowledge in a skill set.
Note book computers come ready for wireless signals and often connect automatically.
That comparaison has been made to cable theft but in reality it is two different things.

[edit on 27-8-2007 by RedGolem]



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 10:30 PM
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The guy was sat outside a house and was using an internet connection that he shouldn't have been using.

Someone above said that we're in a police state, but it isn't "normal" in the UK to sit on the road with a laptop. This is why he got stopped. Had he been in another house sharing someone elses wi-fi, the police would never have known and we wouldn't be discussing it now. Apparently he even said it wasn't his wi-fi access point when they asked him (I think that is what it said in the news report).

Is it theft? I wouldn't have said so, unless they're on a metered or capped service, then it could start costing them money.

I also think that the people with the unsecured internet connection were asking for their bandwidth to be used by not securing the network properly.

The Telecommunications Act makes it illegal because it is unauthorized use of the telecommunications network. Technically the only person allowed to use a telephone is the person who ordered the service and pays the bill, but this is impractical, and not enforced, so "unauthorized" is anyone whom the bill payer didn't permit to use the telephone. The same is true for internet connections.

[edit on 27-8-2007 by mirageofdeceit]


apc

posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by RedGolem
 


Then your defense would be ignorance, which as previously pointed out is no excuse.

Would you face charges if caught? Probably not. It would be up to the arresting officer who in all reality would see it was just an accident and you didn't know what you were doing. If however you continued using it over a long period of time, a time frame where a reasonable person would have concluded they were in fact not using a public-access service, you should be charged (if caught).

What would qualify a reasonable person? I'd say anyone over the age of 8. WiFi has become so mainstream everybody and their great grandfather think they have mastered it (as demonstrated by some of the posters in this thread). Most people have at the very least a fundamental understanding of the equipment, what a public hot-spot is, and what a public hot-spot isn't.



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 07:12 PM
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This is a very interesting thread, but it is very cut and dry. The use of a product or service that you did not pay for is simply illegal. At least here in the states. "Theft of services" is very common charge. As to whether it is enforced all the time or in all cases, that is a seperate issue. "Ignorance of the law is not a defence to the prosecution" is a phrase found all over the law books here in the US. If it were a valid defence, everyone would immediately say, "I didn't know it was illegal." You could never prosecute anyone. Anyway, that aside, it all comes down to common sense and respect for the property of others. Criminals try to use any angle they can to justify their actions.
1. I didn't know my actions were illegal.
2. It's the owner's fault; he/she left it unsecure.
3. My device connected automatically
and many other excuses actually don't work. Whether it was done with malice or not, that is up to the courts to decide. There have been many cases were even the owners were charged with "owner involved theft" for facilitating the theft whether by accident or not. So if they are not tech-savvy or just plain stupid, they better get someone over to fix it or learn to fix the security hole themselves. Otherwise they could face charges themselves. This goes back to "Ignorance not being a defence." If they have the money to get a service like wifi and internet, they should be able to afford some tech service as well.
As for police states, the more people abuse the law simply because it is not expressly written or it doesn't directly address a given situation, the more laws will be passed to address them. Then my friends, we will be that much closer to a police state. How do we avoid it then? Simply, stop taking what's not yours to begin with.



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