Ignorance makes stealing wifi OK

Mikey 4 comments
Ignorance makes stealing wifi OK

In what could easily be a first for any law enforcement agency, the Maryland public defender's office in the United States has shown true understanding by opposing a bill that would have essentially criminalised stealing wifi with punishments of up to $10,000 and 10 years in jail.

"A technically unsophisticated user, such as a visiting parent, or simply a houseguest unfamiliar with the home's Internet could and probably would choose the first available network"

Outstanding. Someone in that office clearly understands the implications which as I mentioned is a rarity.

I am not in favour of stealing wifi, but the idea of criminalising wifi theft sounds like a politicians way of saying 'I don't know how to secure my wifi connection and I don't want to learn this rudimentary skill'. Doesn't sound likely? This bill was prompted by Delegate LeRoy E. Myers, Jr, who recently became a 'victim' of wifi theft himself. Instead of allowing for the 5 minutes it would take to secure his wifi connection, he got his office to draw up the bill instead.

Imagine if everyone were as lazy as Delegate Myers. Why would his neighbours get their own internet connection when they can just use his?

What do you think? Is stealing wifi OK?

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Tuesday 25th March 2008 | 12:34 PM

Leaving your wifi unsecured is the same as leaving your car doors unlocked. Don't complain when someone steals it. RTFM.

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Tuesday 25th March 2008 | 07:06 PM

I agree with Brian that it's the same as leaving your house or car unlocked, but going into someone else's stuff is still wrong. So long as it's not malicious, I have no problem with people using my wifi, but I still lock it up so that I have the resources when I need them.

People should learn a little bit about the technology they use on a daily basis. Just like the amount of people who drive a car and just know adding gas is what makes it go. Ignorance is only blissful until something goes wrong.

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Wednesday 2nd April 2008 | 07:11 AM

that's a typical politician reaction - too dumb to know shit about basic technology

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Saturday 19th April 2008 | 04:48 AM

I agree that leaving your wifi unprotected is like leaving your house or car unlocked, but I don't think that using some one else's wireless LAN to browse the internet is the same as going into an unlocked home.

The key difference, I think, is the fact that the radio signals being transmitted by the wireless router in question are actually passing into your yard, property, and home - even through your own body! They must be, or else your laptop would not be able to connect to it, right?

I think one could argue that it is the person with the router who is commiting tresspas, by sending signals into your yard.

On a more obscure legal note, in some cases, throwing a frizbee into your neighbors yard can constitute as an assult. Why not radio waves?

No one buys it? Oh well... It was worth a shot.

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