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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dire Consequences of Using Someone Else's Wifi

Just read a disturbing story in the local Kent Messenger about a man from Deal who used an an open wireless network to access the internet. Whilst accessing the "non-public" wifi access point, the police stopped him and asked him what he was doing.

His honest reply saw him taken down to the station and spend a night in the cells. A duty solicitor advised him he had committed a crime the next morning, and the 29 year old man accepted a police caution.

He thought that was the end of it but unfortunately when he went to apply for a job, they did a check on him and found he had a caution under the Computer Misuse Act and he didn't get the job.

No information is provided in the story - sorry, can't find a link but will update this if I can find one - as to whether the owner of the wireless access point actually complained about their internet access being used.

Personally I find this very troubling. Some people leave access points open because they are happy to share their access. It's impossible to know if you see an open access point whether the owner is relaxed about sharing or technically incompetent.

Do you think the police were wrong to arrest the man in this case? Was he wrong to accept the police caution?


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