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Author Topic: Can using free Wifi bandwidth be a crime?  (Read 3093 times)
dapengmingwang
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« on: December 21, 2006, 07:35:59 PM »

What a load of garbage.

Here's an analogy. It is onus that I lock the door to my house and if I forgot, it is my fault that I did not take my security seriously.

But does that mean someone has the right thus to go about looking for unlock doors and then go in to well, maybe take one or two un-noticeable or low value items which is only a small loss to me?!!

It is simply THEFT. Stop being bloody lame.

Above which, it isn't the same as using water run off from another house. It is deliberately going around looking out for these run offs, and then piping it directly from these houses for one's own use at someone else's expense. In other words, it is also an act of intrusion.


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Can using free Wifi bandwidth be a crime?
      
I AM slightly stunned by the facts surrounding the case of Garyl Tan Jia Luo ('Wi-Fi thief pleads guilty'; ST, Dec 20).

Apparently he 'could have faced penalties of up to three years' jail and a $10,000 fine', yet he is hardly a menace to society. If you compare him to people who strangle and torture cats for fun, or whose negligent driving ends up taking someone's life, his potential punishment seems out of all proportion.

Let us consider the nature of his 'crime'. Who is the victim exactly? Well, presumably, the person whose Wifi account he was piggybacking on. In over 90 per cent of such occurrences, the 'victim' does not even know about it. The worst he is likely to experience is some drop-off in bandwidth, and with casual surfing like Tan seems to have done (rather than running major downloads) the effect would be negligible. If he had been engaged in another form of illegal online activity and piggybacked to avoid detection, then that is a very different matter.

Another consideration is the account-holder's failure to secure the Wifi signal. If he were concerned or cared about activity such as Garyl's, surely this would be the simple and obvious course of action.

Take the analogy of two adjacent landed houses. One owner sets up a lawn sprinkler which sprays over the hedge into the neighbour's yard. The neighbour captures the runoff and uses it to water his plants. Is he 'stealing' water? Who is to blame here? Is there a crime, and who is the victim?

The criminalisation of someone like Garyl is uncalled for. The legal system has far more serious things to worry about.


Karl Hinchliffe





I REFER to the case of Garyl Tan, the 17-year-old charged with stealing bandwidth from an unsecured Wifi network.

I was initially content to just rant about this on my blog until I was alerted by a blogger that there is a possibility of some injustice here.

This blogger, Capella, an info-security professional, shared that Wifi, otherwise known as IEEE 802.11, was designed to have open access. According to him, one needs to look at the IEEE specifications to understand the intentions of the people who designed it.

In Wifi, the onus is on the owner to secure it, meaning that if the owner does not secure the network, by IEEE 802.11 standard, he implicitly gives consent for others to access it.

It is only common sense that if the owner wanted to restrict access to the network, he would have easily password-protected it.

In my eyes, Garyl is not guilty of any crime.


Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 07:38:24 PM by Grievous » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2006, 09:35:39 PM »

Dr Huang, you are blind.




In my eyes, Garyl is not guilty of any crime.



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dapengmingwang
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 12:00:58 AM »


Dr Huang, you are blind.


He is blind indeed.

Just like we discussed on MSN... it is no loss for us to let people use our wireless. But when it becomes our liabilities when someone uses our wireless connection (i.e. the ISP might consider us responsible for whatever activities originating from the 'parasitic' computer), then a crime has been committed.

For e.g. If a company secretary does not keep the letter heads of the company safe, and an external party uses those letter heads to print letters and send them out, even though those letters may not have caused any loss to the company, and the company does not know about it, an 'impersonation' crime has still, nevertheless, been committed.
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dapengmingwang
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 08:12:43 PM »

Yet another idiot...

Because when I was a kid, I was taught that
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 09:29:22 PM by Grievous » Logged

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