CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Arrest for Mooching Wi-Fi

An interesting post at Talkleft says:  "Via Huffington Post, a man in Tampa who parked outside a house and mooched off the homeowner's wi-fi network has been arrested and charged.  Sounds, ridiculous, right? The police say no, and they have a point.  "The technology has made life easier for high-tech criminals because it provides near anonymity. Each online connection generates an Internet Protocol Address, a unique set of numbers that can be traced back to a house or business. That's still the case with Wi-Fi but if a criminal taps into a network, his actions would lead to the owner of that network. By the time authorities show up to investigate, the hacker would be gone.  "Anything they do traces back to your house and chances are we're going to knock on your door."  So if the perp outside is logging on to child porn and downloading it, you'll be getting a visit from the feds. How will you convince them it wasn't you? Maybe by letting them search your hard drive to show no porn on it. Seems too steep a price, if you ask me.  Make sure your wi-fi is secure. It's more than your finances that need protecting. Your privacy and liberty rights may also be at stake."  [Mark Godsey]

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