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Friday, August 24, 2007

So is it theft?

I read that a man has been arrested for using an unsecured wifi connection.

I've often wondered if you can piggy back on someones wifi and apparently it has been illegal since 2003. Some people seem to take the view that if you don't secure your network then tough, whereas other take the view that an open door wouldn't give you the right to go in to someones house and "borrow" some water.

It leads though to an interesting discord on what is theft. As was pointed out on the BBC site many of us will happily walk off with a biro from a bank or office and not think about it whereas we wouldn't do the same with a Silver Mont Blanc Pen.

I suppose the view is that if something has no intrinsic value we don't worry about it. The truth is I guess that someone elses wifi connection is theres and "borrowing" there internet is still theft. Then again there are unsecured networks (like Cloud) where you can buy time so how do you know?

But that said if I had a wifi network I'd secure it in the same way I wouldn't leave my front door unlocked.


KAZ said...

Exactly - when I blog from Spain I am using someone else's connection in the building. I don't even know who they are.
They don't lose anything and I gain. I don't mind if anyone uses mine back in Manchester.
As the BBC said it's a victimless 'crime'.

digi-birder said...

What you are stealing is the user's bandwidth, which they are paying for, and opening the system up to unscrupulous use. If the person has a shared folder, you would be able to see this and its contents, and vice versa if someone was using your wi-fi connection. Not very good if you have confidential information in there (passwords and the like).

At work I have turned off the SSID broadcast and set the router tp allow only the MAC addresses of the office computers to access the connection - belt and braces, that's me! No one, I repeat NO ONE is going to steal our bandwidth!!

Pete said...

do i take it you think its theft digi???