Earlier this week news came out that a guy in Florida was arrested for using another guy’s open WiFi network.
I’m of the mindset that WiFi is something that should be free and open, but on the other hand, my network doesn’t broadcast its name everywhere and is behind a password. I think part of it is simply because there are already five other networks that I can access from our office, including on occasion the one at Caribou Coffee downstairs. But I’m also a little hesitant because, well, what if someone really does download kiddie porn via my open network? Then SBC’s coming after me, and that’s really not very pleasant.
I know that’s an extreme conclusion, and it’s one that is often used when talking about sharing WiFi. But it still leaves me a little uncomfortable. The worst part about the whole arrest situation is that it could have been solved by the network’s owner just locking the thing down. In my opinion, if he didn’t know how to do it then he should still be held liable. If he pleads total ignorance, that’s one thing. But come on. It’s like putting a drinking fountain out in front of your house and then getting angry when people walking by stop to use it.
But ultimately, getting arrested for using another WiFi network seems extreme. In the meantime, people are still confusing “loose” for “lose” on the web – and they get off scott-free.
Posted in Technology