Man Charged With Stealing Wi-Fi Signal
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Police have arrested a man for using someone else’s wireless Internet network in one of the first criminal cases involving this fairly common practice.
Benjamin Smith III, 41, faces a pretrial hearing this month following his April arrest on charges of unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony. …
Innocuous use of other people’s unsecured Wi-Fi networks is common, though experts say that plenty of illegal use also goes undetected: such as people sneaking on others’ networks to traffic in child pornography, steal credit card information and send death threats.
Frankly, when I first glanced at this I just laughed because yesterday a friend came over with a laptop and pilfered one of my neighbors’ signal while he was here. But if someone is cutting into the bandwidth you’re paying for — let alone storing porn on your server or sifting through your files — then clearly they’re guilty of theft.