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Are you a wardriver? This guy may go to prison for it.

By Andrew Pollack on 07/07/2005 at 09:39 PM EDT

The courts have repeatedly found that if you can pull a signal off the air without decrypting it, you can use it. If this guy had a wireless rig setup in his house and did not have a password requirement or anything preventing access, I wonder if that can be considered trespass or computer breach.

Now, if the guy hacked in or used some mechanism to access protected data, clearly that would be trespass. Likewise, if he was using the system to hide his identity while performing an illegal act -- sending Spam, for example, or identity theft -- that would e illegal as well. An open, unprotected signal however -- with no claim of ownership or notice of privacy should not be covered here.

According to CNN/MONEY by way of the wire services, this guy was sitting in his van using someone's network when the guy called the cops. Now he's facing a felony charge. I'm wondering about this in terms of felony.

Any of your lawyers want to comment?
-----
From the article:

Police have charged a Florida man with a third-degree felony charge, after he was arrested for accessing a St. Petersburg resident's wireless Internet network without permission. The charge, unauthorized access to a computer network, applies to all varieties of computer network breaches, and gives prosecutors considerable leeway depending on the severity. It carries a potential sentence ranging from probation to 5 years in prison.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/07/07/technology/personaltech/wireless_arrest/


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