• United States

Open WiFi Stupidity

Mar 29, 20061 min
Data CenterWi-Fi

Last August I wrote about the case of a Florida man who was being prosecuted for using an open WiFi access point without permission (see Open Wi-Fi, a national risk). Ever wondered what happened to the poor guy? Sorry, but I have no idea — search as I might so far — nothing, nyet. But lest you think that was an isolated incident an Ars Technica item discusses the case of an Illinois man who pleaded guilty to the same “crime” — remotely accessing another computer system without the owner’s approval — and “was handed one year of court supervision and a US$250 fine.”

Apparently the “thief” — a David Kauchak — “was spotted using his laptop inside of his parked car in the middle of the night by a police officer this past January. The officer discovered that Kauchak was using an unprotected wireless access point belonging to a not-for-profit agency and cited him.” This is insane! These people with their open WiFi access points deserve no protection whatsoever! In fact they should be cited for something along the lines of “reckless anti-social behavior” or “reckless endangerment of the Internet” (or perhaps simply “wilful ignorance”).


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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