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An Australian man whose wireless access point triggered a bomb scare has spoken of his shock at been treated like a potential terrorist.

Student Bobby T, 20, set up a Dlink 2100AP wireless access point outside his home in the suburbs of Sydney to act as a node in a community wireless network. But the kit ("a Dlink 2100AP wireless AP, removed of its casing and with the PCB siliconed onto a black weatherproof electronics box") was only up and running for 10 hours before he was visited by two NSW state police and two local police acting on a tip-off from worried neighbours this Monday (25 October).

Police dug up cables in his garden and quizzed him on other users of the wireless LAN, while denying him the opportunity to make a phone call, Bobby T told The Register. "I was never formally arrested or taken away. Everything happened in my home. Apparently the case is now closed. They thought it was a bomb, but found it was not," he said. Police later told Bobby T's friend that they were "about to evacuate half the suburb and call in the bomb squad".

The police handling of the alert has left Bobby T fuming. "Everyone that I've told about this story laughed their head off but I've never managed to find it funny - only scary, threatening, and intimidating. I had a very good impression of the police until that incident. Now I feel violated, insulted, and with my rights trampled upon," he said.

Bobby T harbours no ill feeling towards his neighbours over the incident. "Community ignorance is very understandable especially considering all the fear that's been instilled upon them. I didn't mind the cops reacting to calls but I'm just not happy with the attitude with which they handled the matter," he added. ®

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Aussie telco moots payphone Wi-Fi hotzones
Blanket Wi-Fi smothers Amsterdam (community wireless)

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