Feeds

US Wi-Fi piggybacking won't put you in pokey

Proposed bill likely to be blown down

The Power of One Infographic

A US politician who tried to make Wi-Fi piggybacking punishable with three years in jail looks set to have his proposed bill overturned.

Maryland-based LeRoy Myers proposed in the bill, heard last week, that those who used others' Wi-Fi connections without permission should face up to 36 months behind bars plus a fine of up to $1,000.

He also proposed that those who hacked into a password-protected system should face up to ten years in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Myers' Wi-Fi network had recently fallen victim to his neighbour, according to local rag The Herald-Mail.

But Myers' attempts to get his bill passed appear to have since been thwarted by the local House Judiciary Committee, which has made it clear it will oppose the bill.

The Committee said that it's easy to make the mistake of logging on to someone else's network if you're within range, and it added that users not wanting random punters to use their bandwidth should just secure the connection in the first place.

There's been a great deal of dithering over whether Wi-Fi piggybacking is really a crime. In the UK, BT had originally prohibited connection-sharing, but then encouraged its customers to do just that as part of its deal with WiFi sharing company Fon.

A man from Chiswick, west London, was even arrested last August for using someone's unsecured connection while sitting on a wall outside their home, though the Met Police argued it wasn't part of a wider crackdown.

Two men were arrested in Northumbria last month for checking their emails and surfing seemingly innocent websites on someone else's connection. Police confirmed it was an offence, but released the pair on bail pending further enquiries. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.