Feeds

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

Proposed bill likely to be blown down

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.