Shared Community WiFi Networking Blog From A Toronto Co-op ISP

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Man arrested over wi-fi 'theft' in England

You've got to wonder what's going on in England... or if there's more to this story.

I wonder if the police could get away with this in Canada -- the Charter of Rights and Freedoms make some serious distinctions between what is and what is not a lawful search by police. Usually, there has to be some sort of reasonable belief that someone is committing a crime, not just a mere suspicion that a person might be up to no good. Has using a laptop in public become so suspicious that police can stop a citizen, interrogate them, search them, and then if they turn something up, arrest that person? I hope not!


Man arrested over wi-fi 'theft'
A man has been arrested in connection with using a wi-fi broadband connection without permission.

From the BBC:
"He was initially detained by two Police Community Support Officers in Chiswick, west London, on Tuesday.

They became suspicious when they saw the 39-year-old using his laptop outside a house in Prebend Gardens.

When questioned he admitted to using someone else's unsecured wi-fi broadband connection. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.

The case is now being handled by the Metropolitan Police's computer crime unit.

Det Con Mark Roberts said: "This arrest should act as a warning to anyone who thinks it is acceptable to illegally use other people's broadband connections."

Dishonestly obtaining free internet access is an offence under the Communications Act 2003 and a potential breach of the Computer Misuse Act."



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