Should 'stealing' wifi be a criminal act?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tripace, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. London police arrest man for 'stealing' Wi-Fi | Networking - InfoWorld

    BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Is stealing wireless wrong?

    :confused: it's not like anything is actually being stolen, if the person who's paying for the wifi did what they were supposed to do, and made a WEP key required to access it, then it wouldn't be stolen now would it?

    On the other hand, I could see it being argued that the person hijacking the "free" wifi might do something wrong, like download pirated music or movies, or even access child porn with it, but, as in all areas with that "might" argument, it's a slippery slope, you just can't really make a valid argument with that as your sole base.
  2. its only stealing if it costs somebody money..
  3. I used to have a FTA receiver. It picked up all the sat., until they started busting the code providers. They felt like they owned the signal, and the law sided with them...wanna buy a Viewsat?
  4. Depends what country you're in. Some don't have unlimited use and charge by the bandwidth used. In those cases stealing wifi could be a crime.
  5. If it's costing the 'owner' something, or if it's being used to commit illegal activities.

    The cost to the owner may be either bandwidth pricing or connection speed. If you're paying for a certain speed, and still getting internet but not the right speed, then you're losing out on the product.

    Other than that, if you fail to take care of making security, your loss (or not.. just someone else's gain).
  6. #6 Arteezy, Mar 28, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2012
    WEP is incredibly easy to break through if you understand how to use google and can follow directions.

    I think it's 'stealing' (in the sense that you're depriving someone of bandwidth that they paid for) but I don't think it's something that everyone necessarily cares about. Certain areas might frown upon it more than others (lower bandwidth caps, less abundance of internet, etc.)
  7. holy crap, im fucked
  8. I would disagree, Although I do encourage encryption. I don't share what I don't want stolen. Some people could have valuable data up for grab's and they just don't know it. By bypassing their WEP I would consider that a crime, but I don't really care about freelancers.
  9. Criminal? No way. Although you're siphoning bandwidth when you use their network so it's not like it's completely benign to the owner. But I'm not one of those people who believe society can't function without a law for everything.
  10. well i see it like this
    your paying for a service of 1000 mb
    and someone starts jacking your service for 500 bm of the total
    id be fucken pissed that someone is using my connection when they arent supposed to be
  11. I think there's some burden on the owner of the wifi signal to protect it. If the ssid said "open wifi" and it was left unencrypted, I would assume it's ok for me to use. Same ssid, but with encryption, I use my 4g card.
  12. If someone has a radio playing and you walk by and hear it is that stealing? Or if you look over ones shoulder to read there book? Stealing is when you take someone's property
  13. theres a difference of walking by and listening to something which doesnt affect anyone and intentionally using someone elses bandwidth which they pay
  14. [quote name='"dealwithit"']theres a difference of walking by and listening to something which doesnt affect anyone and intentionally using someone elses bandwidth which they pay[/quote]

    What if you pay for a book and I'm reading it over your shoulder ? I do agree if it diminishes your speed or if you pay for a specific amount of data then its stealing.
  15. you reading that book doesnt affect how i read it unless you got your head on my shoulder
  16. Can't be a crime if there's no password on the said Wifi. Seriously, how easy is it to activate a password? Good news is most people aren't morons but there are the lazy who don't know or care to know how to passlock their shit, and there are also old people, but cable companies who offer high speed internet usually provide their own wifi router that is password protected.

    So no, it should not be a crime and good luck prosecuting it if it were.
  17. It's not the same thing...

    Do you know what a bandwidth limit is? I agree that people should encrypt their wifi, but you are depriving someone else of something by using their connection (especially if there is a bandwidth/speed cap). Just because someone leaves their door unlocked (or even open) doesn't mean you can go and inside and take something...

    You're not depriving anyone of anything by listening to a radio. You are depriving someone of bandwidth (speed) if you use their wifi.
  18. It's a non-issue.

  19. I would agree, if someone were, say, downloading an 8 gig movie, but if someone is just borrowing a wifi hotspot for a few minutes checking their email, using like 10 Mb or less, then it's really silly to try and claim theft.
  20. Don't the police have enough shit to do already? I agree its wrong to jack somebodies wi fi but I don't think it should be a crime or if it is a crime nothing more than a ticketed offense because for godsakes its not a huge deal! There are thousands of missing children right now and people want the police policing wi fi?

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