Monday, August 01, 2005

UK Man Fined for Using Someone Else's Wireless Network

In an article in the BBC News, a man was fined for using someone else's unsecured wireless connection. In this case, the person who owned the network apparently didn't know -- the police saw the guy using his computer in his car in the neighborhood.

The article is worth reading -- in the UK, if someone has an open (unsecured) network, and you connect to it, it is considered a crime. However, there are lots of open networks that are open to the public. How can you tell the difference? Really, you can't.

I am not sure what the implications are in the US. I know of several people who cruise business parks and neighborhoods for open networks, and then connect up. Right now, there are so many open networks that are legitimate to use at coffee shops and book stores, that the matter is quickly becoming moot.

For your own wireless home network, the answer is not to leave it open. I owe an entry on securing wireless home networks -- that will be forthcoming...