Via slashdot, more fun and games relating to using an open wifi connection (or ‘unauthorised access’ as some like to call it). I wrote about this in some detail a while back, and this case (albeit with different legislation) is a useful reminder that these issues won’t go away. (Although, if we heed what Panorama is saying (story passed on off-blog by Eoin), no-one should be hanging around hotspots anyway!)

From the news reports, I see this gem:

Milanowski didn’t immediately cite or arrest Peterson, mostly because he wasn’t certain a crime had been committed. “I had a feeling a law was being broken,” the chief said.


I think this is the relevant legislation:

A person shall not intentionally and without authorization or by exceeding valid authorization do any of the following:

(a) Access or cause access to be made to a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network to acquire, alter, damage, delete, or destroy property or otherwise use the service of a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network.

(Source, what I think is relevant is italicised)

And the Irish legislation is even more (unintentionally) hostile…

Worth keeping an eye on all this.