23
Aug
07

WiFi Theft – utter garbage

Can you steal a wireless broadband connection service? Apparently according to Birmingham police you can. The story covered by the Birmingham Post tells us that ‘Dishonestly obtaining free internet access is an offence under the Communications Act 2003 and a potential breach of the Computer Misuse Act.’. Doh! This has to be the dumbest story I’ve heard for a long while, and based on other things going on currently in the news it makes you wonder where this officers priorities might be. Was the owner of the link aware? Did he care? Did it cost him anything extra this month? How was he deprived by this act? At what point was he being dishonest? When asked by the police officers what he was doing, he told them!
If the owner of the access point had wanted it closed, surely he should of closed it?
I’m not legally trained, but surely stealing is the act where you intend to permanently deprive the owner of a possession? But he never intended to  take anything, unless it’s possible to filch electrons or direct them illegally.
Based on the logic of this, if you walk past a house where someone is listening to a CD in the garden, then your stealing their music? Or if light from a property is falling on your newspaper, allowing you to read it while you wait for the bus, that’s stealing too?
But again I come back to my key point. With gun and knife crime a major concern, along with terrorism, the effort in the pursuit of someone what is effectively a victimless crime seems inappropriate at best.

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