Noisy party: complainant arrested for stealing?

    Date11 Jul 2005
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    The basic facts are that Benjamin Smith III used someone else's WiFi network. The facts aren't in dispute; Smith parked his vehicle outside the home of Richard Dinon, logged onto the network, and did some surfing.

    "Surprise! Stealing is illegal!" bellowed Larry Seltzer in his ZD security blog.

    So let's consider a situation which in some ways, possibly, is parallel. It's late at night, and it's hot. I have my windows wide open, hoping to get a breath of fresh air, and you and 50 guests also have your windows open, because with fifty bopping bodies, the temperature is as high as the smokers are.

    The thing is, the bopping bodies aren't doing it at random: they're following the rhythm of a popular beat combo, m'Lud - played very loudly from your large collection of MP3 files on the server in the cellar... and this, combined with the heat of the summer, is distracting.

    After a while of trying to get to sleep, I get fed up, and invoke the Environment Protection Act by ringing the local police, who drop by to tell you to cut the racket.

    Ten minutes later, the police are at my door. "You're under arrest for unauthorised access to a computer network," they say. "Your neighbour says the fact that his windows are open doesn't mean he de facto allows you to listen to his music."

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