How Not To Face Felony Charges Using Free Wireless Internet.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a pretty popular post about places to get free wireless internet service, which involved cafe’s, libraries, schools, etc. However, I just saw this story about a guy being charged with a felony for using a cafe’s free internet service…from his car parked outside. Turns out he was doing this almost daily, and some people started noticing this guy sitting there for a few hours every day on a computer, so the authorities were called. Although the cafe owner doesn’t really understand why he was charged, I guess the moral of the story is to actually go INTO the cafe to use their free wireless internet access, and not to sit outside in your car.

So when I mentioned getting your service from a cafe, please understand I meant for you to actually go into the cafe so you don’t get arrested standing outside.

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Comments (4)

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  1. phantomdata says:

    Frankly, this sort of thing scares me. It’s all too easy in today’s America to run afoul of the government and be charged with a FELONY. I mean, I’m sorry… actually STEALING something carries less weight than piggy-backing on someone’s bandwidth. Being convicted of fondling little kids carries less weight than downloading Britney Spears’ latest single. Hacking into a computer system and doing nothing more than get past the front door carries more penalty than beating the crap out of someone for no good reason.

    Bottom line, computers are evil – umkay? If you’re not using them to buy things or look at marketing then you’re a bad person. Nay, a terrorist.

  2. David says:

    I kind of have to agree phantomdata…

  3. mapgirl says:

    It’s called wardriving. Back in the day, that’s the way you could jump on the internet by stealing bandwidth off of unsecured wireless hubs. It got criminalized and thus this man got in trouble.

    However, in this instance, it’s a bit ridiculous that he be charged for stealing from a hotspot that gives it away for free. What does it matter if he is inside and on the premises, or outside in his car? It’s not like he had a Pringles can antenna.

    I don’t see why they chose to prosecute this. Aren’t there any actual crimes in Michigan to investigate?

  4. david says:

    You would think there would be more important things to worry about in Michigan, wouldn’t you? I see crap like this all the time here in L.A….writing tickets to homeless people? Like they are going to pay them or show up for court? Such a waste of time and money.