>Simon, your example is more like:
>I knock on your door, there is no answer.
>I try the handle, your forgot to lock the door.
>I come in, and take food out of your fridge and make coffee. <snip>
No it's not. There is an answer. There is a verification process for joining my network, and if I set it up to say come right in, then it's not theft.
If you break in and plug your computer into my network, THAT is unauthorised because no-one said you could plug your computer in. However with wifi, you are asking if it's permissable. The person is OPENLY advertising they have a network available (They dont HAVE to broadcast their SSID). Using your analogy this would be akin to a sign on the door saying "Welcome!". Even though there is a sign it's not guaranteed they are gonna let you in.
My wireless network is broadcasting openly, it says Welcome! and then after you step into the door it checks your credentials and says yes or no.
Consider a library, or a guy that wants to offer his wifi for free to anyone nearby (as people on this very discussion have suggested they do), or any public access point. Isn't it the same?
Are you suggesting if I open a shop and you walk in I am in my right to arrest you for tresspassing? The shop says Welcome and it's not locked, and being a shop that is advertising its services via a sign on the door you're not exactly going to expect it to be a crime to enter are you?
As for the case in the UK being a one off I suggest the actual conclusion was somewhat different, or perhaps the guy failed to bring what I have said to light and merely said 'Yeah I went in last week and it said free wifi if you buy a drink and I thought heheheh I'll park outside and use it for free'.
>Having your wireless name broadcast and unsecured is like leaving your door unlocked and having a tape player hooked up to loud speakers yelling for all those outside to hear -
>"THIS IS MY HOUSE, I AM AWAY, AND MY DOOR IS UNLOCKED - THIS IS MY HOUSE, I AM AWAY, AND MY DOOR IS UNLOCKED - THIS IS MY HOUSE, I AM AWAY, AND MY DOOR IS UNLOCKED"
Almost right, I'd actually phrase it as "I AM AWAY, BUT IF YOU WANT TO COME IN JUST ASK AND I WILL LET YOU NO PROBLEM"
which I cannot see as a crime.
> Under the computer misuse act, it is illegal to even attempt to gain access to a system that you aren't specifically authorised to use.
I don't think that applies or how could I visit the register? They never said I could connect to their site but I found their website off a mate... Oh wait, that's right my computer connects, asks if its ok, and I dont get a FORBIDDEN reply so off I go...
> Jason, how about I walk past your house and your curtains are open. I can see SkyTV Movies Plus being played. Have I now "stolen service" from you or your cable provider?
If you don't interfere in any way, I don't believe it is theft of his service (it might be illegal for spying though!). In the same way that, if you sit your laptop on listen and listen to any wifi signals it's not illegal, but if you start transmitting then it's akin to shooting your remote control through his window in an attempt to influence his choice of channel.
> Because when someone parks outside your house and uses your connection to download kiddie porn or surf terrorism sites, do you honestly believe the "unsecured wifi" defence will work in NuLabour Database Britain? All I know is, I'm not the one to be taking that chance.
Now we hit the law about the guy who ran one of those whatcha callit servers, basically an anonymous proxy. Or even google if you upload kiddie porn and google indexes it. If I use wifi at a library is the library liable for my actions? I don't know how this area of the law works but it's unlikely to cause you any trouble if sharing your connection isn't illegal and you are not deliberately trying to run a child porn ring. You might have some explaining to do mind you!