Just because it's free and open doesn't mean you should take advantage of
a wireless network, according to a court of law. (I say this to
paraphrase the article, not to express my personal opinion.)
The Rockford Register Star reports:
Just as pirating your neighbor s cable service to watch premium movie
channels is against the law, so too is surfing the Web using someone else
s wireless Internet access.
David M. Kauchak, 32, a former Machesney Park resident, is the first
person in Winnebago County to be charged with remotely accessing another
computer system without the owner s approval. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to
the charge and was fined $250 and sentenced to one year of court
We just want to get the word out that it is a crime. We are prosecuting
it, and people need to take precautions, Assistant State s Attorney Tom
Kauchak was arrested in January in Loves Park when local authorities
learned he was accessing the Internet through a nonprofit agency
Wartowski said a Loves Park police officer was on patrol in the wee hours
of the morning when he saw Kauchak sitting in a car with a computer.
He slowed down, took a look and saw he had a laptop in his lap. He talked
to him and put it all together, Wartowski said.
In a prepared statement, Winnebago County State's Attorney Paul Logli
said, With the increasing use of wireless computer equipment, the people
of Winnebago County need to know that their computer systems are at risk.
They need to use encryption or what are known as firewalls to protect
their data, much the same way locks protect their homes.
Likewise, our residents need to know that it is a crime, punishable by up
to a year in jail, to access someone else's computer, wireless system or
Internet connection without that person's approval.