"Drive-by WiFi" just isn't what it used to be.
Here are some rules for "totally" free WiFi ... just to be clear:
- Find multiple locations
- Do not park in the same place at the same scouted access location
- Bring water and a snack
- Surf after you have cleared-up your legal record
- Get a life
Wireless piggybacking lands man in trouble
By Dan Tilkin – KATU Channel 2, Portland, KATU.com Web Staff
VANCOUVER, Wash., June 21, 2006 - Brewed Awakenings, with its pithy name, artful drinks and wireless Internet service, has found itself unexpectedly percolating on the forefront of high-tech law.
"He doesn't buy anything," Manager Emily Pranger says about the man she ended up calling 911 about. "It's not right for him to come and use it."
Pranger says 20-year-old Alexander Eric Smith of Battle Ground sat in the parking lot in his truck for three months, spending hours at a time piggybacking on the coffee shop's wireless Internet service for free.
When deputies told Smith to knock it off, he came back and is now charged with theft of services.
"It's a repetitive occurrence and it's something that is borderline creepy," says Pranger.
As it turns out, Smith is a Level One Sex Offender, but whether he in fact committed a crime by not buying a single tall latte before accessing the Internet, well that remains to be seen. The sheriff's office and prosecutors are now reviewing the case.
The television reporters took on a little additional investigation. They found out that anyone driving through a residential neighborhood could potentially find a connection to hook up to.
On their test, they stopped at a random neighborhood intersection in Vancouver, Washington, turned on the laptop and found a total of 11 active WiFi networks, 5 of them were un-secured portals on which anyone could log on and surf.
All the web without the caffeine! Scone, anyone?
(HT: Slashdot Daily Newsletter)