Thursday, July 26, 2007

You can be arrested for using free Wi-Fi

A Michigan man has been arrested and will be prosecuted for using a cafe’s free Wi-Fi network from his car without buying anything.

According to reports, Sam Peterson says he didn’t realize he did anything illegal until he was cuffed (nor did the cafe owner or even the police officer).

Prosecutors believe him, so they’re letting him off easy with a $400.00 USD fine and 40 hours of community service.

So let me get this straight - $400.00 and 40 hours of community service is considered being let off easy?

Apparently under Michigan’s “Fraudulent access to computers, computer systems, and computer networks” law, Peterson’s actions could result in a five-year felony and a $10,000 fine, so I guess the answer is yes.

If the prosecutor and the cop believe him, they should just let the guy walk completely.

Moral of the story… if you plan on using the “free wireless internet” at your local Cafe Coffee Day, Cross Word Store or other favorite hangout, be sure to buy something before hand.