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Use Wi-Fi -- Go Straight To Jail

Next time you think about hopping onto your neighbor's unsecured wireless network, think twice -- you could face jail time. That's the conundrum being faced by a Rockford, Ill. man who had to pay a $250 fine and has a year of court supervision for using the signal from someone else's Wi-Fi network.
The Rockford Register Star reports that David M. Kauchak was sitting in his car and using his laptop to access the unsecured Wi-Fi network of a local non-profit agency. It was in the "wee hours of the morning," the paper reports, and so he wasn't using bandwidth that someone else needed. And police didn't say that he was stealing data or breaking into the network.

Apparently, according to the newspaper, he was just surfing the Web.

Kauchak was arrested and pled guilty to the charge of remotely accessing another computer system without the owner???s approval.

According to the prosecuter, the Winnebago County State???s Attorney Paul Logli, he got off easy.

"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," Logli said.

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