In one of the country’s strictest ‘Wi-Fi’ sentences, a man was found guilty and fined of £500 by the British court of dishonestly using a wireless broadband connection used by households without any permission.
Judges at the Isleworth, Middlesex court convicted Gregory Straszkiewicz, aged 24 for acquiring a communications electrical service as well as for owning a device that was deceptively utilising a communications service.
Straszkiewicz was charged as per the Communications Act 2003 under sections 125 and 126, where the Crown Prosecution Service accused him of “piggybacking” a wireless network of households. Straszkiewicz was caught outside a building in a housing area with his wireless laptop. Residents reported that he had been seen frequenting the area, rambling around possibly in the hunt for “free” internet connections.
Besides the £500 fine imposed on him, the jury seized his laptop and condemned Straszkiewicz to a 12 months conditional discharge. Now, this punishment does come across as a bit too unfair and austere since it has not been confirmed whether the lad really meant any sort of harm to anyone through this act. Moreover, with increasing number of cafes and bars offering the Wi-Fi facility free of cost, considering the accidental usage of someone else’s unsecured, unencrypted connection by mobile wireless users as illegal, does not seem very plausible.
However, one thing that is worth noting here is that people using Wi-Fi connections need to update their Wi-Fi security awareness and utilise encrypted connections via the available tools for encryption, to steer clear of any such confusion.