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Re: Interesting Ruling Regarding WiFi access
From: "Paul Melson" <pmelson () gmail com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 06:51:32 -0400

On 6/1/07, Jeffory Atkinson <jatkinson () zelvin com> wrote:
Really make you think. Using free wireless is illegal but not if there is a
message saying public then it is not. Maybe I am not seeing the whole
picture but I believe the burden of notification is on the owner/access
point. This is the case in most states. Using the articles example of a
radar detector, if you travel in to the state of Virginia you will clearly
see the burden of notification in black and white on sign stating they are
illegal.


Just to clarify the details of this situation, there was no ruling.
There was no trial.  Fortunately, there is no case law precedent being
set here.  A judge ordered an arrest warrant, the man was arrested,
and prosecutors pleaded the man down to a misdemeanor and $400 fine
plus 40hrs of community service.

It's outrageous, really.  He was originally charged with a crime that
carried a 5 year prison term and a $10K fine for the electronic
equivalent of using the restroom without buying something.

You can see the original story including an interview with Sam
Peterson II (the man who was arrested), the county prosecutor, and the
police chief involved here:

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6546307

PaulM

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