Mooching

That’s the new geek term for Wi-Fi tapping. It has stirred up some controversy over here as people are caught and charged for tapping into someone else’s unsecured wireless network.

The question: Crime or No Crime?

Supporters for the “Crime” side are focusing on the “someone else” and saying its akin to Stealing or Trespassing. On the other side of the fence are people who stress on the “unsecured”, saying it is harmless (just reduces some bandwidth), Free-For-All, and it is the responsibility of the owner since he has the option and power to secure it.

There are many other side factors, such as the intent of mooching. There are those who want to surf for free, there are those who have automatic connections to the strongest signals. There are also people who mooch to post bomb hoaxes, those who ride on to conceal their identity and actions, or maybe those who wants to compromise other machines in the same Wi-Fi network.

The accusation is more obvious if there is a malicious intent when mooching, but for harmless mooching I’m currently leaning slightly towards no crime. I’ll still be sitting on the fence (and leaning to one side) for now as the reasons or analogies to back either decision isn’t strong enough.

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