This following letter by a writer to the ST Forum says it EXACTLY the way i've always argued it.. so i'll let it speak for me.. haha... :p
IN THE article, 'Moochers, stop trespassing on my property' (ST, Jan 13), Dr Andy Ho could come to his conclusion only by intellectualising from the wrong analogy.
This is not about your neighbour coming into your home because you left your door unlocked or his meddling with the signals between your router and your computer in your house. Instead, we should think about:
- Your lawn sprinkler spraying water into your neighbour's garden.
- Your huge fruit tree dropping leaves, branches and ripe fruit into your neighbour's garden.
- The wind blowing the seeds of your patented GM crop into your neighbour's farm.
In these cases, case law is clear: your neighbour is entitled to do as he likes. The 'moocher' does not come into your house to use your network. It's your network that has extended beyond your house because you failed to secure it with a password. There is no trespass of your property. On the contrary, it's your network that has trespassed your neighbour's property.
My laptop logs onto any unsecured network within reach automatically and it took me a while to realise that.
This intellectualising should not result in a wrongdoer being charged with the wrong crime (of mooching rather than communicating a bomb hoax).
Anyone who fails to secure his network should expect to suffer the inconvenience of being the prime suspect if some criminal activity was carried out on his network. He and his service provider owe society a duty to ensure that password control is effective.
Imagine if the network was indeed used by terrorists. Or imagine that your neighbour's teenage daughter used your unsecured network to access porno sites, or some chatroom, and was seduced as a result.