If nobody thinks it's illegal then why bother arresting?

by David Spark on May 22, 2007

Driving up to a café, parking outside, downloading your email, and buzzing off is a time honored tradition of Wi-Fi leeching. We all do it, but if you’re traveling be careful of Wi-Fi drive bys in the state of Michigan where they have a “Fraudulent access to computers, computer systems, and computer networks” law in which this download-and-run scenario would be a violation.

Such was the case of a Michigan man who was arrested for using a café’s Wi-Fi from his car. What’s interesting is all the people (police officer, café owner, and Wi-Fi leecher) who witnessed this man’s daily routine didn’t think it was illegal.

So if nobody cares or nobody thinks it’s illegal then why bother? The police officer just thought it looked suspicious and thought some law might be broken. Kind of reminds me of the days Lenny Bruce would get up on stage and say dirty words. It started to raise some suspicion with people saying, “He must be doing something wrong.”

When you get right down to it, we’re probably all doing something illegal. It’s just that nobody’s got the time or patience to dig through the law books and figure out what it is.

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