The Ethics of Wi-Fi "Stealing"

hamburglar-wifi.jpgWeb site Ars Technical discusses the ethics of "stealing" a Wi-Fi connection, discussing whether or not piggybacking Wi-Fi is actually something that should be considered stealing based on several practical illustrations, arguing, for example, that:

If the WiFi waves come to you and can be accessed without hacking, there should be no question that such access is legal and morally OK. If your neighbor runs his sprinkler and accidentally waters your yard, do you owe him money?

The above example is just the tip of the author's argument, and you should really read the article for a fuller examination, but I'm curious about a couple of things:

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Fact is, as the article discusses, some people intentionally run an open wireless access point because that's just the kind of friendly folk they are (in fact, some people advertise their open Wi-Fi hotspots). So I'd also like to know:

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As always, if I left out your answer, feel free to give us your viewpoint along with your take on the ethics of Wi-Fi "stealing" in the comments. Photo by frozenmeat.


Comments

    Security is set on my connection, but due to certain... deficiencies in my brother's Nintendo DS (*cough* No WPA *cough*), I am using WEP. Although we have a, more or less, unlimited internet plan, I feel that it wouldn't be fair if my neighbour who, let's just say owned a laptop computer, would be able to just have a free ride and not have to pay for a damn thing. If people want to use the internet, pay for it. Simple as that.

    Yikes. The results of the first poll have worried me quite a bit. Now I'm *definitely* going over to my elderly next-door neighbour's place to tell him how to secure his wireless.

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