Just a follow up on my post regarding the businessman who found a wireless connection in Eureka by sitting outside the Best Western in his car. Some jurisdictions appear to think this is a crime. A man in Rockford, Illinois was arrested and fined $250 for using a non-profit organization’s wireless network. From the article:

“We just want to get the word out that it is a crime. We are prosecuting it, and people need to take precautions,” Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Wartowski said.

What’s not clear from the article is who was the victim of the crime? Was it the non-profit organization? What if it was part of an outreach program? After all, they must have left their network open for a reason since it’s fairly easy to secure. I know lots of people who leave their wireless connection open. It’s a neighborly thing to do. (This doesn’t mean you have to leave your computer or your LAN open as well).

I don’t know the local statutes on using someone’s open wireless network, but wouldn’t it be nice render this all moot with a wireless cloud in downtown Eureka?