Two key words here folks .. the OP said 'used' not 'connected'
The use of a connection is indeed illegal under the communications act but use must be proved. Should a device randomly connect to a radio network it is not authorised to do then it is negotiating a connection. This is not use of a network or an internet connection.
Once the connection is negotiated then anything else would be use. DNS traffic to the ISP (always set your DHCP to put your ISP's DNS in rather than use your home device instead. This forces anyone who connects to 'use' immediately ... go on, be nasty!), surfing the web come under communications act. Attempting to connect to devices in the home user's network would come under computer misuse act.
Just a few legal observations,
Tresspass is a civil not criminal.Quote:
Yes. You are trespassing.
In any criminal act apart from a few special cases, (as far as I'm aware the communications act does not have what is known as strict liability) there is the act (the actus reus) and the intention (the mens rea, no really!) without both parts proved beyond a reasonable doubt there is no conviction. If you unintentionally connect to a ap with the same SSID and default password as your own there would not be intent and therefore no crime has been committed.
Probably would only get charged if you were using it excessively. I will admit that i have quickly googled something or checked a site on an open connection but i wouldn't ever dream of using it more than briefly. I believe that this is ok (although probably techically still illegal) and don't see the issue. If i downloaded loads of stuff or accessed illegal content then fine but a quick google doesn't hurt anyone (if they even notice!)
It would be so cool if everyone with a wireless access point could make a portion of the available bandwidth available to everyone, so that we could get a countrywide free wireless network or mesh.
In fact I'm sure there was a group doing this a few years ago, can't remember the name, but it was a big deal in the open source community.
Until then make sure you spoof your MAC address ;-)
[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warchalking]Warchalking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
Not that I'm advocating breaking the law.