Because I travel a great deal, and because I use a laptop computer with wireless capability, I was stunned to read this article. It amazes me, and confuses me, that it is illegal to use one’s computer outside a cafe that offers free internet service for its customers. Off to jail I may go one of these days! Promise you’ll send cookies.
A Michigan man has been fined $400 and given 40 hours of community service for accessing an open wireless Internet connection outside a coffee shop.
Under a little known state law against computer hackers, Sam Peterson II, of Cedar Springs, Mich., faced a felony charge after cops found him on March 27 sitting in front of the Re-Union Street Café in Sparta, Mich., surfing the Web from his brand-new laptop.
Last week, Peterson chose to pay the fine instead as part of a jail-diversion program.
“I think a lot of people should be shocked, because quite honestly, I still don’t understand it myself.”
Read the entire article here.