Discovering Truth

with Keiran & Eraina Mckenzie

Big Question: Is stealing Wi-fi wrong? 23.09


Is stealing wireless wrong?…

By Finlo Rohrer (BBC News Magazine 23/08/07)


A man has been arrested after being spotted allegedly sitting in a street with a laptop using someone else’s unsecured wireless connection.


But is this really immoral..?

The man arrested in a street in west London is the third person to be accused of breaching the Communications Act 2003 by taking internet service without permission.

In the olden days people had norms about whether you were able to pick apples from someone else’s tree. But yet many people would be outraged to find someone nicking their wireless.

Philosopher Julian Baggini can’t see what all the fuss is about. “…Casual and occasional use while travelling is a bit like reading your book from the light coming out from someone’s window.” He states, “I’ve done it and I don’t put a password on my own connection. For all I know that’s what someone’s doing now.

Barry Fox, contributing editor for Europe Consumer Electronics Daily, finds it hard to see how a non-invasive use of someone else’s signal is a serious crime. “Are they going to prosecute someone who stands outside a bakery warming their hands? It is like watching someone else’s firework display.”

What do YOU think about using someone elses wireless?… is it wrong? Have you done it before? How did you feel?..Please comment.

5 comments on “Big Question: Is stealing Wi-fi wrong? 23.09

  1. Anon
    September 24, 2010

    If you steal a silver Mont Blanc (or Parker) pen, it’s “theft”. but if it’s an ordinary ballpoint pen or a pencil it is assumed you can take it.


  2. Simon
    September 24, 2010

    Yes – it’s wrong. warming your hands outside the bakery is not the same as standing outside someone’s house stealing expensive bandwidth. the bandwidth we pay for is a commodity and as such has an entire value – if someone uses a portion of your bandwidth they are in fact stealing from you. it doesn’t take place after you’ve finished, it takes place as you’re using the service. that’s the same as some chap sitting down at your table and eating off your plate as you eat. are you okay with that?


  3. Alan, Bath
    September 24, 2010

    The attitude that, if you leave your house or car unlocked – “you should not complain if it is burgled or stolen” is depressing. Theft is theft however the victim behaves and is never their fault. Similarly, using someone else’s connection is theft unless they have made it clear they are willing to share it.


  4. darren anthony dubberley
    September 26, 2010

    well steeling is steeling

    there a differnce between borrowing once used been given back

    or steeling onced used should be kept aint said in the commandments
    thou shaly not steel ? as it does that covers everthing inculding ones
    wifi / inlan as the third party does not pay the bill


  5. Thando Mlalazi
    September 28, 2010

    I think the question was supposed to be “Is using somebody’s unsecured wireless wrong?” While the question here is; “Is stealing wireless wrong?”. For a christian like me, if the question suggests stealing, there can only be one answer; thou shalt not steal. However, if we look at it from the suggested question (Is using somebody’s unsecured wireless wrong?) then the answer is, a non malicious use is fine.


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Keiran & Eraina attends the Community of Hope Seventh day Adventist church most Sabbaths (Saturday) unless we have been asked to do something at another church. We would love you to join us anytime:
9:45am Sabbath school
11:30am - Main service
1:45pm - Lunch/soup provided &; friendship.
4:00pm - Afternoon programme

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