I wrote a post a while back about sharing your DSL via a wireless router.
Following up to that post, today I found an excellent three-part writeup over at CyberTelecom’s blog about why people can’t steal your DSL via your wireless router… or to be more accurate, why you can’t complain if you leave your access point unencyrpted and open to the world. It’s a good writeup, touching on a number of points in the legal code, and good reading for those people who think that it’s a crime to sit in your car and use someone else’s access point.
It’s not, even if there is a local statute that says that this is illegal. The 2.4GHz wireless band isn’t governed by local or state law, it’s federally-mandated as an open public band. Sure, you have to duke it out in court if you’re arrested for “stealing” wi-fi, and it might take another 5 or 10 years for someone to fight it out all the way to the point where a federal circuit court overturns that state or local law on jurisdictional grounds, but it’s pretty clear from a legal standpoint (at least, to this unlicensed-to-practice-law layman) that all these “stealing wifi” laws are built on air.