This week in ridiculous criminal laws: Theft of Wireless Service

Ok, so, who here hasn’t done this? Put your hand down. You have a laptop, right? And you’ve needed wireless service and some fool left his network unsecured? And you didn’t jump on to fire off that email to the boss? Or check your fantasy football scores?

Look, it is theft. It doesn’t need its own definition. It doesn’t need its own crime. Can you believe, this crime has upgrades! If you steal less than $300 worth, it’s a Class A misdemeanor, and if more than $300 worth, a Class 4 felony! And if you do it twice over $300 worth, it’s a Class 2 felony!

Holy cow! Are there businesses downtown jacking each others wireless? Is this really a problem that requires its own crime? This has to be one of those “We’ll respond to the citizen’s complaints with a law that NO ONE will ever enforce,” legislative acts.  Can you imagine calling 911 and telling the police, “I’ve been surfing the internet and it’s reaallly slow today. I think my neighbor is downloading porn on my network!” I bet the CPD hops right to it and gets the Forensic Computer Division over to your house, stat!

720 ILCS 5/16F-3 Theft of Wireless Service, you’re the ridiculous criminal law of the week!

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One response to “This week in ridiculous criminal laws: Theft of Wireless Service

  1. ISTR a prosecution where the ‘criminal’ sat in the outside section of a café and checked his email and ‘shudder’, didn’t order anything. Despite the objection of the owner of the café the prosecution went ahead – doing damage to the reputation of the business owner.

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