cearta.ie

the Irish for rights

If the router don’t store it, you must acquit – War-driving in Holland

On the main site, I have on several occasions considered the legality of war-driving, ie, piggy-backing on someone else’s open . Here’s an interesting, if minor, example of the genre from the Netherlands:

If the router don’t store it, you must acquit

A court in the Netherlands has ruled that hacking a WiFi connection is not inherently illegal. But the ruling was based more on a technicality in the law than the principle, meaning it’s possible officials could seek to update legislation.

The ruling is actually a small part of a wider case involving a student who posted on the notorious 4chan board threatening to shoot people at a Dutch high school (for which he received a community service sentence.)

The post was made while using somebody else’s WiFi connection without permission, which led to prosecutors tacking on a hacking charge to the case — a charge that was dismissed, even though the network had been secured.

The reason for the ruling is that the wording of Dutch law says only computers can be hacked, and defines a computer as a machine that processes, transmits and stores data. The student accessed the Internet connection through a wireless router which — because it doesn’t store data (beyond user settings) — is not classed as a computer.

The case will now go to appeal in a higher court where prosecutors look set to argue that the law should be interpreted more loosely to cover routers. It’s also been noted that in cases such as this, the WiFi hacker could be open to civil cases for breaching the network security.

A previous case in the Netherlands concluded that neither hacking a WiFi network, nor piggybacking on to an unsecured connection, can be classed as theft. That’s because the court ruled that bandwidth is not an asset for these legal purposes.

Related Tags: [ , ]

Leave a Reply

 

Welcome

Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

Academic links
Academia.edu
ORCID

Subscribe

  • RSS Feed
  • RSS Feed
  • Subscribe via Email
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Archives by month

Categories by topic

My recent tweets

Blogroll (or, really, a non-blogroll)

What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution

Thanks,

Eoin.

Licence

Creative Commons License

This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

Credit where it’s due

The image in the banner above is a detail from a photograph of the front of Trinity College Dublin night taken by Melanie May.

Others whose technical advice and help have proven invaluable in keeping this show on the road include Dermot Frost, Karlin Lillington, Daithí Mac Síthigh, and Antoin Ó Lachtnáin.

Thanks to Blacknight for hosting.