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Crime Encryption The Courts Wireless Networking

Dutch Court Rules WiFi Hacking Not a Criminal Offense 234

loekessers writes "Breaking in to an encrypted router and using the WiFi connection is not an criminal offense, a Dutch court ruled. (Original article in Dutch; English translation.) WiFi hackers can not be prosecuted for breaching router security. The judge reasoned that the student didn't gain access to the computer connected to the router, but only used the router's internet connection. Under Dutch law, breaking into a computer is forbidden. A computer in The Netherlands is defined as a machine that is used for three things: the storage, processing and transmission of data. A router can therefore not be described as a computer because it is only used to transfer or process data and not for storing bits and bytes. Hacking a device that is no computer by law is not illegal, and can not be prosecuted, the court concluded. "
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Dutch Court Rules WiFi Hacking Not a Criminal Offense

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  • Where is the line? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mordenkhai ( 1167617 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @12:14AM (#35539630)
    How many "bits and bytes" does a device have to store to be declared a computer? I mean, mine stores a password, those are a few bits, where is the limit? I don't know enough about the case to comment on the details, but it seems an odd thing to base a ruling on to me.
  • by Idefix97 ( 725474 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @12:40AM (#35539746)
    I've read the original article mentioned in Dutch, and the gist of it is really that it isn't illegal to simply use someone else's network (even when it is encrypted), but it would be illegal to start browsing electronic files in that network.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19, 2011 @01:16AM (#35539898)

    My washing machine stores configuration data. My washing machine processes washing requests. My washing machine transfers data between internal sensors and the control panel.

    You are advocating a law against unauthorized use of a washing machine.

    You fucked up.

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