Illegal activity off of neighbor's wifi - Who should get charged?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Jayce

Fully Optimized
Messages
3,056
Location
/home/jason
This is a topic I am 50 50 on, and I figured I'd ask here to poke around to find some opinions.

Say you have the average family living in suburbia with a wireless network. The neighbor is a creepy old guy who leeches their wireless to do illegal activity. The activity gets traced. Who gets charged?

On one hand it's easy to put blame on the family for not securing their network. On the other hand, if that creepy old guy was a master hacker, then what? If he has the ability to circumvent any type of security that this family pushed on the network, how could the family be blamed?

Clearly, someone has to take the fall. But.. who?
 

Kharn

Lord Techie,
Messages
7,638
I think technically you because it is the provider that is responsible, because in a technical stance you are the ISP but i think that if you dig around you can find a million an one interpretations of that law.
 

Tim

Sir Timothy
Messages
534
Location
Chichester, England
Well they'd probably find illegal stuff on the creepy old guys computer, none on the family's and put 2 and 2 together. However, the family may be charged for allowing such a thing to happen on their network without doing anything to stop it... I don't really know, but the family shouldn't be blamed

This is hypothetical right? ;)
 
Messages
546
Location
Guantanomo Bay, Cuba
Possession of illegal applications/software is what's going to make the case. Certainly if illegal traffic is going through your network that makes you an accessory - which would be a separate charge from actually owning/performing illegal actions.

You would get charged with Accessory to Commit [crime] and he would get Conspiracy/Willful Commission of [crime]
 

superdave1984

Repeat Offender
Messages
1,980
Location
South Fulton, TN
The activity would be traced to the router. Then the investigating would start and the law enforcement computer gurus would be able to determine that it was coming from the neighbor. The folks with the unsecured or poorly secured network are just innocent victims of the creepy guy unless they knowingly allowed him to use their wireless and knew what he was doing. That would be like holding Starbucks responsible for someone doing illegal things while connected to their free wifi.
 

Jayce

Fully Optimized
Messages
3,056
Location
/home/jason
Possession of illegal applications/software is what's going to make the case. Certainly if illegal traffic is going through your network that makes you an accessory - which would be a separate charge from actually owning/performing illegal actions.

You would get charged with Accessory to Commit [crime] and he would get Conspiracy/Willful Commission of [crime]
Yes - This is hypothetical. Strictly out of thin air. Mostly because I was sitting at work and randomly recalled a scene from Untraceable, where they did a background check on the family who's router was tracing illegal activity and thought nah can't be them, then they did a "range" check of neighbor's houses and found a more liable suspect.

But the big question in my mind is, what if it IS secured and the creepy old guy is just that darn good at hacking that he was able to circumvent the password on the network? I mean, they did their part to secure it, he was just that good to bypass it. How can they be blamed then?
 
Messages
546
Location
Guantanomo Bay, Cuba
I mean, they did their part to secure it, he was just that good to bypass it. How can they be blamed then?
If you had performed reasonable security measure on your home network but was actively circumvented by the efforts of a criminal, then your lawyer would provide evidence of such to the DA during your first court hearing (if it ever went to court) and the case would be dropped.

And technically, it's illegal to access ANY network that you don't have explicit permission to access, whether or not it's secured, so that argument could be made that his accessing your network to commission a crime was in itself an illegal act - that it's not your responsibility to secure your network if you don't want to.
 

KSoD

Call me Mak or K, Mod Emeritus
Messages
35,645
Location
C:\
The only thing that can be traced is the IP. From there they would get a warrent for the ISP to surrender the information about that IP.

Then it would go to court.

The family would be charged cause we are the end users are responsible for what happens to our internet.

ISP's have done a great deal with their modems and built in routers now, but people still look to get around that. It is then that they take it into their own hands and risk getting caught.

It doesnt matter if the family has the stuff on the hard drive. As that can be easily gotten around.

Replace the hard drive. There evidence gone. Use Boot and nuke or one of the other various tools out there to low level format the drive or jsut straight up take a sledge hammer to it.

The case would not revolve around who has the data on the hard drive. It will revolve around the IP address that was traced and the paper trail that they can produce to prove that.

It doesnt matter if they took measures to secure the network or not. They are still to blame. Unless they can prove that the person went out and hacked the hardwire connection outside, it will be blamed on them.

there are various WiFi protection. If people are that worried, dont use WiFi and wire it all. No way to get your Internet hacked and stolen if it is not transmitted over the air.

Plain and simple it doesnt matter. The paper trail will be traced back to the owners of the IP. That is what can be proven and that is what will be used in court.

I had a case similar to this brought up against me a few years back. I had my IP Spoofed and i had my internet terminated cause of illegal activity. I went there and talked directly to the owner of the company and showed him how easily it was done. I didnt get my net back, i also didnt get charges filed against me. I went a full year before i could get internet back.

So yes it is the owner of the IP's problem. Plain and simple cant hack a connection if you dont broadcast it. People wonder why i waited till 2008 to even think about WiFi. At least i knew that unless they dug 20 feet into my back yard, they would not get access to my IP.
 

Trotter

Grandfather of Techist, , ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Staff member
Messages
32,952
Location
The South
Using someone's wifi without permission is a prosecutable offense in many areas now. While law enforcement would come tot he family because it is their IP, anyone using their signal would also fall under scrutiny.

Actually, it IS the owner's responsibility to safeguard the broadcast signal. That does not mitigate the guiltiness of the person freeloading, but it would be the same as laying the key to your front door on your front steps for a burglar to use.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top