Confessions of a Wi-Fi Thief

Viewpoint: Stealing your neighbor's wi-fi signal is unethical, illegal and not very efficient. But it sure is easy

When I moved into my apartment three years ago, the first thing I did after I tipped the movers was sit down on a box, crack open my laptop and sniff the air for wi-fi signals. And I found them: my apartment was chock-full of delicious, invisible data, ripe for the plucking. You couldn't say I made a conscious decision at that exact moment to become a criminal. But it definitely got a lot harder not to be a criminal.

For the next three years, I didn't pay for Internet access. Instead, I got online via the unsecured wireless networks of...

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