Report: Singapore teen faces 3 years’ jail for tapping into another’s wireless Internet

Report: Singapore teen faces 3 years’ jail for tapping into another’s wireless Internet
The Associated Press

A Singapore teenager has been charged with tapping into someone else’s wireless Internet connection, a crime that carries a penalty of up to three years in jail, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Garyl Tan Jia Luo, 17, is the first person to be charged with this crime under the Computer Misuse Act, the Straits Times reported.

The report said Tan is accused of using a laptop computer to gain unauthorized access to a home wireless network on May 13.

The newspaper said a neighbor had apparently lodged a complaint against Luo.

Most notebook computers and personal digital assistants can detect unsecured networks and easily gain access.

Tan was released on a bail of 6,000 Singapore dollars (US$3,855; €3,000) and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

If convicted, Tan faces up to three years in jail and fines of up to S$10,000 (US$6,425; €5,000) under the Computer Misuse Act.


Okay, this news article bothers me so much because I cannot fathom the point of this law. A person can be jailed because a PUBLIC SIGNAL enters your domain and you just decided to use it. The ethical or unethical points of this is just too much and it has been debated over the net already. Personally, if there’s no password-protection, it’s a freebie for all. I think we should be careful with our possessions that’s why we put passwords or keep them secure. There’s no security on access points that is not secure. It just affirms the naivete of the owner of the access point since there are many ways to secure your connection so other people can stay out of it.

Maybe I should sue the owner of the signal as trespassing because his free signal is going in my domain without my permission.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Laws like these make you realize how paranoid and stupid people can be.


6 thoughts on “Report: Singapore teen faces 3 years’ jail for tapping into another’s wireless Internet

  1. While it is true, what you say about securing networks and such, but shouldn’t it be that we can just leave things out there in the open without fear of anyone taking them? Cause in the first place, if it’s not yours, don’t touch or use it. Parang ganun yung principle nung law, they’re expecting their citizens to be law abiding if they aren’t, then julie andrews ka. :p

    1. I’m not sure if this is the correct analogy, but if someone throws a briefcase of money in your house, if you take it, would that mean that you are guilty of robbery since it is not yours but it is in your property.

      And, I think it’s invading your personal space. Most laptops with wireless nowadays select the best connection that’s available in its domain. So, it’s really confusing. I mean using it can be an honest mistake, right? But you’ll be penalized with that.

  2. It’s not a public signal. Just because it’s insecure doesn’t mean that it’s free to use for anyone who can get to it. Anyone with quick fingers can take, for example, your wallet, but most won’t dare. It isn’t secured at all, in that it is not password-protected, or locked away. Does that make it the owner’s fault if he gets pickpocketed? No, it just makes him dumb for not keeping his hands on his wallet, but this does not change the fact that what the pickpocket did is still wrong, and should be punishable by law.

    1. But you know the wallet is not on your pocket. The thing with wireless signal, it enters your property. It enters your domain and you are not over-reaching to another domain just to get it. It goes in your hands so to speak.

      Maybe we can sue the owner of the signal with trespassing then.

      1. But that’s true of any wireless signal. By that logic, we can sue television stations and radio stations for broadcasting to us without our permission.

        Trespassing laws are different from wireless laws. The neighbor violates no law by letting his wireless signal extend outside–it only constitutes a violation of law when the wireless device actively interferes with other wireless signals, which it does not. (interference here meaning that it causes noise on wireless signals not its own)

        It’s an overreaction, sure, but the neighbor is entitled to take legal action against him not so much because he got on the wireless network, but because he is stealing both the internal (LAN) and external (Internet) bandwidth that the neighbor paid for.

  3. But, I don’t even know how to turn off wireless connection if it “enters” my computer. Paano yun? I used to get “free” internet here at home during the wee hours of the morning, so I use it. I guess I’m just used to dial-up (haha!) na for me madaling i-disconnect, pero pag WiFi, paano ba yun? parang ang natatandaan ko lang na option eh “repair”. Anyway, natunugan ata ng neighbor ko na may gumagamit ng kanyang internet, kaya now i don’t get free internet in my laptop kaya im using dial up again… hehe:)

    Fault ko ba na pumapasok sa akin internet niya? (haha, nung nawala nga ako pa yung “nagalit” kasi madamot siya… but of course i get the part na bumabagal yung kanyang internet kaya ayun na “forgive” ko na siya, haha!!! ako pa yung nagpatawad!? feeling! haha!)

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