.. and conversely, Tip to coffee shops with wifi: Tell them to.
This was bound to happen. A 20 year old man in Washington, US was charged with “theft of services” after mooching off of a coffee shop’s free internet access for three months without buying anything.
“He doesn’t buy anything,” Emily Pranger, the shop’s manager, told KATU, a Portland, Ore. television station. “It’s not right for him to come and use it.”
Smith allegedly parked his truck in the parking lot to use Brewed Awakenings’ wireless access.
County deputies charged Smith with theft of services after returning to the parking lot after they told him to stop. The crime, which covers such crimes as bypassing a utility meter, stealing cable, and leaving a restaurant without paying, has been used in the past to prosecute hackers who have accessed a computer or network without paying for it. “It’s something that is borderline creepy,” Pranger said to KATU.
Re above, you have to wonder though: Did they ask him to buy anything all those three months he was using it? Or at least politely tell him off? Maybe even block the signal? All better alternatives to having someone arrested imo, or is calling 911 the default thing to do over there?
Truth is, I don’t put restrictions on my own home wifi. The way I figure it, I pay a flat rate for it anyway, so I don’t pay any more or less if I get a moocher. However, it’s very unlikely that I’d get a lot up here in the Cainta mountains, so that policy would change if I’d live, say, in a Makati condo.
If I did however, I’d likely adjust as needed, and shut off access only when I feel things are slowing down too much, or my security is at risk. And yes, also if someone’s been mooching for three months without even a thank you, but I’d just block him first at any rate. Besides I wouldn’t even know how to explain that to our police.
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