Piggybacking teenager faces jail

Written by Ryan Garside

December 20, 2006 | 16:05

Tags: #act #computer #piggybacking

A teenager's lawyer described him as "deeply remorseful" after he pleaded guilty to piggybacking on his neighbours WiFi network at a court in Singapore earlier this week. The punishment for the 'crime' could be as harsh as three years in jail.

17 year old, Garyl Tan Jia Luo, is the first person to be punished under Singapore's new law - the Computer Misuse Act. He has already paid a fine of 6,000 Singapore dollars and is currently on bail. His lawyer's bid to have a minimum fine imposed was rejected earlier this week, with the Judge instead asking whether Tan would prefer to start his National Service early to: "keep him out of mischief".

As a former witness of piggybacking (back in the university days in Leeds) I know how notorious it is in this country. The house next door to mine never once paid for their internet access for two years, despite the fact that they downloaded and uploaded twenty four hours a day. Wireless routers tend to arrive without secure settings as standard and as such the majority of users leave their networks open for anyone in the surrounding area to use unhindered.

In this case Tan was accused back in May by his neighbour of accessing his network. He will be sentenced next month.

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