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Man fined $250 in first area case of Internet piracy

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Man fined $250 in first area case of Internet piracy

Old 03-27-06, 08:50 PM
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Man fined $250 in first area case of Internet piracy


ROCKFORD — Just as pirating your neighbor’s cable service to watch premium movie channels is against the law, so too is surfing the Web using someone else’s wireless Internet access.

David M. Kauchak, 32, a former Machesney Park resident, is the first person in Winnebago County to be charged with remotely accessing another computer system without the owner’s approval. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to the charge and was fined $250 and sentenced to one year of court supervision.

“We just want to get the word out that it is a crime. We are prosecuting it, and people need to take precautions,” Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Wartowski said.

Kauchak was arrested in January in Loves Park when local authorities learned he was accessing the Internet through a nonprofit agency’s computer.

Wartowski said a Loves Park police officer was on patrol in the wee hours of the morning when he saw Kauchak sitting in a car with a computer.

“He slowed down, took a look and saw he had a laptop in his lap. He talked to him and put it all together,” Wartowski said.

In a prepared statement, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Paul Logli said, “With the increasing use of wireless computer equipment, the people of Winnebago County need to know that their computer systems are at risk. They need to use encryption or what are known as firewalls to protect their data, much the same way locks protect their homes.

“Likewise, our residents need to know that it is a crime, punishable by up to a year in jail, to access someone else’s computer, wireless system or Internet connection without that person’s approval.”
Old 03-28-06, 01:15 AM
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That's what my friend and I did when we visited Seattle the first time. Needing directions most of the time, we'd drive to a residential area and use someones unprotected wireless internet.

Good times.

= J

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