The Communications Act of 2003 banned the use of wireless networks to which a user does not hold a subscription, making Straszkiewicz's wireless hacking antics illegal, and he has now received a 12-month conditional discharge after being found guilty of using bandwidth he did not own. He was also forced to pay a £500 ($872) fine and his laptop computer has been confiscated.
"Unfortunately a lot of people leave their wi-fi networks unencrypted. This is like leaving your phone outside your house for anyone to use," said Philip Stansfield, practise director at Morse Mobile. "The thing is that prevention is simple, turn on encryption. If you don't do that you are inviting anyone to use your connection."