T-Mobile CEO John Legere is taking aim at a small group of subscribers that, in his words, are blatantly stealing data and whose actions could eventually impact other users in a negative manner.

When a customer subscribes to their unlimited 4G LTE plan for smartphones, they also receive a fixed amount of LTE (7GB) to be used for tethering. As the outspoken executive explains, the tethering data is intended to be used on occasions when broadband may not be available or reliable.

Once a user burns through this bucket of data, speeds slow down. The problem, however, is that some are rooting their phones and using apps or writing code to mask their tethering usage – or as Legere describes it, they’re clever hackers that are gaming the system to steal high-speed tethered data.

Some users are consuming as much as 2TB of data per month. Legere said he didn’t know what they are doing with it but it won’t continue on his watch.

Starting today, T-Mobile said it is going after 3,000 users that “know exactly what they’re doing.” Legere didn’t say exactly what actions they’ll be taking outside of the fact that offenders will start hearing from them real soon.

Legere concluded that he isn’t trying to play data cop and that abusers will probably try to distract everyone by waving their arms as it relates to data throttling. Tethering abuse is a very different issue, he said.

Do you think T-Mobile is out of line by going after tethering uses? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thumbnail via Asa Mathat, Re/code