23 Mar 2011

Wi-Fi hacking not a crime in the Netherlands

In a bizarre ruling, a Dutch court recently ruled that Wi-Fi hacking is not a crime, according to reports.

The judge came to the conclusion after a student was charged with hacking a Wi-Fi router to post a message threatening his fellow students.

The ruling is based on the Netherlands hacking law from the early 1990s, which defines a computer as a machine that processes, stores and transmits data. Since a router technically cannot store data, the hacker’s attorney insisted the charges be dismissed. The student ended up receiving 120 hours of community service.

“Most countries have laws the apply to hacking into computer networks as well as computers but not, it would seem, the Netherlands,” wrote the Register’s John Leyden. “The Dutch attorney general has decided to appeal the verdict in the case, a process that may take several months.”

Stateside, a hacker was recently sentenced to nine years and two months in prison. Jesse William Mcgraw is the former leader of the anarchist group called the Electronik Tribulation Army and is responsible for installing malware on computers at a Texas hospital.