Via Legal Blog Watch, with a bit of a delay, this post by Carolyn Elefant discusses the use of open Wi-Fi and the question if such use should or should not be criminalized. For example, when traveling, lots of use need/want to check our e-mails. So, a quick search for open Wi-Fi will allow us to connect to the Internet (just to check our e-mail) without realizing we just might have committed a crime.
At present, most federal and state laws do not explicitly criminalize unauthorized use of an open Wi-Fi network. However, there are many laws designed to outlaw hacking that prohibit unauthorized access to computers — and these laws could be construed to criminalize unauthorized access to an open Wi-Fi network.