By Chris Green
ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR
March 23, 2006
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
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
"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
"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."
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