The Register reports a Texas Grand Jury case of fraud involving 'unauthorised access' to the Harris County district clerk's wireless network system.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Stefan Puffer, 33, accessed the network in a 'low level intrusion' that resulted in 'no permanent damage', but still apparently cost the county US$5000 to clean up. An earlier Houston Chronicle report has further scant details.
It is unclear at this stage what actions Stefan performed, the most important distinction is of course whether Stefen just listened at the 802.11b level for beacons eminating from the county's access points, or whether he went further and sent and received information at a TCP/IP network level.
If only the former, then this may set an horrific US precident that just the act of receiving a broadcast radio signal could be seen as an act of fraud!
Even the latter may be problematic. If the wireless network is configured to give any passing wireless card DHCP services of an IP address, DNS, and default gateway, then in a very real way, his wireless card was 'authorised' to join the network.
free2air hopes to contact Stefan Puffer in the next few days for a brief interview and clarification. Perhaps we can help his case somehow by providing expert information.
Update [2002-7-30 12:46:0 by vortex]: found email and phone number - will wait for email reply before ringing ...