Man uses free, public Wi-Fi; police seize his laptop
Next time you visit Alaska, leave your laptop behind. An Alaskan man has had his laptop seized by the police for --- horror of horrors! --- using a free Wi-Fi network at his local library.
The AP reports that 21-year-old Brian Tanner was sitting outside the Palmer public library after hours, using its free Wi-Fi network, when a policeman confiscated his laptop.
What's the crime? That's not at all clear. Apparently, the policeman had told Tanner previously not to use the W-Fi network, although exactly what crime Tanner was committing by using a free, public network at a library is not at all obvious.
When the AP asked the policeman what he thought when he saw Tanner using the library's network for the second time, he said, "It was kind of like, 'Well gee whiz, come on.'"
Oh, I see. That explains it.
Tanner won't be getting his laptop back for a while. The police want to inspect it to see what, if anything, he was downloading. Someone may need to show them where the "On" button is, though.
The police were supposed to have the laptop for only a day, but because the library director is out of town, Tanner won't get it for another week. What the library director has to do with the police inspecting the laptop isn't clear. Perhaps the director needs to show them where the On button is.
So what crime was Tanner committing? It's hard to say, although given that Alaska keeps voting Senator Ted Stevens into office, perhaps any sign of intelligence -- such as using a library -- may subject one to incarceration in the state.