Sheriff's Department Watches for Open Networks

The Douglas County Sheriffis Department in Colorado is hoping to cut down on Internet-related crimes by equipping some of its patrol cars with equipment to detect unprotected wireless networks. It is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to launch such a program. According to KUSA TV, deputies can watch for wireless networks that arenit password protected, and warn owners of the potential security risks.

Brian Radamacher, a member of the Douglas County Sheriffis Special Investigations Unit, said "If someone is driving by on the street they could easily use your internet access to commit a crime, whether itis fraudulent credit card transactions or surfing child porn or something else."

If criminal activity is traced back to your Internet connection, your computer could potentially be seized as evidence and held for months before you get it back. "The unfortunate thing is when we go to issue the warrants or something else you may end up getting your computer seized because of it," he says.

The Sheriffis Department will also provide wireless network owners with information on how to password protect their networks.