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By | Dan Goodin 1st August 2008 20:31

Open Wi-Fi network wraps Mumbai man in bomb blast probe

Shares IP address with war driving terrorists

Indian police raided the Mumbai home of an American expatriate after someone used his open wireless network to send an email that took responsibility for a bomb blast that killed at least 42 people.

Kenneth Haywood, whose internet-protocol address was included on an email sent just prior to the blasts, spent much of Thursday answering questions by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad officials. Police seized his three computers, as well as the machines of several neighbors, and are examining them as part of an investigation.

Haywood is not being detained but he has been instructed not to leave the country without permission. A technician who visited Haywood's flat to handle a password issue has also been questioned.

The email was sent by someone claiming to be connected to a little-known group called the Indian Mujahideen. The email address that sent the message was created 10 minutes before it was sent.

Police believe someone in the building may have used Haywood's Wi-Fi to send the email. There were no records at the building's security post recording who entered the complex at the time the email was sent.

We've often argued that Wi-Fi bandwidth is like air, and the oft-repeated warnings about people leaching off unsecured networks was so much hysteria. Haywood's experience goes to show there are down-sides to our share-and-share-alike philosophy. ®

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