Is it whistle-blowing, or just vandalism?
That's what prosecutors and defense attorneys will no doubt be arguing in the case of Benjamin Blouin, a Florida college student arrested this week for redirecting the campus Wi-Fi network to a gay-porn website.
Blouin, 26, a computer engineering student at Florida State University Panama City, said he did it to point out how insecure the campus wireless network was.
"Anybody's identity, while they're logged onto that network, could be at risk," Blouin told the Panama City News Herald.
A court affidavit seen by the News Herald said that on March 1, users who used the campus Wi-Fi network ended up on a porn site.
Blouin was charged with committing offenses against computer users, a lesser felony under state law that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Blouin told the newspaper the redirect lasted about half an hour, and that the software he used, not he, chose the destination site.
Following the incident, the campus changed its policy and began forcing users to create and use login accounts, which is exactly what Blouin said he wanted to happen.
"That's how it should be," he told the News Herald. "That's how it is on every campus."
In case you were wondering, campus Wi-Fi users were redirected to Meatspin, a "shock site" that's been up in one form or another for several years.
It's simply an endlessly looping black-and-white video close-up of a man having sex with a transsexual. Dead or Alive's 1985 club hit "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" plays over the clip as a counter keeps track of how long you keep watching.
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