A Singapore man was sentenced to three months in prison Wednesday for illegally accessing wireless Internet networks and posting a bomb threat, becoming the first person in the city-state to be jailed for logging onto someone else's wireless Web account.
The court also fined 21-year-old Lin Zhenghuang 4,000 Singapore dollars ($2,600). Lin pleaded guilty to eight charges of illegally tapping various wireless Internet networks.
Earlier in January, a Singaporean teenager was placed on probation for a similar offense.
Lin admitted posting a message on a popular technology Web site in July 2005 saying there was a bomb at a local bus depot — a day after the 2005 London subway and bus bombings.
A week later, police arrested Lin's neighbor, a 22-year-old woman, after tracing the bomb threat to her computer account — which Lin had accessed without permission. Authorities seized her computer and questioned her family members, but computer forensics eventually cleared her.
Because Lin did not use his own Internet network, police took a year to establish his identity through e-mail and Web access logs obtained from service providers, court documents showed.
Standing in the dock, Lin apologized for his "ignorant and foolish" actions. The lanky youth, who wore a long-sleeved navy blue shirt and dark trousers, gazed without expression as District Judge Francis Tseng handed down the sentence.
"It is well-established by now that bomb hoaxes will not be tolerated in Singapore, and that stiff sentences should and will be imposed in order to deter offenders," Tseng said.
Tseng said Lin's sentence was lighter than that of several other recent bomb-threat cases, partly because Lin's hoax had not resulted in the deployment of bomb-searching police.
Lin was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for sending a false message about a bomb, but the term was to run concurrently with his other jail sentence. He had faced up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 10,000 Singapore dollars ($6,529).