In India, is it illegal to use my neighbors’ WiFi without their consent?
Section 43 of The Information Technology Act, 2000 states:
Penalty and compensation for damage to the computer, computer system, etc.: If any person without the permission of the owner or any other person who is in charge of a computer, computer system, or computer network-
(a) accesses or secures access to such computer, computer system or computer network, or computer resource. [Simply obtaining access to WiFi
(b) downloads, copies, or extracts any data, computer database or information from such computer, computer system or computer network including information or data held or stored in any removable storage medium [Using the WiFi to download websites]
(f) denies or causes the denial of access to any person authorized to access any computer, computer system, or computer network by any means. [If your act denies the owner access to the internet]
(g) provides any assistance to any person to facilitate access to a computer, computer system, or computer network in contravention of the provisions of this Act, rules, or regulations made thereunder. [Abetting another to gain access or let others access the WiFi
he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation to the person so affected.
By virtue of Section 66, the above act, if performed “dishonestly or fraudulently”, is punishable by a maximum term of 3 years and/or a maximum fine of 5 lakh rupees.