I've blogged about the Hechme case on any number of occasions. Now this this Time Magazine Article, which describes the adventures of a wifi thief, helps make my various arguments for me:
You don't fly first class when you're stealing bandwidth. Wi-fi hot spots are large--about the size of a football field--but those signals had to pass through a lot of masonry before they got to my laptop.
"The size of a football field"--so lets say a hundred yards by a hundred yards. However, Flanders (and I think his is the most conservative estimate) puts the distance between Hechme's apartment and CHRC headquarters at 370 meters (1,202 feet), or about four times the distance our wifi thief claims to be the effective range of a standard wifi network.
This range can be increased with the use of special equipment (although 1,200 feet is still at the extreme limit of the doable), and indeed Flanders believes that the CHRC employed such equipment. However, not only is there no evidence for this (nor even that CHRC laptops were wifi enabled), we venture well into Ron Paul territory if we think the CHRC would maintain special gear just to steal the wifi from the local citizenry, especially when any number of unsecured wireless hotspots can be found within about a 100 meter radius of the CHRC building in Ottawa.
Wi-fi operates on an unlicensed frequency, so it has to deal with interference from baby monitors and microwave ovens and cordless phones too. As a result, my Internet access would vanish and reappear like a will-o'-the-wisp, even when I engaged OS X's excitingly named 'interference robustness' feature.
Which is to say that it is exceedingly unlikely a wifi connection could have been sustained for the 24 hour plus period suggested in the testimony from Bell Canada (Dec.7 at 6:36pm and Dec.8 at 9:35 pm).