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Keeping an Eye on the Neighbors

Ours was always an intimate community. We usually knew what just about everybody was up to – or down to. We held each others secrets and each others valuables. Neighborhood watch was not only a duty, but a commitment.

That’s why we were just a little surprised to see a squad of SWAT team units surround Harry’s house down the street. I couldn’t believe it when a policeman told us he was wanted for a series of bank robberies!

Harry had always been an electronics nut. His house was surrounded by X10 Home Security products. He had bragged about his motion detectors, his surveillance cameras, and his Action Home kit that let Harry monitor anything and everything that moved around his house. Just last weekend, he had installed a set of new X10 Sentinel cameras for an unbelievable low price. “Got to watch those wacky weekend sales at X10,” he had bragged to his neighbors.

Harry was always the philosophical type. He said he was an artist, and a musician. Every Thursday evening a bunch of guys would come to his house and practice music. I can’t imagine where they got their gigs, as their music tended more to very slow classical music, not the honky tonk they played in bars in this town. Since I don’t know classical that well, I couldn’t really tell if the music they were playing was on or off key.

Harry and his band loved to entertain the entire neighborhood. They especially liked playing music at the grand opening of new businesses, such as the bank that opened by the mall a few weeks ago.

When the house next door to Harry’s sold, we were happy that it went to a fellow from the local FBI office. The new guy could probably give us a bunch of great tips on how to keep our neighborhood secure. I noticed, however, that Harry wasn’t very happy when the FBI guy introduced himself.

Harry made one major mistake in his technology-driven boastfulness. He let everyone know that he had just installed a wireless network at his house that let him not only lie by the pool and do his stock trading, but he could also watch every inch of his property connected to his Action Home setup

Harry apparently was not quite as smart as he thought about technology. His wireless network missed a key security component. By forgetting to add a security key to his access point, Harry gave access to his entire network -- including his Action Home setup – to his FBI neighbor. Imagine the surprise of his neighbor last Thursday when he clicked on the wrong wireless network on his laptop – Harry’s home network – and was able to see Harry’s “band” look at a floor plan of a downtown bank. Each of the “band” members was given a weapon – shown on camera with amazing clarity during the presentation.

If Harry ever gets out of prison, I’m sure he’ll be excited about the pictures still on his Action Home system that were taken during his arrest.


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