Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Mary Hawking maryhawking at tigers.demon.co.uk
Wed Feb 15 21:49:59 GMT 2012

Does this apply to private users?
Suppose an OAP comes on the internet and does not realise that there is a
way to secure the WiFi router (or does not realise it *is* wifi - and
junior-next-door uses it - will the OAP be held liable?
If so, will the Internet Provider have failed in its Duty of Care (if it has

Mary Hawking 
"thinking - independent thinking - is to humans as swimming is to cats: we
can do it if we really have to."  Mark Earles on Radio 4.  
and don't forget patients like Fred!

-----Original Message-----
From: Theo Markettos [mailto:theom+news at chiark.greenend.org.uk] 
Sent: 14 February 2012 11:42
To: UK Cryptography Policy Discussion Group
Subject: Re: Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

In article <KsB7ZVDbBVMPFAlV at perry.co.uk> Roland Perry wrote:
> "A federal lawsuit filed in Massachusetts could test the question of 
> whether individuals who leave their wireless networks unsecured can be 
> held liable if someone uses the network to illegally download 
> copyrighted content."

How does this differ from a secured but public network?  Can operators of
coffee shop or hotel lobby wifi networks, which are secured but have a
password obtainable from the desk, be held responsible for traffic that
their users generate?

Are hotels liable for abusive phone calls made by their guests?


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