Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Nicholas Bohm nbohm at ernest.net
Thu Feb 16 16:21:04 GMT 2012

On 16/02/2012 15:07, Roland Perry wrote:
> In article <4F3D00FA.9020109 at ernest.net>, Nicholas Bohm
> <nbohm at ernest.net> writes
>>>> E.g. if you leave a ladder in your garden and a burglar uses it to
>>>> burgle your neighbour, you are not in breach of any duty of care
>>>> because
>>>> you failed to secure the ladder.
>>>> The same applies to Wi-Fi routers.
>>> To continue the analogy, one problem is that your fingerprints will be
>>> all over both the ladder and the communications from your wi-fi router.
>>> We are still at the early stages of forensic analysis of
>>> communications, and there is still a tendency to think that the wi-fi
>>> owner is guilty (of whatever infraction has his fingerprints on it)
>>> until proved innocent.
>> I'm sure you're right.
>> And of course it's perfectly reasonable to interview the owner of the
>> ladder or the router to ask whether he was the burglar or the
>> downloader, or can provide information that might identify the culprit.
>> But that implies no more than that he might be a useful witness if he
>> doesn't admit to being the guilty party.
> But wifi routers seem to be in the same mental camp as motor cars, and
> if you can't prove someone else was driving at the time, 

the burden of proof isn't on the keeper

> they'll try to nail the keeper.

For a non-criminal claim (e.g. negligence)?  I rather doubt that.  And
the (private individual) keeper's obligation is to provide what
information he has about who was driving.  If three or four people are
insured to drive and the keeper says he cannot remember, and there's no
other evidence, I suspect that's the end of it.  Or are there contrary

Contact and PGP key here <http://www.ernest.net/contact/index.htm>

More information about the ukcrypto mailing list