Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Igor Mozolevsky mozolevsky at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 16:13:40 GMT 2012

On 18 February 2012 15:47, Roland Perry <lists at internetpolicyagency.com> wrote:

> You need to think about the American legal system as privatised regulation,
> through the lens of class action suits - or big corporates suing many
> individuals, which is much the same ides.

I don't follow your logic, how do you suggest that would transpose to
English law/UK legislation?

> I thought we'd got past the issue of "whose fault if the security is weak".
> What this is about, in the first instance, is *no* security. And that's
> something maybe the user might reasonably be responsible for.

Going back to your car example, the statute provides a positive
obligation on the vehicle keeper to identify the driver at some
specific instances. So far as the keeper is concerned, it would be
fairly obvious (e. g. by giving your keys) that someone else was
driving the vehicle at the time, or (by distinct absence of the
vehicle) that someone has stolen it. When you've got a wifi router,
the situation is different---someone hijacking your connection is not
exactly going to make your router disappear, neither can you really
rely on router's logs because forging MAC addresses is a straight
forward exercise.

So if you are saying that there should be a statutory/common law
obligation to keep the router "secure", I can't see how that could be
implemented in a meaningful way...

Igor M.

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