Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Ian Batten igb at batten.eu.org
Mon Feb 20 14:53:47 GMT 2012

On 20 Feb 2012, at 14:05, Igor Mozolevsky wrote:
>> I think I've mentioned it several times. It's so the householder can't hide
>> behind the figleaf of "someone else did it". As a second order, some
>> miscreants might be dissuaded from bad behaviour if they knew they had to
>> use their own connectivity to do it.
> Are you not ending up in a situation where the householders are far
> worse off than public wifi providers in this scenario?

I think that's a very good point.  Assuming that the government wouldn't be so deranged as to either criminalise or impose obligations on every cafe in the country that offers WiFi with a latte, householders would be placed in a position of having a wide range of obligations that business owners don't.  And that's the inverse of the case in most analogous situations, where private individuals have lower regulatory thresholds.   The implication would be that householders have some sort of control over or responsibility for the actions of other people in the house which cafe owners don't have over their customers, which seems hard to sustain.   And in any event, given that many cafes are run by sole traders who aren't even limited companies, it would hardly be difficult for a householder to offer WiFi to other people in their vicinity as though they were a cafe-owner.   That's why regulatory thresholds usually involve things like "being a limited liability company".


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