Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence
Ian.Johnson at uwe.ac.uk
Tue Feb 21 22:55:28 GMT 2012
I've deliberately stayed out of this conversation because it felt
like an "angels on a pinhead" argument.
I deliberately choose to run an open wifi network (actually 2).
Why? I want to make life easy for vistors, particularly my
children's friends. My wifi network lets you access my mono
laser, the internet, and ssh to the firewall m/c. I can't
see any risk to *me* in that.
Yes, if someone did something dodgy on my network I may end
up with some interesting conversations, but I can't see how I
have any liability under UK law for what others do using my
connection, nor can I see any reason why I should.
When I say "interesting conversations" I've been through
the same previously as a director of a motor trade company
where the registered keeper of a vehicle that had been
caught speeding claimed it had been sold to my company.
The safety camera partnership were rude and very persistent
and it eventually went to court. This cost them quite a
lot of money :) If they'd behaved reasonably I would have
resolved the problem for them 
It appears to me that this is just yet another boat been
floated to make life easier for rights holders. If anything
(going on past practice, e.g. unfair contracts act, consumer
credit act), the law should be biased (if at all) in consumers
The problem appears to be the difficulty rights-holders have in
identifying infringers, so they would prefer to target others.
 The company I was involved with sold vehicles to traders.
My guess is that given the index mark of the vehicle she had
bought (and which she had p/x'ed the vehicle in question for) I
could have identified the firm from our records. When people
fail the attitude test I don't feel any need to be helpful :)
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