Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Roland Perry lists at internetpolicyagency.com
Wed Feb 22 18:44:44 GMT 2012

In article <5CD785FB9D8049C581C00CBAA213D8AC at pingu>, Ian Johnson 
<Ian.Johnson at uwe.ac.uk> writes
>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.

Traditionally you run the risk of getting blocked if your network is 
hijacked by a spammer.

 >I can't see how I have any liability under UK law for what others do
 >using my connection,

Currently, probably not a lot if "it's a civil matter sir", but I don't 
see why a clever lawyer couldn't arrange something if it was consciously 
aiding and abetting a criminal offence. It's the unconscious stuff where 
the Americans are flying a kite on contributory negligence.

 >nor can I see any reason why I should.

One of this year's hot topics is exactly what the long term position 
should be.

>The problem appears to be the difficulty rights-holders have in
>identifying infringers, so they would prefer to target others.

If the infringers had to log into your network, they'd be easier to 
identify. But as I've said countless times, this isn't just about 
intellectual property theft.
Roland Perry

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