Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Roland Perry lists at internetpolicyagency.com
Thu Feb 23 09:27:11 GMT 2012

In article <C4A0E2748F0246C4BDD0CF9593D0B324 at pingu>, Ian Johnson 
<Ian.Johnson at uwe.ac.uk> writes
>> Traditionally you run the risk of getting blocked if your network is
>> hijacked by a spammer.
>Wireless users can't contact my MTA, and would need to login to my
>ISP's.  No issues.

Many spammers will have their own MTA (it's faster than using someone 
else's anyway), or back in the day use an open relay. I've got an MTA on 
my Windows laptop (which is part of my road warrior kit).

>>  >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.
>I would have thought that any aiding & abetting would require
>mens rea and a specific act.

Yes, but you didn't say that it was only what others did (on your 
connection) *without* your knowledge.

>> 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.
>That's assuming I was legally compelled to surrender the logs. I
>cannot see any reason why I should care who is using my network
>unless it affects my contractual relationship with my ISP.

cf being forced to surrender encryption keys, when you as a carrier have 
added encryption to a connection.
Roland Perry

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