0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Fines user for failing to properly secure his wireless connection, and allowing an unidentified third-party to illegally download copyrighted material – a sign of things to come in the UK after passage of the Digital Economy Act?A few days ago, Germany’s top criminal court ruled that Internet users can be fined up to 100 euro ($126 USD) for failing to properly secure their Wi-Fi connections in order to prevent third parties from illegally downloading copyrighted material.“Private users are obligated to check whether their wireless connection is adequately secured to the danger of unauthorized third parties abusing it to commit copyright violation,” said the court.Thankfully it made the ruling with the caveat that users are only required to password protect their router, nothing more. Expensive equipment upgrades and top of the line encryption methods are not required, only a simple password to “protect” from intruders.The case came about after a music artist sued an Internet user for illegally downloading one of his songs that was later made available on an unnamed P2P network. It turned the person registered with that IP address was away on vacation at the time of the incident, but the court still found him liable for not doing enough to protect his Internet connection from unlawful use by others.It’s a sign of things to come in the UK after recent passage of the Digital Economy Act (DEA), which in addition to website filtering, and a “three-strikes” graduated response system for dealing with illegal file-sharers, includes a ban on public access Wi-Fi.It was already reported by UK ISP TalkTalk in a Wi-Fi survey last October that more than 41% of connections in some locations were vulnerable to hijacking and illegal use.“The prevalence of Wi-Fi hijacking will result in innocent people being disconnected,” warned Andrew Heaney, its Executive Director of Strategy and Regulation.Last week’s news of simple and cheap USB Wi-Fi crackers being sold on the streets of China should also make people nervous. Trying to prove to a judge that your connection was hijacked by an unauthorized third party may be difficult to prove in a court of law, especially if you lack the resources to do so.None of this will matter to copyright holders however, and the rest of us will have to deal with the consequences