A German court has recently ruled that German citizens are responsible for the security of their own private wireless connections. What’s more, it has proved its point by ruling that a musician had the right to sue the owner of a network connection that had been used to illegally download and file-share music.
The owner had proof that the householder was on holiday at the time but the court ruled that the network should have been password-protected.
The court’s verdict was that the owner could be fined up to 100 euros (£86).
“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,” the court in Karlsruhe said.
While it did not find the owner guilty of actual copyright violation the ruling was that the person must take a degree of responsibility for their connection being used to break the law.
In a similar case in the UK in 2005, Gregory Straszkiewicz was fined £500 and given a 12 months conditional discharge for using the wireless network of an Ealing resident without permission. The owner of the network was not charged.
However, this may change n the future and if you are running a wireless network that is unsecured, or even running the easily cracked WEP security protocol, now would be a good time to make sure your network is secure. You may get fined by the courts just yet but having an insecure network is asking for trouble. If you don’t wish to become a victim of identity theft then you should certainly be running the WPA/WPA2 protocol.
Suffering from poor wi-fi performance – check out the Wi-Fire High Gain Adapter and boost your signal by 300% and up to 1,000 feet!
Related articles by Zemanta
- Fine for lax home wi-fi security (news.bbc.co.uk)
- German man fined for poor Wi-Fi security (v3.co.uk)
- German Wi-Fi networks liable for 3rd party piracy (go.theregister.com)
- Password Protect Wi-Fi, Or Be Fined? (lockergnome.com)
- Germans To Get Fined For Not Securing Wi-Fi Networks [Crime] (gizmodo.com)
- German Court Says You Must Secure Your WiFi Or You May Get Fined (techdirt.com)
- Digital Privacy: Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe (abcnews.go.com)
- Protect Your Home WiFi to Avoid the Risk of Copyright Infringement (labnol.org)
- Germany: liability for an unsecured private WiFi network (ipkitten.blogspot.com)
- Google Collected Data on Web Usage (online.wsj.com)
- German User Fined For Having an Open WI-Fi (it.slashdot.org)
- German User Fined For Having an Open Wi-Fi (mobile.slashdot.org)
- Google awaits order on Wi-Fi data (guardian.co.uk)
- Google’s Wi-Fi snooping earns it a class-action lawsuit (infoworld.com)
- Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against Google, Because Some Woman Didn’t Secure Her Own WiFi (techdirt.com)
- German court mandates passwords on all Wi-Fi – or face a fine (crunchgear.com)