Germany Orders Citizens to Secure WiFi Networks
I've always wondered about this: with all the lawsuits pending over copyright infringement, what happens if someone war-driving around a neighborhood finds an unlocked WiFi network and downloads music and films over it? Who's responsible?
That question came up in Germany recently, and the top court in the country hasn't quite come up with an answer. They have, however, come up with new laws.
According to the decision, users are now required by law to protect their internet connection with a password when they first set it up. If that network is then accessed by a third party to download music or other files, they network owner can be fined 100 euros (about $125).
However, the court did not hold the network owner responsible for the content that the third-party individuals download.
The ruling came in response to an unidentified musician who sued an internet user, claiming they used their network to illegally download a song. The user, however, proved they were on vacation and therefor someone else must have accessed their network. The court found the user responsible to a degree, for failing to protect their network from unauthorized users.