Here’s an odd one. Seems Germany is now fining users who fail to protect their wi-fi networks. Why? Oh, you’re gonna love this. Said a Karlsruhe court, presiding over the matter:
“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.”
In short: if someone jumps onto your wi-fi in Berlin and grabs a few MP3s for gratis, it’s at least partially your fault. The fine? Up to 100 Euro – not terribly steep considering the fines you hear people in America paying for piracy, but at the same time, probably not a welcome email to receive. Would totally ruin my day.
Personally, while I don’t necessarily agree with the court’s decision – that is, to point the finger of blame at the owner of the network, I do think passwording one’s wi-fi is a no-brainer. There’s a lot worse things people could be doing with your internet than piracy, that’s for sure. Protect yo’self, foo! Then again, it will be interesting to see how German authorities intend to fully enforce this law in an efficient manner. I’ve never been to Germany, but if it’s anything like Canada, here, there sure are an awful lot of doors to knock on.
Hey, also, what’s to stop users wishing to rebel against the ruling from just making their password ‘Kennwort’? Just sayin’, Germany.