Finland mulls legalizing use of unsecured Wi-Fi
Lack of harm cited
When it comes to the unauthorized use of open Wi-Fi networks, the Finnish government may say: If you can't beat them, join them.
At least, that's our interpretation of this badly garbled Google translation of a YLE.fi article. It says the country's Ministry of Justice is investigating the decriminalization of using unsecured wireless networks because of the large number of unprotected access points and the widespread use of them by people without permission.
The government body also pointed to the difficulty of monitoring networks for unauthorized users and the lack of harm caused. What's more, it's not always clear when an unsecured network is intended to be used as a public hotspot and when it's the product of an owner who has deemed it private but is too lazy or uninformed to bother encrypting its signal.
This sounds like a fairly commonsense approach, though Finnish citizens should probably be reminded that much of what they say and do over unsecured Wi-Fi networks is completely open to eavesdroppers in the next room or in roving wardriving cars. ®
wrong way round
The default should be that manufacturers supply suitably secure equipment for the protection of their customers.
Yes, and to that end, they should also make it easier to configure for the less gifted. simple options during setup like "do you want all and sundry to use your network to connect to the internet Yes/No?"
Your ideas are more complex - not less.
I may recall wrongly, but the terms of service of some ISP's may limit "free" use by others.
A government with common sense!
Who'd a thunk it?
This causes a number of problems for owners of the WiFi access point:
1. Contract with ISP says they can't share connection with 3rd party
2. Illegal activities commited on said WiFi
3. Owner of WiFi ends up paying per-GB for excessive usage.
Personally I have a relatively unlimited internet connection. I think it would be good if people were able to offer an unpassworded DMZ on their internet connection (with minimum QoS priority) for guests to use. This would be especially useful in metro areas.