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German court orders WiFi users to be more secure

Users can be fined
Thu May 13 2010, 10:41

GERMANY'S TOP CRIMINAL COURT has ruled that an Internet user can be fined €100 if they do not have a password on their wireless connection.

Basically if someone hacks into your account and uses your unprotected WLAN connection to illegally download copyrighted material, you could be faced with a fine, the court has decided.

Accoording to the Associated Press, the Karlsruhe-based court has ruled that private users are obligated to check whether their wireless connection is adequately secured against the danger of unauthorized third parties abusing it to commit copyright violations.

However the court stopped short of holding the users responsible for any illegal content the third party might have downloaded themselves.

It also said that users could not be expected to update their wireless connection's security. They only have to protect their Internet access by setting up a password when they first install it.

The ruling came after a musician sued an Internet user whose wireless connection was used to illegally download a song. The user proved he was on holiday while the song was downloaded via his wireless connection.

The court says that while he does not have to pay thousands for all the illegal downloads that came about as a result of his actions, he will have to stump up €100 for not having changed the password. µ



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