If passed, something called the Digital Economy Bill over in the U.K. could do the unthinkable in this, the digital age: Ban open wifi spots.
The ban comes as part of a bill that seeks to limit copyright infringement, or something. In summary, schools, small businesses and even libraries would have to effectively become their own ISP and manage the wifi hotspot—or face hefty fines. Even if a shop password-protected their wifi and posted the PW publicly (as they probably should be doing anyway), this "management" would also entail detailed record keeping, as the bill requires that hotspot providers log users who've been on their network. Sounds fun!
I'd love for any UK-based small business owners to weigh in on this debate, and the bill. Is it really as annoying as the ZDNet article makes it sound? Are daily, detailed user records really too much a burden for the corner coffee shop to bear? Light those torches and brandish your pitchforks in the comments! [ZDNET]