Germans To Get Fined For Not Securing Wi-Fi Networks

Illustration for article titled Germans To Get Fined For Not Securing Wi-Fi Networks

Apparently if you live in Germany you can get fined for not password-protecting your Wi-Fi network. This is because courts ruled that you're responsible for anyone who takes advantage of your Internet connection to pirate files or cause other troubles:

Germany's top criminal court ruled Wednesday that Internet users need to secure their private wireless connections by password to prevent unauthorized people from using their Web access to illegally download data.

Internet users can be fined up to euro100 ($126) if a third party takes advantage of their unprotected WLAN connection to illegally download music or other files, the Karlsruhe-based court said in its verdict.

"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," the court said.

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It's a bit annoying to be responsible for someone else abusing your network, but then again you should have your Wi-Fi network password-protected to begin with. [MSNBC via TechDirt via CrunchGear]

DISCUSSION

Sprzout
Sprzout

Here's some good reasons why you should secure your WiFi:

1) ISPs are suspending or terminating internet service because of illegal filesharing. If you're not doing it, chances are your neighbor is.

2) You're shelling out $30-$40/month for your internet service. Your unsecured router is like a feeder trough for all of the cheapskates in your neighborhood who don't want to pay for it. Why should you foot the bill for them to get free internet through your connection?

3) FBI knocks at your door with a search & seizure warrant to take all of your equipment because the neighbor's kid thought it would be funny to send a death threat do the President. He did it while connected to your unsecured wireless router. The government finally realizes it's not you, but not after weeks of checking equipment, lawyer fees battling this out, headache & emotional strain...

Yes, I know, the last one is a little farfetched. But it's possible, and do you want that hassle?

Spend 10 min, create a strong wireless key (WPA or WPA2), and learn how to use MAC Filtering. While neither one will prevent a full on hack attempt (the only way to prevent a wireless hack on your network is to use a wired only router), combining them both will stop the average joe from getting onto your network.