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Wireless Networking Portables Your Rights Online

Finland To Legalize Use of Unsecured Wi-Fi 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-turns-out-not-to-be-a-swedish-trap dept.
Apotekaren writes "The Finnish Ministry of Justice has started preparing changes to a current law that criminalizes using unsecured wireless hot spots (Google translation; Finnish original). The reasoning includes the impossibility of tracking unlawful use, the ease of securing networks, and the lack of real damage done by this activity. It is also hard for a user to know if an unsecured network is intended for public use or not. The increased ubiquity of legal, open networks in parks, airports, and other public places has also influenced this move by the Ministry of Justice."
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Finland To Legalize Use of Unsecured Wi-Fi

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  • by Tiger4 (840741) on Friday June 11, 2010 @03:14PM (#32540046)

    If the protocol automatically left a token on the host machine, it would then be up to the host to decide if she cared or not about who had been visiting. Of course that would just lead to some kind of spoofing behavior.

    Or we could get the vendors to just have security ON by default. Or even have the OFF setting have a timeout, so it defaults back to ON after a few hours/days. Then when the owners turn it off, they can't claim they didn't know what it meant.

  • by fotbr (855184) on Friday June 11, 2010 @03:15PM (#32540070) Journal

    Sounds like you don't need laws, you need more bandwidth.

  • Name Change (Score:5, Insightful)

    by just_another_sean (919159) on Friday June 11, 2010 @03:17PM (#32540110) Homepage Journal

    I hear by propose that Finland change the name of the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Common Sense and Applied Intelligence!

    Imagine that, a reasonable and informed change to a law to sync with their ever changing technological landscape. I am astounded! One
    only hopes others will learn from this event.

  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Friday June 11, 2010 @03:23PM (#32540216)
    I'd argue that you really don't need to reinvent the wheel. I like the idea of guest accounts. Simply throttle their bandwidth to something appropriate for the activity. If you're running a hotspot and are graciously allowing your neighbors access then 10 connections with 20 kbps each seems perfectly reasonable to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 2010 @03:30PM (#32540340)

    So you have to access their system, give them your phone number, wait for the text message, then enter a lengthy code on a mobile device and then you can use the wireless network. That sounds so user-friendly, I wonder why this isn't more common. </sarcasm>

  • by TruthSauce (1813784) on Friday June 11, 2010 @03:35PM (#32540414)

    There are a lot of common sense ideas in the Scandinavian countries.

    I've been thinking about it and I think that perhaps it's related to their increased tolerance for failure. A Swede or Norwegian or Finn is able to say "yes, this was a mistake" and not be derided in public for it.

    The concept that humans aren't perfect isn't lost on these people as it seems to be in much of the rest of the world.

    Another great example of this is the sex offender registries in the area. They're not only non-existent, they're actually illegal. They contend that it is a gross violation of personal privacy for those who already served their time and point out (probably correctly) that they do very little than encourage fear and paranoia amongst the populace. There was even a very public protest in OPPOSITION to a group who set up a private registry with similar information, after which, the site was removed due to its illegal content (in violation of local privacy laws).

    To bring up another example, in these countries, there are very few frivolous lawsuits, as the system is carefully balanced to make it burdensome to bring one.

    It is much easier for a judge to deem the plaintiff liable for all court costs and all defense costs if he feels the lawsuit was brought with malice or with little hope of succeeding.

    Additionally, the state represents both parties in some cases, removing the financial burden of defending yourself from lawsuits. What they then do is place that burden on one of the parties in the case that they have been shown to be "willfully" out of compliance with civil law, but in cases where it is a genuine misunderstanding, the costs are absorbed by the system.

    Rather than having a heirarchy where the rich can do whatever they want and the poor get fucked. Or a system where the powerful control everything and those down on their luck are brazenly left out to dry, these countries seem to have found a balance.

    Also, worth noting, that these countries, despite their low populations and high standard of living, are not in the list of struggling economies, even during this "European crisis".

    Absolutely brilliant. :-)

  • by Paracelcus (151056) on Friday June 11, 2010 @03:37PM (#32540456) Journal

    BS, we don't need more and more draconian laws that are almost impossible to enforce and make lawbreakers out of ordinary harmless Lusers.

    Get tough on crime! just like the 17 year old girl who got life for having a pound of pot in her possession! We'll teach her! after 70 years in the slammer getting raped, beaten and finally forgotten she can be safely loosed upon society, her debt paid and in the final months of her life she can reflect how truly sorry she is for her transgression and how wise those laws are that prevented her from having a family or ever having even a little comfort or happiness.

    USA, USA, USA!

  • by fluch (126140) on Friday June 11, 2010 @04:28PM (#32541236)

    If the owner leaves the WiFi access point unsecured and the DHCP server gives to my the network config info needed, then I consider this as the owners permission to use his network: my computer asked if it can join the network, the DHCP server (configured by the owner) said yes, here are the details.

  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:03PM (#32541974)
    "And how is anyone ever going to be able to use IP addresses as evidence anymore if you can just claim that you have an open network."

    I guess that you'll have to actually obtain some evidence of illegal activity then. It is not the job of laws to restrict freedom for the purpose of making it easy to sue people or catch criminals.

    The price of freedom is that some criminals will run free, get used to it. It's what all of America was built on for fuck's sake. It saddens me that there's people who can't accept this fact.
  • by lucifron (964735) on Friday June 11, 2010 @05:58PM (#32542952)

    Then when the owners turn it off, they can't claim they didn't know what it meant.

    Why should it matter whether they "know" or not?

    ISP's aren't accountable for their what their users do, should it be any different for individuals who let their neighbours check mail or whatever?

  • by flink (18449) on Friday June 11, 2010 @07:05PM (#32543796)

    If your neighbors "doohicky" continuously flung teleporters that would transport the user into their house all over the neighborhood then it would be a more apt analogy. The point is that RF is not a door and a WI-FI router is not a house, it's its own thing and needs its own set of rules.

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Friday June 11, 2010 @09:58PM (#32545508) Journal

    If you pollute public airspace with transmissions using a device that creates an attractive nuisance to devices that are looking for that signal, don't be surprised if devices use it.

    "Unlocked door" analogies don't fucking work. Don't you get that. YOU ARE BROADCASTING AN INVITATION TO THE PUBLIC. If you didn't read the 2 cartoon pages that came with your router that warned you about that, that's your problem, not the geeks who did.

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