Last week His Royal Blogness posed a question about the use of using someone else’s bandwidth should they leave their internet wireless unsecured. Doing so in effect means one can take one’s laptop and use the other persons account to download the latest Paris Hilton sex video or, if you are total eunuch, Battle Star Galactica reruns.
HRB wondered whether people would choose to use someone else’s unsecured network or not. The most common response was that of the like a recent White Stripes’ song, “Take, Take, Take!”
I was curious as to the questioning of his dear loyal readers but this comment on the post inspired this Little Ghost to investigate further.
“Some portion of people with unsecured networks have them that way deliberately so that they can plausibly deny that they have any knowledge of what packets might have passed through their routers”.
As it turns out that in Uncles Sam’s Town some luckless lady was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for downloading music illegally. The defence turned out to be that someone else had used the person’s account via a unsecured connection.
In response the RIAA has appealed and asked the judge to rule “that the owner of an ISP account is responsible for all activity on that account”. Which would be good for RIAA and Lars Ulrich (he’s so nappy) but not for the unsuspecting folk out there. My mum has never downloaded a song in her life – if someone used her ISP account without her knowledge to steal music or commit any other cyberspace crime it would be contrary to natural justice for her to be held accountable. Heh, I said accountable.
If Luke Skywalker steals your unlocked car for a bank heist getaway are you held accountable for the robbery? No and the same reasoning should apply to persons who deliberately or unknowingly have unsecured wireless connections.
There endeth the geeky commentary.