Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Wireless Networking News Hardware Your Rights Online

Open WiFi Owners Off the Hook In Germany 215

Posted by timothy
from the gefehlt-mir dept.
ulash writes "Ars Technica reports that a court in Germany ruled in favor of an open WiFi network owner stating that if other users use your open WiFi network without your consent and download copyrighted material, you cannot be automatically held responsible for their actions. This does not carry much (if any) weight in the US but here is to hoping that it will at least have a positive impact in the EU as starters."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Open WiFi Owners Off the Hook In Germany

Comments Filter:
  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by darklich14 (1308567) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:34AM (#24149229)
    Do taxpayers get reprimanded for drug trafficking done on roads their tax dollars pay for? So why should someone providing network access be reprimanded for illegal action done by someone else on their connection? Who knows.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by amdpox (1308283)
      Yes, this is certainly a sensible decision... let's hope similar precedents are set everywhere, or we're not going to have much free wi-fi around.
      • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by davester666 (731373) on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:00AM (#24149347) Journal

        Sure it makes sense, otherwise all the ISP's become responsible for the child pornography flowing over their pipes. Unless there are different rules for corporations than for individual citizens. There aren't, right?

        Anyway, rulings like this is why the MPAA and RIAA are busy trying to get governments around the world to remove any kind of 'safe harbour/transport' provisions from their laws, both under the guise of saving the children as well as saving that small band/filmmaker at home, whose work is being mercilessly pirated by every Tom, Dick and Harriet around the world.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WK2 (1072560)

        Yes, this is certainly a sensible decision... let's hope similar precedents are set everywhere, or we're not going to have much free wi-fi around.

        This might not increase the free wi-fi. According to the summary, "if other users use your open WiFi network without your consent and download copyrighted material ...". This ruling seems to only apply to people who have left their routers in a default state, and don't even know what an open access point is.

        On the other hand, anyone providing wi-fi can just claim that they weren't actually giving consent, as long as they don't name their access point something like, "FreeWiFi", and don't give people a welco

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem here is that you need someone else to admit using your connection to download illegal files - just like if someone else is driving your car and gets caught in a speed trap. If he doesn't admit, you will have to pay the ticket.

      Having an open WiFi won't be a freeride to download illegal files as it is impossible to proof that it was open to begin with.

      So just like getting a speeding ticket (by mail), where you can check a box that someone else was using your car (in Germany anyway + you have to pr

      • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:56AM (#24149639)

        It is likely that I know the person in the photo who was driving my car.

        It is not likely I know who connected to my wireless router.

      • By law you are required to know who is in control of your car, their name, adress etc. This was ruled not to be the case for open wireless.

        It would help to show that a different computer was using the network in such a situation. With a WiFi network, it's as simple as having the router send a record via email.

        • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Stooshie (993666) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:37AM (#24149839) Journal

          ... By law you are required to know who is in control of your car, their name, adress etc ...

          So, what you are saying is, if your car is stolen, you get charged with not knowing who was driving it? I hope you were being sarcastic.

          • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by phoenix321 (734987) * on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:59AM (#24149953)

            The usual analogy collision between cars and the digital world.

            Your car is a costly, potentially lethal piece of machinery. That's why you lock the doors and have a anti-theft device installed. If it gets stolen it is gone and you probably know that it's missing within a few days.

            Your Internet connection is a cheap commodity and you may never knew if someone used your connection without your consent. Sure it may "kill music!!!11eleven" and you gotta "think of the children" but it's not terribly dangerous to leave the router open. That's why many people do.

            Most cheap routers have a fixed log size or don't keep the logs when powered off. You have no chance at all to prove it was someone else using your connection just as the court has no chance at all to prove it was you. As long as the courts honor "In dubio pro reo", you're pretty much safe unless of course you have plenty of knowledge of networks or a PhD in computer science. Then you're hosed because you surely knew what you were doing...

      • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by VdG (633317) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:35AM (#24149829)

        It doesn't make it clear in the article whether there was actual evidence that someone else had used the guy's network, or whether that was just a possibility. That makes quite a difference, I think. It makes sense to me that people should not be required to secure their networks, any more than they're required to lock their homes. But I'd also think that you'd have to have at least a smidgin of evidence that someone was using your unsecured network for their nefarious deeds if you were to get off.

        On a slightly different track, whilst one is not generally required to lock one's front door, (although don't count on getting insurance if you don't), I think I'm correct in saying that in some places there are things you ARE required to secure. I'm thinking in particular of firearms: don't some states require gun owners to keep them secured? Certainly some places outside the USA do. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to extend that principle to other resources with which people could commit crimes, or inadvertently come to harm.

        Of course, you'd then have to define how much security is required. Just a token effort? Or something which could actually withstand a concerted effort to gain access? One key difference between a house and a WiFi network is that it's difficult to enter someone else's house inadvertently, whereas many computers will connect to an open network automatically, or needing no more than a slip of the finger when choosing which network to use.

        Could we see a requirement to log access to a wireless network, like an ISP? If you're deliberately running an open network then you are effectively acting as an ISP for all and sundry. Should you be subject to the same regulation?

        • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by HungryHobo (1314109) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:47AM (#24149897)
          If I have a second home which get's broken into while I'm away and is used by the squatters for a mail scam am I liable for what they do?
          The packets are coming from my house with my return address yet I'm not the one sending them.
          (equivilent to someone hacking your network)

          If I lock my door but there's a lose window people can get in should I be a criminal for not securing it properly? (kinda like using WEP)

          If I'm just a hippy who doesn't believe in locking my door because "it's like.... a barrier to people man." should I be subject to the same regulation as hotels,hostels and landlords?
        • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by IBBoard (1128019) on Friday July 11, 2008 @06:56AM (#24150189) Homepage

          I think I'm correct in saying that in some places there are things you ARE required to secure. I'm thinking in particular of firearms

          That's a bit of a stretch! Firearms are, by definition, dangerous weapons. Their purpose is to be dangerous - they have no other sensible use. The reasons why anyone should ever need a firearm of their own or why it is considered sensible for a common civilian to have one is another matter, though.

          A more sensible comparison is either an external mail box, a cordless phone left in the garden, or similar communication measures. Someone can start using your mail box and picking things up before you do just because it's easily accessible, but does that make you responsible for what they might get delivered to your house? Or someone sees you've left your cordless phone for your landline in the garden. If they call some terrorist friends (since they're the "hot group" of the last seven years to scare people with) and organise some terrorist event then how responsible are you, legally, that they saw an opportunity and took it?

          As for logging stuff, try getting your standard Netgear router to log a sufficient level of detail. Yes, it might log connections and attempts on blocked ports, but no-where near what the police would require to be useful to meet the regulations.

          • by VdG (633317)

            Sure it's a stretch; legislators are always stretching the facts to get some wizzy new powers for themselves or their agents.

            Just because it's not directly physically harmful doesn't mean that the Internet isn't dangerous, or at least can be used to cause harm.

        • by zotz (3951)

          "If you're deliberately running an open network then you are effectively acting as an ISP for all and sundry."

          Hmmm. What if you own some wooded acreage that is unfenced and unposted? Are you acting as a landlord or host for all and sundry? What should be your obligations and liabilities? (And what are they in your neck of the woods so to speak?)

          all the best,

          drew

          • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by VdG (633317) on Friday July 11, 2008 @08:10AM (#24150655)

            I don't know. And I'm not advocating that these sorts of controls should be put in place, merely suggesting that some people might like them to be.

            If I own some woodland, then I think that in the UK I have a responsibility to ensure that if it's accessible to the public - even if they're not actually invited - that there's nothing too dangerous lying around. No bear traps, for example. If I make an effort to keep people out then my responsibility is reduced.

            IF one accepts that the Internet can be dangerous, then someone (not me) could try to make a case that people providing access to it have some sort of duty of care.

            • by zotz (3951)

              "some people might like them to be"

              Oh, no doubt some people ant this...

              There is a difference surely between someone getting hurt by something dangerous on my property and someone on my property without my knowledge doing something to harm another (who is probably not on my property.)

              all the best,

              drew

        • by arminw (717974)

          ...But I'd also think that you'd have to have at least a smidgin of evidence that someone was using your unsecured network......

          I'd think that the accusers who have nothing more than an IP address would need to have at least a smidgin of evidence that the computer(s) of the owner of the unsecured WAP had evidence of the illegal content. A search through the computers regularly on that network should come up with evidence that it was not some random outsider. The possession of the IP address only, by the **A

          • by Endo13 (1000782)

            The problem with that as I understand it is for [insert agency] to obtain permission to search said computers. It's not a criminal case, so they can't simply get a warrant. Or at least that's what I was told, and the logic seems sound.

    • by Tim C (15259)

      That's not a good analogy - your tax dollars may pay for the roads, but you have no direct say in who uses them or how. With a wi-fi router you at least have the means available to you to (try to) prevent other people from using it, assuming you have the requisite knowledge.

      Not that I disagree with the decision at all, just with your analogy :)

      • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by richlv (778496) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:39AM (#24149845)

        With a wi-fi router you at least have the means available to you to (try to) prevent other people from using it, assuming you have the requisite knowledge.

        but why should i ?
        that's a sharing. sharing some resource, some knowledge or whatever.
        i'd compare this to hitchhiking. if you take a hitchhiker who happens to be in the posession of something illegal, should you be held responsible ?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      That's the wrong analogy. A better one is owning a driveway without a gate at the end, and having someone do something illegal on the drive. Since you didn't put fences and gates at the end of the drive, you are liable for whatever they did. Or, worse, an organisation like a church which explicitly allows people to use their grounds - they would be liable for anything illegal that happens in the churchyard. Obviously they are not, but some lawmakers think it should be different when it comes to the Inte
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Why? because it's a tool to make the law enforcements' lives easier. a crime was committed, and if they can make you pay for it then they can move on to more serious crimes like speeding, parking and donut napping.

    • by kellyb9 (954229)
      Actually - not an entirely correct analogy. A better one would be if you rent out an apartment, and they are using it to do drug trafficking - you might not be liable for the trafficking itself, but your property can be seized rather easily if there is a drug bust.

      NOT that I agree - nor do I think any legal precendent exists to govern this instance of wifi theft, just playing devils' advocate.
  • Nice loophole (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:36AM (#24149235)

    Step 1:get wifi router and leave it open
    step 2:use other people's wifi
    step 3:instant immunity for all

    • Re:Nice loophole (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jezza (39441) on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:13AM (#24149399)

      So if I borrow your ladder, use it to get into someone's house, you should be held partly accountable. Don't be silly.

      This might make it easier to do "bad things" and not get caught,but that fact alone cannot make the owner of the open router liable. That's just silly!

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by EvilAlphonso (809413)

        So if I borrow your ladder, use it to get into someone's house, you should be held partly accountable. Don't be silly.

        Actually yeah, if you borrow something from me and use it to break the law I do share responsability in the eye of the law in most countries. If you take something from me without my approval, on the other hand...

        • Re:Nice loophole (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jezza (39441) on Friday July 11, 2008 @05:57AM (#24149945)

          Only if I tell you what I'm doing with the ladder.

          • by zotz (3951)

            Only if I heard you and understood what you were saying.

            I mean, if you told me in russian and I don't understand that language...

            all the best,

            drew

          • Yes - there must be a reasonable expectation that you were going to use the ladder for nefarious purposes. If you told me "Can I borrow your ladder - I need to clean my gutters", and then break into the neighbor's house, then I am not culpable for that action. The prosecution would have to convince the jury that I had a reasonable expectation that you would use that ladder to commit the crime.

            IANAL - so take that with a grain of salt.

      • So if I borrow your ladder, use it to get into someone's house, you should be held partly accountable. Don't be silly.

        I don't think the prosecute Burger King for the kids selling pot in their parking lot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Better yet, anyone with 1/4 a brain will get a directional antenna and nail a open router blocks down the road so if the cops nail the connection they will have a tough time figuring out that the person was not in the immediate vicinity, but farther away. Hell a buddy of mine in chigago lives in a condo about 30 floors off the street and with a biquad and dish we can nab open wifi from miles away.

      you think local police have the ability to track that down?

  • Law nightmare (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If so, then people are free to do whatever cybercrime they feel, claiming it was the neighbour.

    I don't think this will stand.

    • Re:Law nightmare (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jezza (39441) on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:15AM (#24149413)

      I've got two words for you:

      "Computer Forensics"

      (I would remind you that you need to use a computer to access the WiFi, and that your misdeeds will leave evidence there)

      • 1 sentence (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aepervius (535155)
        Your own Wifi laptop connected to your open wifi network, and hidden in a good place. Cop come and will confiscate your OPEN wifi with no evidence whatsoever that you did anything. Who will be searching for a second laptop which use your open wifi ?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Uh, everyone? Or do you really believe that you're the only person in the world that would think of doing bad things using a "hidden" computer?

          Next you'll be telling me that people who commit fraud use fake names and addresses and the police have no idea and absolutely no way of tracking them down.

          • OK 1 is not a big sample (/sarcasm), but it is enough for me to tell you that they don't always check inside the kitchen or some of the place where you don't wait for a computer. From what I could tell they don't dismantle cupboard or anything. So yes, there is plenty of place which are not searched in case of a civil delict. Now when this is not a civil delict, but a criminal one, I don't know, but I would assume that you and the other poster would be right, they do an extremly torough search for every stu
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jezza (39441)

          Right, so the cops DON'T conduct a search - and they expect to catch you...

          Does this sound likely? (clearly if the cops are dribbling morons...)

          And also you keep your laptop hidden in a good place (I'm assuming under the floor boards - that kind of thing). How exactly am I supposed to "enjoy" my stolen Britney Spears collection?

          Not really very practical is it? I might as well buy the damn CDs, rather than go to all the expense of a 2nd laptop, trick floor boards and still being afraid to listen to "Oops I d

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by VdG (633317)

            It's not totally impractical. If I wanted to do something like this, (which I certainly don't!) I'd use a spare network card. (I've got several PCMCIA cards kicking around the house already.) Rebuild the PC each time, or run from a DVD, any data involved kept on external storage. That way all you need to conceal is a network adapter and a flash drive; maybe the DVD.

            • by TheLink (130905)
              Practical or not, I doubt many people are willing to do all that, or do all that consistently in a way which they can't get caught. How many customers are the MPAA people going to lose from that? Why not convince some Gov to shutdown an illegal DVD factory or fifty instead.

              To me open wifi is overblown. What scares me more is not some P2P kid/illegal porn fan using my open WiFi, but the cops coming over and taking my stuff and arresting me "just because".

              If the computer manufacturers and O/S people have no w
          • by Lumpy (12016)

            Hmm. so it's impossible to have a usb hard drive hidden inside a power UPS. or to hide that usb drive whenever you are not using the contraband.

            Ok. you live in your fantasy world where computer forensics works like CSI:Miami. In reality, if you use a nice tiny drive with only 250gig of storage you can easily hide it where they will never find it and you have easy access.

            • Except there will be evidence of this -- presumably you need to attach it to your computer to use it, and therefore there will be information about it being connected to your computer. There'll be information so the OS can recognise it and mount it where you like to have put (drive letter, mount point, whatever), logs indicating it was connected and disconnected, and so on. These are likely to be present even if you don't specifically ask for it to be mounted at a particular location. Also, you'll leave tra

              • by Lumpy (12016)

                REally? how?

                If I boost from that usb drive and use it it will NOT leave any evidence.

                please detail how the bios or ram or the processor will hold this evidence...

                No ram CANT hold evidence of past doing when I have booted to the clean drive.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  That's true, but it brings us back to Jezza's point -- anything that's too inconvenient is pretty much worthless. Maybe if you're doing something really illegal like child porn you might consistently go to the effort to hide it, but are you seriously going to reboot your machine off of a USB drive every single time you want to listen to a downloaded mp3 or watch a downloaded movie, etc? And then immediately reboot back to your "legitimate" drive the moment you're done? Every single time?

                  No way. Either you'r

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Rigrig (922033)

            And also you keep your laptop hidden in a good place (I'm assuming under the floor boards - that kind of thing). How exactly am I supposed to "enjoy" my stolen Britney Spears collection?

            By nailing those floorboards in place very thoroughly?

            • How exactly am I supposed to "enjoy" my stolen Britney Spears collection? Streaming from the laptop from which you connect to the open wifi to.
  • Precedent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Misanthrope (49269) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:38AM (#24149247)

    What sort of precedent does this set with regards to other forms of illegal activity that take place over an open wifi connection? Does anybody have more experience with German case law? Fritz-sixpack might be off the line for copyright infringement, but what about some "think of the children" crime?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jezza (39441)

      Same argument. The nature of the crime doesn't affect the legal argument.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jezza (39441)

      Thinking about this more deeply, if the law want to see using an open WiFi (without express permission) as "trespass" you cannot then hold the owner of the WiFi responsible for any subsequent crime committed.

      If someone trespasses on my land and does something illegal (say dog fighting as an example) then I'm not responsible for that. Essentially I didn't do it, I didn't know it was happening, I cannot have reasonably have known it would happen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450)

      A moderately important one.

      The court in question, a "Oberlandesgericht" is the second highest instance for non-constitutional cases in Germany, and the highest for its federal state (Hessen).
      As far as I can tell from the layman's perspective, verdicts at that level tend to be taken into account by other courts, and while case law does not have the same importance as in the US, this precedent will have some influence.

    • German law is not based on precedent as much as US law is. The judges try to interpret the law and give their rationale why they came to a particular conclusion. Other judges can then follow that interpretation in subsequent cases. If they don't, they have to explain why they think the previous interpretation was wrong, or does not apply to the new case.

      In the rationale for this particular case, they say that a WLAN owner would only be required to take action if he had concrete evidence of something unla

  • You forgot to add (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koinu (472851) on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:49AM (#24149291)

    one interesting fact. You are only off-hook if you didn't know that your wifi can be used by someone else (this was the case here). If you are offering wireless LAN access to people for free, you still can and WILL be hold responsible when anyone of your users commits a crime. You don't have rights like ISPs have.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sobieski (1032500)

      I use a FON-router that has two networks, one private and one open. I have a bandwith cap on the public one, couldn't this somehow be seen as thwarting illegal downloads (or all downloads for that matter) by other users?

      Weak defense maybe, but theoreticaly... ?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by slash.duncan (1103465)

        FON network router: It depends on what you are calling the "public" and "private" networks in this case, AFAIK.

        FWIR (from what I read), the FON network is semi-public, public to you as you don't know who's using it, private to the FON network, as only participants get to use it, with FON effectively standing in the role of ISP, taking responsibility for what travels over their network, banning abusive users, etc.

        Thus, if you're calling the FON side "public", you /should/ be able to simply point to FON and

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ulash (1266140)

      Actually I can't seem to find anything in the original article that supports the "fact" you have pointed out. It clearly says:

      The defendant argued that he wasn't guilty of copyright infringement, but that he had operated an open wireless network and that someone else may have connected to it in order to use P2P. The prosecution responded by saying that open WiFi networks are easily abused, and that it's the owner's responsibility to ensure that the network is locked down and encrypted.

      The defendant never claims that he didn't know his wifi could be used by someone else. In fact he was found innocent because there was nothing showing that he himself broke the law:

      The court said that the "abstract risk of abuse" of the defendant's connection is not enough to require him by law to lock it down. There was also no concrete evidence of copyright infringement on the defendant's part, therefore he should not be held liable for damages, the judge said.

      Now of course by offering people LAN access for free you would probably breaching your contract with your ISP but this is a seperate issue. I think you are mixing up the two.

  • by dynchaw (1188279) * on Friday July 11, 2008 @03:53AM (#24149319)

    All well and good for prosecution immunity, but why would anyone keep an open access point these days?

    I live on a main street with many business people walking past with their WiFi enabled devices. If I didn't have my access point locked down hard they'd blow my bandwidth limit inside a few days.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sobieski (1032500)

      I go to Germany about three times a year and all commercials for Internet connections boast about "flatrate", one could assume this is the norm there.

      • Is it:

        Flatrate

        Or is it:

        Flatrate*

        * Fair usage policy applies.

        ? I don't know of a single ISP that offers truly unlimited access. They all introduce throttling once you've downloaded a certain (often unspecified) amount in a month. Although to be fair, the metering only usually applies during peak hours.

        • by linhux (104645)

          I haven't used a single ISP that hasn't offered unlimited access. The norm varies a lot between countries, it seems - I have only lived in Sweden and Finland, but here nobody seems to throttle.

    • by cliffski (65094)

      its very common if you have the misfortune to read 'digg' to hear kids who routinely leave their wifi open so that they think they claim that the 200GB of movies and music they got from thepiratebay were all downloaded by someone else using their wireless.

      In other words, people knowingly and willingly compromise the security of the home network they sue to do on-line banking, so that they can get away with stealing music.
      Sad isn't it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheLink (130905)
        1) Copying is not stealing
        2) Big fucking deal

        I think a society that lets people share open access WiFi with others with minimal problems is far better than a society that lets the MPAA/RIAA equivalent go about suing thousands of people they _think_ have copied music illegally.

        I don't mind sharing my bandwidth with my neighbours or strangers - I can control the bandwidth usage. What I can't control is whether the cops come in and confiscate my stuff and throw me in jail.

        I fear the cops more than the terroris
      • In other words, people knowingly and willingly compromise the security of the home network they sue to do on-line banking, so that they can get away with stealing music. Sad isn't it?

        How is that compromising it? My WiFi is wide open and completely unable to access my LAN. Hop on and check your email if you want, but don't expect to access my file shares. Additionally, I use SSL when checking my bank accounts, and I'm more confident in HTTPS than I am with wireless "security".

        I'm being neighborly when I let the people around me surf for free, but that doesn't mean they have wide open access to my whole network.

  • A rape in my house (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:06AM (#24149371)

    Finally some common sense from the courts. If I leave my doors unlocked, as I often do, and someone comes into my house and commits a rape there, why should I be held responsbile?

    In the US the lobby's are so powerful that common snese goes out the window. If something could be used as an excuse, it doesn't matter if the excuse is valid or not, the excuse itself must be removed.

    At least Germnay is showing some sense here.

  • Data laundering (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:16AM (#24149419)

    What's to stop hackers from setting up open wifi networks with poor security, hacking their own networks to perform criminal acts, then claiming that someone else did the hack and they aren't liable for what others do over their open wifi?

    Mobs have been laundering money thanks to ignorant loopholes like this for over a century!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      Mobs have been laundering money thanks to ignorant loopholes like this for over a century!

      Ignorant loopholes? In America, that "loophole" would be that the Constitution doesn't give the federal government the power to force me to lock my doors.

  • Spoof the MAC adress (Score:4, Interesting)

    by houghi (78078) on Friday July 11, 2008 @04:26AM (#24149483)

    I can now just spoof a MAC adress, download as crazy and tell them it wasn't me.

    With truecrypt they can't even see what I have downloaded and saved.

    • by TheLink (130905)
      Well if they investigate you and find your truecrypt container(s), they could ask for the keys.

      In some countries (UK and my country) you can be forced to give up the keys.

      If you only give the decoy keys, they could decide to create a huge file and fill up the decoy container and thus overwrite the data in the hidden partition.

      The courts may regard that acceptable in "certain cases" (like it's so frigging obvious - you have dubious stuff in your "Recent Documents", and a 400GB truecrypt container, and the IS
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Loibisch (964797)

        Well if they investigate you and find your truecrypt container(s), they could ask for the keys.

        In some countries (UK and my country) you can be forced to give up the keys.

        Not so in Germany...for now at least.

        If you only give the decoy keys, they could decide to create a huge file and fill up the decoy container and thus overwrite the data in the hidden partition.

        And do what? Destroy the data they're so desperately searching for? Well, not even that actually because every forensics expert in the universe should always do a backup and never (if possible) tamper with the original.

        Always remember: If law enforcement is looking at your hard drive them destroying the evidence is actually what you should be hoping for...it's not really a deterrent.

  • What the hell? The editing here has just gone down hill. I mean this is ridiculous!

    Everyone knows it's spelled "gefÃllt mir"

    p.s. yay german girlfriend!

    p.p.s. /. doesn't like foreign characters so my correction won't be exactly right but at least no one can correct me!

  • So if I leave my keys in my car and someone uses it for joyrides or hold-ups, I'm not responsible either?

    Home users aren't common carriers, are they? With that analogy everyone can just open up all their APs and so long as their PC/userid/etc is anonymous (randomized) you can download all the copyright content you want illegally, so long as you store it in something like TrueCrypt, and no one can prosecute as you can just claim it was your neighbor, right?

  • by harvey the nerd (582806) on Friday July 11, 2008 @02:11PM (#24155449)
    The benefits of more freely available WiFi from cooperative individuals should benefit the society more and sooner, by far. e.g. mobile persons who prefer their notebooks for some inexpensive communication on trips to $99/mo "unlimited" cell phones or mobile internet accounts. Only rent seeking RIAA-SCO-telecom-corporatists and Nazi-Soviet-statist types are pushing WiFi restrictions and the fear campaign. Also, a society where every ISP connection is registered is one where free speech and privacy is on a very short leash. Having been to work in such countries before, it will be best to be leaving if you are not one of the elite class (top 1-2% incomes) running the show.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

Working...