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Bill signals end of free WiFi

Bill signals end of free WiFi

The administrative overhead in offering customers free Internet access could become to much to bear if the Digital Economy Bill goes forward.

The Digital Economy Bill - which aims to curtail file sharing by introduction stronger sanctions against those found trading in copyright material, up to and including disconnection from the Internet - could have an unfortunate side effect: the death of the free, open wireless access point.

Lillian Edwards, professor of Internet law at Sheffield University, is quoted by ZDNet as stating that the scenarios detailed in an explanatory document produced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills would "outlaw open WiFi for small businesses."

The trigger for the warning is comments in the DEB's explanatory document from BIS minister Lord Young who explains that no common class of publicly-accessible WiFi connection could be protected from proceedings under the Bill should one of its users trade in illicit material online. Young even singles out libraries, stating that offering such organisations a 'common carrier' status that would protect them from prosecution under the bill would "send entirely the wrong signal and could lead to 'fake' [libraries] being set up, claiming an exemption and becoming a hub for copyright infringement."

Young also states that universities would also have no protection under the proposed Bill should a student use the network to download copyright material without permission.

Edwards describes the Digital Economy Bill - as it is detailed in the explanatory document - as "a very unfortunate measure for small businesses, particularly in a recessions, [as many] are using open free WiFi very effectively as a way to get the punters in."

Even those who offer some semblance of control - to stop freeloaders from hogging the bandwidth without buying something from the shop - with the use of password protection have just "two options - to pay someone like [commercial managed hotspot provider] The Cloud to manage it for them, or to take responsibility themselves for becoming an ISP effectively, and keep records for everyone they assign connections to, which is an impossible burden for a small café."

Young details two classes of user in the document: subscribers, who have low-bandwidth connections and few end users; and ISPs, who have faster connections and many end users - with "large hotel chains or conference centres" being pushed toward the ISP end of the spectrum. Users who are classed as subscribers - even if they 'resell' the service to others - will be treated the same as a home user under the Bill, receiving notification letters and eventual disconnection should their connection be used to trade in copyright material. Sadly for the Bill, the details are still a little muddy: Edwards points out that universities in particular "don't know if they're subscribers, ISPs or neither. If the government is not clear, how on earth are the universities supposed to respond?"

Do you believe that Edwards has a point and that the Digital Economy Bill would make the administrative burden of running a free wireless service too great for small businesses to bear, or is it the responsibility of whomever provides a connection - no matter what the cost or reason - to police it for copyright infringement? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

53 Comments

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Thedarkrage 1st March 2010, 10:09 Quote
It's not going to stop copyright material being pirated! Every one know some one who can get the latest dvd's or 360 games just pop to the pub and ask around. Its not going to make it more difficult it will just push more money in to organized crime! the goverment is just trying to look like there doing something and its not going to work
Dreaming 1st March 2010, 10:12 Quote
Quote:
Do you believe that Edwards has a point and that the Digital Economy Bill would make the administrative burden of running a free wireless service too great for small businesses to bear, or is it the responsibility of whomever provides a connection - no matter what the cost or reason - to police it for copyright infringement?

I think both cases are true. Laws always always increase administrative burden, and this is especially felt by smaller organisations without ease of access to specialist legal teams either through hiring the services of a lawyer or through an in house legal expert.

But similarly I tend to think of internet connections along the same lines as phone lines. Obviously, there are limitations of your responsibility, but if you were offering a free phone line (for example, for people to phone their parents to pick them up from a kids club or something), and then someone uses that phone line maliciously - it is YOUR responsibility as it is YOUR phoneline.

The same goes with the internet unfortunately. I would love for there to be a way around it - wimax is promising (which in a way is the phoneline analogy of the advent of mobile phones!) but until there is a neat solution unfortunately it is at small organisations own risk if they let anyone use their internet connection without caution.
licenced 1st March 2010, 10:24 Quote
Many of the countries I travel through have lots of free wi-fi access points - pubs, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, airports ... it really puts the UK to shame with it's multiple thousands of hotspots you have a to pay a premium to use (and if you have an iPhone remember, you are still paying that premium, it's not free).

Recently though more and more free hotspots have been cropping up over here - even my local library started their own free wi-fi service a few months ago.

Unfortunately, it sounds like this bill is just going to push access point owners further away from either being able, or wanting to offer these services for free. In an age when the government is trying to ensure 'internet access for all', this is A BAD THING.
mi1ez 1st March 2010, 10:28 Quote
Further proof of the mess the DEB is.
Matticus 1st March 2010, 10:41 Quote
I saw someone speeding the earlier on. Best rip up the entire road network.

If pure piracy is the only problem then surely limited bandwidth per user per minute, then a cap on usage per day/hour or whatever would mean no real amount of pirating could be done.
feedayeen 1st March 2010, 10:43 Quote
Has anyone else ever taken a kid to a fake library? Let me tell you, it's not a good sight. Movie workprints, Hanna Montana music, and WMD instructions are on every computer.
okenobi 1st March 2010, 10:45 Quote
I'm considering setting up a single AP at work and offering free Wi-Fi to my customers. I don't imagine any of them would be into copyright infringement, but now I don't know if I'm just opening myself up to more grief. Well done government.
gollum385 1st March 2010, 10:53 Quote
matticus raises a decent issue.

At university, you aren't allowed to download through file sharing, as peer to peer is banned (i believe they close the ports associated with it). At university there are also other measures such as bandwidth and usage each day (although this is a large figrure)

With help, small businesses could set up an open wifi network that would mean people can't use filesharing. It was only a while ago that companies were setting up wireless networks across whole towns. The government keep taking measures to stifle us growing, just because its worried about file sharers.
mclean007 1st March 2010, 11:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus
I saw someone speeding the earlier on. Best rip up the entire road network.
Shhhh - don't give them ideas!
Xir 1st March 2010, 11:23 Quote
In Germany, MacDonalds went about this problem like this: You get Free WiFi, but get the password by sending them a text message, and receiving the text message on your phone.
They then clim, that whoever's phone was used, is the user of this password.

Someone fileshared? We haven't got his name, but this connection was requested by this phonenumber.

On the other hand in Czechia, lots of cafe's have a full open network, no problem.

All depends on the local (national) law I guess.
RichCreedy 1st March 2010, 11:28 Quote
does that mean all the bt business hubs with bt openzone would have to have openzone disabled?
Dave Lister 1st March 2010, 11:34 Quote
Another freedom gone :(
rollo 1st March 2010, 11:34 Quote
GL with this goverment lol

i dout it rich

BT has the resources to track user logins
licenced 1st March 2010, 11:36 Quote
@RichCreedy - interesting point. And what about FON - sharing your wi-fi is their whole business model! http://www.fon.com/en/info/whatsFon
Woodspoon 1st March 2010, 13:32 Quote
So what about all these Wi-Fi town's and city's the government is in the process of spending millions and millions on?
what do they propose for them? scrap them? or more likely pay to access them?
Smells like another attempt to tax/make money off Joe public.
ssj12 1st March 2010, 13:59 Quote
I may live in the US, but this bill sounds like a pretty bad idea. Hopefully this doesnt steamroll into making the Gov think that they can tax people for every little thing. Lets hope this dies. Otherwise I can see my retarded government copying this.
rickysio 1st March 2010, 14:00 Quote
Bahahaha, Singapore will still enjoy 2 more years of free public WiFi like, freaking everywhere!
Psytek 1st March 2010, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming
but if you were offering a free phone line (for example, for people to phone their parents to pick them up from a kids club or something), and then someone uses that phone line maliciously - it is YOUR responsibility as it is YOUR phoneline.


That's not true.

If I stab someone with your knife? You are responsible?
If I run someone over with your car?
If I use your wifi to download copyright material, you honestly believe you are the one who should be punished?

You do not believe those things, and If you do, give me your address and the SSID of your wireless router, I'll come download some copyrighted material and get you into trouble so that you can confront your bullshit beliefs head on.

This sort of narrow minded, 'it doesn't affect my pocket book so I don't care' attitude is exactly what ruins democracy. You don't give a **** about small business owners, so you refuse to consider their position, it's selfish and sadly it's pervasive in our society. Nobody takes notice until they are personally inconvenienced, and by that time, the laws will be law and you won't have any personal freedoms left.

It's easy to dismiss the 1984-quoting, freedom-championing minority as pirates and hippies, who-cares, but it doesn't mean they aren't right. Which in this case, they are. Governments spying on their people is wrong, governments forcing private businesses to spy on their people for them is wrong. Governments forcing private business to spy on their people for other private businesses is sickening.
SchizoFrog 1st March 2010, 14:36 Quote
These arguements don't even take in to account the fact that to implement these laws and sanctions they will need to be able to indentify what the actual downloaded material is, and that would be an invasion of privacy laws. We have also heard many cases of wired connections being hijacked. So what happens then? Back to the old silly arguement of 'So my gun gets stolen and gets used to commit a crime so I personally get convicted of said crime?'
HourBeforeDawn 1st March 2010, 15:38 Quote
lol this is kinda like gun laws, they only hurt the people with the intentions of good not the people who do bad, why wont a fat cat ever learn this ~_~
TheUn4seen 1st March 2010, 16:05 Quote
The only worrying thing is that all the sh*t that your government comes up with filters to EU. So thanks to you, soon we'll have positioning chips installed and every word recorded.
I mean, what the f*ck did you have against 100W lightbulbs? Thanks to UK, they're forbidden now in EU.
I knew I was right when I voted against joining the EU, in a few years I'll have to move to Canada to be able to make a phonecall without a policeman listening, while in EU Germany will resurrect Stasi and Gestapo to be the New European Union Police.
eddtox 1st March 2010, 16:19 Quote
Just say no.
saspro 1st March 2010, 16:24 Quote
Almost every hotspot only allows ports 80 & 443 to come through.
You can't VPN from most let alone fileshare.
whiskers 1st March 2010, 16:26 Quote
But, we'll still be able to download from rapidshare, megaupload, megashares, hotfile, netload, mediasend, sendfile, yousendit, etc., etc., - you get my point?
brave758 1st March 2010, 16:33 Quote
Lol what a load of bull by people who haven't got a clue.

Psytec you are so right, **** man what happened to innocent until proven guilty.

Also it no better here in Canada this **** is going on all over now.
TSR2 1st March 2010, 17:42 Quote
So we give you internets.
But you can't get it through private wireless.
And the internet we're giving you is too slow to be of any real use. The project will inevitably end up late and over budget.
Thank you Socialism.
BLC 1st March 2010, 17:52 Quote
A combination of :( , and epic fail, all rolled into one.

This government astounds me. On the one hand, we have the Science and Technology Committee making recommendations based in scientific fact and sound reasoning (i.e. recommending that NHS funding for homeopathy be removed); then on the other hand we have, amongst other misguided legislation, this short-sighted bill completely undermining all credibility.

Incidentally, the Science and Technology Committee is made up of members of the House of Lords, whereas this bill is backed primarily by Members of Parliament and was resisted by a number of strong voices in the House of Lords. Do we still think that - as many have called for - abolishing the House of Lords is a good idea?
eddtox 1st March 2010, 18:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR2

Thank you Capitalism.

There, I fixed that for you!:D
TSR2 1st March 2010, 18:05 Quote
@BLC
Exactly. The Lords and the Commons appear to have undergone pretty much a complete reversal; now the Commons are the corrupt, greedy ones that you wouldn't trust to run a fish stall. The Lords, as a rule, are pretty ordinary people.
@eddtox: In what way is restricting free enterprise by artificial and punitive laws Capitalism?
brave758 1st March 2010, 18:42 Quote
Times have changed it now seem the house of commons is anything but, should be renamed the house of scaremongering, corruption and control freaks set on there own political control and gains agenda.

Who to vote for next........ Oh thats right different idiot same agenda.

On a side note has anyone watch the zeitgeist movies yet?
http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/
very good to be taken with a pinch of salt but it ain't to far from the truth.
InSanCen 1st March 2010, 19:17 Quote
This will just lead to more laws. Do these people really think they can regulate something that by it's very nature connects pretty much every country on earth? There is, and always will be a way round it. As usual, the government are petrified by something they cannot control, and this, amongst other half-assed ideas, is their attempt to control it. The Beauty of the 'net is that is is unregulated. Sites implement their own rules based on their users, and that is how it should stay.
HourBeforeDawn 1st March 2010, 19:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
There, I fixed that for you!:D
aww you beat me to it, lol I really wish people would educate themselves before throwing words around.
mrbens 1st March 2010, 20:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by brave758

On a side note has anyone watch the zeitgeist movies yet?
http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/
very good to be taken with a pinch of salt but it ain't to far from the truth.

Yeah Zeitgeist is great. It's been around for a few years now.

What a horrible news story this is.
evanjdooner 1st March 2010, 20:59 Quote
Young even singles out libraries, stating that offering such organisations a 'common carrier' status that would protect them from prosecution under the bill would "send entirely the wrong signal and could lead to 'fake' [libraries] being set up, claiming an exemption and becoming a hub for copyright infringement."

Wait, am I the only one to take exception to this? This is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.
Confused Fishcake 1st March 2010, 21:09 Quote
While ip-over-dns, a ssh server listening on ports 80,53,443, and multiple vpns continue to give me free internet on all paid for wifi points, and I can't see this actually affecting me, its sickening. There's simply no way it can be practical either, without seriously curtailing people's freedoms and convenience.
cyberspice 1st March 2010, 21:17 Quote
Yet another example of those in control taking a heavy handed approach to combating piracy that only actually punishes honest law abiding people. F**king morons...
eddtox 1st March 2010, 22:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR2

@eddtox: In what way is restricting free enterprise by artificial and punitive laws Capitalism?

Surely you do not think that this has been thought up with a complete lack of involvement from the various film/record industry associations? This is nothing to do with restricting free enterprise it has to do with the film/record/software industries lobbying to protect their bottom lines, and if free enterprise happens to be a casualty, so be it.

We have created a system where money comes above everything else and now we wonder why commercial entities care about nothing other than their bottom lines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by evanjdooner
Young even singles out libraries...
Two birds, one stone. Downloads have essentially killed the second-hand market, so now they figure they'll go for the other fly in the ointment which is libraries. In their mind a lending = lost sales. Greed 101.
Dreaming 2nd March 2010, 00:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming
but if you were offering a free phone line (for example, for people to phone their parents to pick them up from a kids club or something), and then someone uses that phone line maliciously - it is YOUR responsibility as it is YOUR phoneline.


That's not true.

If I stab someone with your knife? You are responsible?
If I run someone over with your car?
If I use your wifi to download copyright material, you honestly believe you are the one who should be punished?

You do not believe those things, and If you do, give me your address and the SSID of your wireless router, I'll come download some copyrighted material and get you into trouble so that you can confront your bullshit beliefs head on.

This sort of narrow minded, 'it doesn't affect my pocket book so I don't care' attitude is exactly what ruins democracy. You don't give a **** about small business owners, so you refuse to consider their position, it's selfish and sadly it's pervasive in our society. Nobody takes notice until they are personally inconvenienced, and by that time, the laws will be law and you won't have any personal freedoms left.

It's easy to dismiss the 1984-quoting, freedom-championing minority as pirates and hippies, who-cares, but it doesn't mean they aren't right. Which in this case, they are. Governments spying on their people is wrong, governments forcing private businesses to spy on their people for them is wrong. Governments forcing private business to spy on their people for other private businesses is sickening.

Holy crap calm down.

I'm discussing the issue of the need for property law. If it was my knife, I would have to explain how you got it, no? If you stole it, fair dues. If I gave it to you, am I not in some part culpable? Think it through before foaming at the mouth.

As for my opinion, like I said in my post I'm both ways about it. But you just find the bit you can object to loudest and have a right go while bashing one out if that's what gets you going.

Pissing confrontational forum warriors.
dark_avenger 2nd March 2010, 00:56 Quote
I'm not sure how they figure this will help piracy, it's just going to piss people off making them want to pirate more just as a giant FU to the man.

I've said it before and i'll say it again the best way to solve piracy is to make buying movies/games/music so cheap and so incredibly easy that the time spent pirating said content is not worth the effort.
airchie 2nd March 2010, 12:17 Quote
While everyone here can see this is an utterly terrible idea, its not going to stop it happening.
Why don't we collate a list of good reasons why this bill is no good and get a petition going or something?
If people like us who are in the know do nothing, your average joe certainly wont...
javaman 2nd March 2010, 12:48 Quote
Just hack your phone and tether it instead. Slow, but it still works. With 3G on so many phones today this doesn't surprise me at all, after all who needs to carry around a laptop anymore to check facebook? I bet its the phone companies that push this through so the uptake of 3G will be higher.

University's may track usage but here at queens im limited to 400kb/s download speeds. It takes 4-5hours do download a 30min video from iplayer (I leave it downloading in lectures when not using the laptop). If queens drops wi-fi access ill personally lead a campeign to have a computer with wired access for every student. Simply because im in contact with lecturers, other students, downloading notes online, researching, bit-tech and applying for jobs through out the day. I got my netbook specifically because of uni needs.
Xir 2nd March 2010, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek
If I run someone over with your car?.

Maybe not that drastic, but in the Netherlands if your car is photographed speeding, the owner will be punished. (unless presenting someone else that's driven)

Same principle though, owner is responsible for abuse of ... whatever.

It exists!
brave758 2nd March 2010, 15:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Maybe not that drastic, but in the Netherlands if your car is photographed speeding, the owner will be punished. (unless presenting someone else that's driven)

Same principle though, owner is responsible for abuse of ... whatever.

It exists!

That sort of exists in the UK, but preys on the on the fact that people don't know, they hope that people will assume the guilt with out the real evidence remember innocent until proven guilty, a picture of the back of the car doesn't mean you committed the crime, prove who was driving, also you should be read your miranda rites (the rite to remain silent/right against self-incrimination).

But this is slowly changing, people are fighting it and the courts can't take it as its all a farce. So again the government try to change the law to circumvent this. All they really succeed in doing though is pissing more people off and creating more paper work for the coppers and less time to do there real job. Hey they can't loose their extra tax now can they.

In Germany all speed camera's take pictures from the front (with the passenger greyed out) clear evidence of the car and the driver. Go figure, no assuming guilt there
brave758 2nd March 2010, 15:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
While everyone here can see this is an utterly terrible idea, its not going to stop it happening.
Why don't we collate a list of good reasons why this bill is no good and get a petition going or something?
If people like us who are in the know do nothing, your average joe certainly wont...

Your right +1 on the petition.

Talk is cheap.
BLC 2nd March 2010, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Just hack your phone and tether it instead. Slow, but it still works.

I don't know about you, but I used to get around 2mbit when tethering my Kaiser (T-Mobile MDA Vario III), and that was without paying for faster access (7.2mbit). Besides, you have to pay for cellular/mobile broadband, whereas the article discusses open-access/free WiFi.
LucusLoC 2nd March 2010, 18:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR2

@eddtox: In what way is restricting free enterprise by artificial and punitive laws Capitalism?

Surely you do not think that this has been thought up with a complete lack of involvement from the various film/record industry associations? This is nothing to do with restricting free enterprise it has to do with the film/record/software industries lobbying to protect their bottom lines, and if free enterprise happens to be a casualty, so be it.

We have created a system where money comes above everything else and now we wonder why commercial entities care about nothing other than their bottom lines.


and just because a big cooperation does it it is not socialism? i think you forget that the a lot of big cooperations push for socialism *because* it is good for *their* bottom lines. if you can get a bunch of socialistic laws passed that force out smaller competitors but are specifically worded to give you a pass that may help you, but it is also not capitalism. capitalism is supposed to keep corruption out of the market, and make sure that all people are represented equally in a court of law (among a few other things) but it is most definitely not supposed to pass laws that favor certain parties above others, or make business possible only for the giants.

to summarize: restricting fair business for some may be good for others, but it is not capitalism.

this is pure socialism, no matter who is pushing it. saying anything else is intellectually dishonest.

@Psytek

right on.

@dreaming

about the knife. say i didn't loan you the knife, say you came into my store and bought it from me. am i still culpable? how far are you wiling to extend your argument?

if we were really being true to our "innocent until proven guilty" principles you would have to prove that i gave you the knife (either sold or loaned) with the fore knowledge that you intended to do malice. for all anyone knows i loaned you the knife because you said you had a large roast at home and nothing to cut it with.

and a lot of us have thought this through very well before hand, but it may not show because of our testiness when it comes to dealing with people who obviously have not.
javaman 2nd March 2010, 19:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I don't know about you, but I used to get around 2mbit when tethering my Kaiser (T-Mobile MDA Vario III), and that was without paying for faster access (7.2mbit). Besides, you have to pay for cellular/mobile broadband, whereas the article discusses open-access/free WiFi.

With so many people with free "unlimited" internet on their phones its an alternative to wi-fi. Most people have "unlimited" internet on their phones anyway. For those that don't already have a data plan o their phone Why ignore the enormous cash elephant by offering a free alternative thats faster?
Sloth 2nd March 2010, 21:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LucusLoC

@dreaming

about the knife. say i didn't loan you the knife, say you came into my store and bought it from me. am i still culpable? how far are you wiling to extend your argument?

if we were really being true to our "innocent until proven guilty" principles you would have to prove that i gave you the knife (either sold or loaned) with the fore knowledge that you intended to do malice. for all anyone knows i loaned you the knife because you said you had a large roast at home and nothing to cut it with.

and a lot of us have thought this through very well before hand, but it may not show because of our testiness when it comes to dealing with people who obviously have not.
If he came into your store and bought it then it is no longer yours and is a moot point, no?

Also, following the "innocent until proven guilty" idea, wouldn't saying "he told me it was for a roast" prove you innocent unless someone had proof that you were told otherwise? That doesn't seem like a problem at all... you're still responsible for only allowing the safe and reasonable use of your possessions, to the best of your knowledge. That being the focal point of this whole issue in my opinion. No cafe owner, for example, has any specific reason to believe that they are supporting piracy, yet they will certainly know that it exists and must take actions to prevent the misuse of their service.

Another example, a little more violent. Let's say I own a handgun. Obviously it is a dangerous item and there is quite a lot of potential for it to be misused. Now if I set this gun down on a park bench I have no reason to think anyone's going to take it and commit murder, but there is obviously a risk. I am responsible for ensuring the safe and reasonable use of my possessions to the best of my knowledge and my knowldge says that leaving guns around is neither safe nor reasonable!

This bill may be taking things too far, but the general idea is that the internet and wi-fi specifically are becoming potetionally dangerous items and owners must be aware of this and take measures to provide safe and reasonable use to the best of their knowledge, such as blocking file sharing ports.
LucusLoC 3rd March 2010, 00:25 Quote
@sloth

the issue with the knife is i am not presumed to be innocent in your version. i am presumed to be guilty and must prove my innocence with my statement. if i was truly presumed to be innocent, i would not have to say anything, and it would be up to you to prove that i was either malicious or criminally negligent. criminal negligence, in the u.s. anyway, usually extends to things that should have been accounted for, such as leaving a loaded firearm unattended in a public place. but then again criminal negligence is also applied to the little old ladies who mosh the gas in their cars and kill a pedestrian. it is the same concept.

that concept, i will add, does not apply to open networks. it would be like making the phone companies (or other owners) liable for crimes committed from payphones. service providers, of any kind, need to be heavily insulated from crimes committed with their service, least the innovation in the market be killed. you need to prove that they are criminally negligent in their operation, such as hosting files or trackers for illegal content. their are many reasons that someone may wish to remain anonymous online, and not all of them are illegal. and purposefully handicapping the technology is not really a good solution either, since it puts the burden of regulation on the small businesses more than on the large.
Sloth 3rd March 2010, 07:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LucusLoC
@sloth

the issue with the knife is i am not presumed to be innocent in your version. i am presumed to be guilty and must prove my innocence with my statement. if i was truly presumed to be innocent, i would not have to say anything, and it would be up to you to prove that i was either malicious or criminally negligent. criminal negligence, in the u.s. anyway, usually extends to things that should have been accounted for, such as leaving a loaded firearm unattended in a public place. but then again criminal negligence is also applied to the little old ladies who mosh the gas in their cars and kill a pedestrian. it is the same concept.
To be fair, it's not exactly accusing you of anything to be questioning just why the knife was in his possession. Being clear as to why the murderer was in possession of your knife is basic fact gathering. Provide your honest answer that it was supposedly for cutting a roast and the matter should be over with, unless someone tries to prove that you were malicious as you said. In all likelihood your own lawyer will be the first to bring the subject up so that the matter will be clear early on, and he/she certainly isn't accusing you of anything.
Quote:

that concept, i will add, does not apply to open networks. it would be like making the phone companies (or other owners) liable for crimes committed from payphones. service providers, of any kind, need to be heavily insulated from crimes committed with their service, least the innovation in the market be killed. you need to prove that they are criminally negligent in their operation, such as hosting files or trackers for illegal content. their are many reasons that someone may wish to remain anonymous online, and not all of them are illegal. and purposefully handicapping the technology is not really a good solution either, since it puts the burden of regulation on the small businesses more than on the large.
Blocking ports used for file sharing has little, if anything, to do with anonymity. Users can still walk into their favorite library/cafe and perform most non-piracy tasks just the same as before, with the exception of some legitimate peer to peer downloading being blocked. For the wifi owner this should actually be preferable, it would prevent people from using them as a free primary internet source as opposed to a complimentary feature to enjoy while you sip your latte. This also isn't exactly hard to set up, I wouldn't doubt that some already have just for the benefits I just mentioned. Compared to the initial challenge of installation it's not exactly difficult to only allow 80 and a couple others, might even be an option with professional installation.

And the main point for restricting peer to peer services is that most users should be able to accept it. There are only a handful of reasons to reeeallllyyy want your torrents at a free wifi hotspot. One of them is piracy, the other is immorally mooching off of a service that is not intended for prolonged use. It's exceedingly hard to claim that honest, heart of gold users truly need to have access to file sharing applications at a wifi hotspot such as a library or cafe or school. Bittorrent has nothing to do with writing one's final, or checking the weather on lunch break :p

Of course, there's always the "It's the principle of being free citizens!" argument, but if that's the problem there are certainly bigger fish to fry in this world...
LucusLoC 3rd March 2010, 17:37 Quote
it may not be unthinkable to question someone related to a crim, but it also does not mean that they get to presume guilt based on anything they do or do not say. if i remain silent they must assume i am innocent until they can prove i am guilty. you are still operating under the premise that i a guilty until i prove myself innocent. *i* don't need to say anything to prove my innocence, *you* need to say a whole lot to prove my guilt. anything i say can be used against me, but it cannot be used to help me, therefor i will remain silent.

see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE

(two parts)

moving on to free wifi

sure some business might find it useful to block file sharing ports, and it is their right to do so, but what if doing so hinders their business model? say they are catering to a gaming crowd. lots of games use the torrent app to download updates. take WoW for example. all of a sudden their customers can no longer get updates for popular games, thus alienating their user base. as i said before, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons to have an open an unhindered network, and imposing arbitrary limits only limits innovation.

not to mention that it is trivially easy to change around the port setting on a computer and have it share files, printers, ssh or whatever on whatever port you want. all you need is someone on the outside who knows what port you want to connect to. how long do you think it would take after port restricting legislation was passed for it to be completely ineffectual? a week? a day? a few hours?
Sloth 3rd March 2010, 20:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LucusLoC
it may not be unthinkable to question someone related to a crim, but it also does not mean that they get to presume guilt based on anything they do or do not say. if i remain silent they must assume i am innocent until they can prove i am guilty. you are still operating under the premise that i a guilty until i prove myself innocent. *i* don't need to say anything to prove my innocence, *you* need to say a whole lot to prove my guilt. anything i say can be used against me, but it cannot be used to help me, therefor i will remain silent.

see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE

(two parts)

moving on to free wifi

sure some business might find it useful to block file sharing ports, and it is their right to do so, but what if doing so hinders their business model? say they are catering to a gaming crowd. lots of games use the torrent app to download updates. take WoW for example. all of a sudden their customers can no longer get updates for popular games, thus alienating their user base. as i said before, there are all sorts of legitimate reasons to have an open an unhindered network, and imposing arbitrary limits only limits innovation.

not to mention that it is trivially easy to change around the port setting on a computer and have it share files, printers, ssh or whatever on whatever port you want. all you need is someone on the outside who knows what port you want to connect to. how long do you think it would take after port restricting legislation was passed for it to be completely ineffectual? a week? a day? a few hours?
Bah, youtube is blocked here for security, I'll edit in later when I've watched them. Though I can use that as an example: Youtube, Photobucket, Flickr, Imageshack, etc are blocked here to prevent me from illegally uploading sensitive information. Of course, treason is almost undebatably more serious than online piracy but this situation follows along a similar route. It's a freedom which is given up to uphold the law and protect the country, just as filesharing is a freedom given up to protect musicians/artists/developers/etc. I apologize for broadening the subject, but some form of protection is entirely warranted, be it at the service provider's level, at the end user's level, or at the content host's level. Simply tracking down pirates doesn't prevent the crime from being committed, action has to be taken to correct this.

To get back on subject, it would seem that a new market of security hardware and software could be coming about. Finding ways to limit innovation is ironically full of innovation. Cisco and all of it's daughter companies, for example, could certainly focus attention more towards products designed for protecting wifi hotspots through passively protected wireless access points. Pre-setup firewalls to cut back on administrative overhead and configuration costs. Creative ways of determining and allowing known-good applications such as Blizzard's updater, perhaps a sort of digital certificate. Necessity is the father of invention (did I get that right?) and this need for anti-piracy measures, especially if Big brother is pushing it, could certainly cause a number of security inventions.
LucusLoC 3rd March 2010, 21:54 Quote
i don't mind you broadening the subject, i enjoy the conversation :-)

you did hit on one of my points. companies (and governments) are perfectly free to control access on computers and networks they own. that is the whole point. if i own a hotspot *i* get to dictate under what terms and conditions it is available, not someone else. the moment government decides that "you must do this or someone may abuse it" they are presuming guilt. and while you are right that initially the legislation may drive some innovation, that innovation invariably comes with higher cost to the users, which has the net effect of stifling innovation in the long run. that on top of the fact that the legislation would limit a persons exercise of free choice, which means that whole sets of behaviors are not open for profit.

and the idea to have "creative ways of determining and allowing known-good applications" sounds like a huge cost to developers that will close the market to any independent developer, thus perpetuating the problem of big business legislating out smaller competitors through the use of unfair laws. cant afford to pay cisco $1000 to get on the trusted file sharing list? you must be one of those bad people we can't trust on the network. . .

the topics of presuming guilt and stopping network traffic "because it's bad" are very closely related. there are a number of other topics that share similar points as well, like 2nd amendment issues, and 1st amendment free speech. how much can you limit freedom "for the common good?" almost always you only wind up limiting the freedom of law abiding citizens and the criminals simply flaunt the law and find trivial ways around it. anything that would seek to legislate network traffic would be doomed to the same failure, and is therefor not even worth perusing.

a better solution is to make prosecuting those actually guilty easier, or changing existing laws to make the illegal behavior not worth the effort (or in some cases, simply enforcing existing laws, rather than writing new ones to go on top of the old ones).
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