Dale Dietrich
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Sinapore Teen Faces Fine and Jail-time for Using Neighbors WiFi

Categories: WiFi Access

Garyl Tan Jia Luo faces a $10,000 Singapore Dollar (U.S. $6,425) fine and up to three years in jail under the Singapore Computer Misues Act simply for accessing the Internet through his neighbors open WiFi port. Luo did not engage in any malicious activity.

Dale's Comment: For the reason's I've already discussed in related posts (see below), this is completely nuts! Simple, non-malicious Internet access via open WiFi ports should be universally exempt from prosecution. The universal adoption of open WiFi ports would be an ENORMOUS social good – making the Internet freely available to anyone wherever they travel around the globe. Yes, hotspot owners need to make sure they are usuing proper firewalls to safeguard against malicious behavior, but, to my mind, the legal system, hardware specifications and WiFi users should all encourage open and safe universal open WiFi. In my ideal world WiFi routers would be user configurable so that the hotspot owner can pre-set how much bandwidth he/she wishes to make available for external use. The owner could adjust such permitted use at will, eg via a slider control, or the system could automatically adjust external use rights up or down depending on the hotspot owner's current usage, the time of day, etc.  Yes, I understand that this would run afoul of most current ISP terms of service contracts. But should it? Should laws be adopted to nullify this form of contractual prohibition. I argue that yes they should. With adequate technological safeguards in place, hotspot owners would be protected and ISPs would not face a sudden upsurge of system usage. Universal accessibility would spread such freeload usage around with minimal impact on any given ISP with a corresponding significantly positive social good. Among the many obvious social advantages, this would go a long way to bridging the digital-divide.

Sources: OUT-LAW.com | Engadget | The Register | TechSpot

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