New ISP policing agreement effectively bans Open Wi-Fi

New ISP policing agreement effectively bans Open Wi-Fi (This message on Google+)

A careful reading of the rules related to the new agreement whereby ISPs will function as the quasi-legal "enforcement" agents for content providers [ [Lauren's Blog] (not to be confused with ongoing PROTECT IP Act efforts - [Lauren's Blog]), suggests the effective banning of Open Wi-Fi as an obvious practical consequence.

Now personally, I never recommend that any individual run open Wi-Fi, given the risks, unless they have a friendly lawyer already on retainer. But now the ISPs apparently want to formalize the concept that you are not *permitted* to run open Wi-Fi. From the agreement:

"A Subscriber shall prevail on this defense if the Subscriber adequately and credibly demonstrates that the alleged activity was the result of unauthorized use of the Subscriber's account by someone who is not a member or invitee of the household (e.g., via an unsecured wireless router or a hacked Internet connection) of which the Subscriber was unaware and that the Subscriber could not reasonably have prevented ... Except as set forth herein, this defense may be asserted by a Subscriber only one (1) time to give the Subscriber the opportunity to take steps to prevent future unauthorized use of the Subscriber's account. Any subsequent assertion of this defense by a Subscriber shall be denied as barred ..."

In other words, if your Open Wi-Fi connection is "abused" as defined by the signatories to the agreement, you have one chance to lock down your Wi-Fi. After that, Sorry Charlie. And remember, to even file an appeal, it's going to cost you $35. Of course, that's chump change to the fellows who drew up this plan. Maybe not to you. Certainly not to me.

But after all, who ever said that sheep have a right to complain about getting fleeced?

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