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'Three strikes' law is 'naive', says UK ISP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 16 Oct 2009 11:21 User comments (11)

'Three strikes' law is 'naive', says UK ISP The large UK ISP TalkTalk is making a strong point today, calling the Lord Mandelson-backed Internet Piracy bill (three strikes law) "naive," and prone to mistakes.
The law, which would give alleged file sharers two warnings before cutting them off for a "third strike" has met harsh criticism across the world, but was recently made into law in France.

Via a video posted on the BBC news site, TalkTalk shows just how easy it is for everyday users to break into unsecured Wi-Fi (or even WEP, WPA-secured Wi-Fi) and then share music and movies illegally.

Unsuspecting families could be targeted as pirates although they didn't actually commit the crime, and most would be completely unaware of anyone even being on their network.

TalkTalk believes this "presumption of guilt" is just the first step away from due process in the UK, and other nations.

"The Mandelson scheme is every bit as wrong-headed as it is naive," adds Andrew Heaney, director of strategy and regulation at TalkTalk. "The lack of presumption of innocence and the absence of judicial process combined with the prevalence of wi-fi hacking will result in innocent people being disconnected."

In the video, a TalkTalk representative headed to a random, ordinary street in Middlesex, hopped on some unsecured Wi-Fi and downloaded two tracks (legally, from iTunes).

However, the BPI says those who have had their Wi-Fi hacked will be in no danger of being disconnected.

"The account holder would receive a notification in the first instance, which would represent an opportunity to discuss filesharing with others in the household and which would provide the account holder with the information and tools to help ensure that the account is not used illegally again," said the group. "This information would extend to explaining to the account holder how they can secure their wireless router to ensure that it isn't accessed by unknown third parties."

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11 user comments

116.10.2009 11:55

Well said TalkTalk, ive thought all along that this 3 strikes rule is unworkable, so now they are saying that they will first notify you on how to secure your wifi, does this not then make it a 2 strikes law?

What if you decide not to, or even plead ignorance to securing your wifi? will they make it a law to have your wifi secure? it would only take one person to prove they could break into a secured wifi system and all cases would be thrown out of court, the only way to convict anyone of illegal downloading would be to have hard evidence in the form of having a hard drive with illegal material on it, otherwise they dont have a case...

Be interesting to see how this pans out...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Oct 2009 @ 11:56

216.10.2009 12:20
atomicxl
Inactive

Meh, sounds a bit rubbish imo. I've got wi-fi and the only unsecured Wi-Fi spots I ever come across are schools or businesses. When i'm at my house I can see 20 networks and all of them are secured.

I'm not shocked that a company who makes money by selling people access that allows them to pirate is now pitching some doomsday scenario about how stopping pirates will be the death of us all and will lead to innocent women and children being hung from the gallows.

316.10.2009 14:06

This whole plan is half assed and un-thought out. What is stopping me from going into my local Starbucks that has a secured wifi connection? Upon any purchase, the network credentials are printed on the bottom of the receipt. I can sit there drinking my coffee and eating a snack while illegally downloading whatever I may find. Who is at fault here? Me for doing the downloading or Starbucks for enabling me to illegally download?

Under this scenario, Starbucks would be disconnected and unable to offer a service that myself as a paying customer have come to expect. With no more free wifi, I would have to take my business across the street to Dunkin Donuts who also offers free wifi with any purchase.

This hurts legitimate businesses, not the pirates.

416.10.2009 15:30

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Meh, sounds a bit rubbish imo. I've got wi-fi and the only unsecured Wi-Fi spots I ever come across are schools or businesses. When i'm at my house I can see 20 networks and all of them are secured.

You obviously don't live in our town. From our house I can see one other network - unsecured, and from my friend's house down the road I can see five networks - three of which are unsecured. I've got another friend halfway across town. From his house I can see three networks, two of which are unsecured. Even the "secured" networks around here often use WEP, which is basically just a minor inconvenience for any tech savvy person who wants to use the network. This is all in residential areas with no schools or businesses nearby.

517.10.2009 0:47

With multi-cast i have access to 5 different routers all routed threw my router how convenient

617.10.2009 1:27

Strike 1: Secure your WiFi
Strike 2 (WiFi cracked): Change key/encryption/whatever
Strike 3: Bye-bye.

717.10.2009 4:44

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Meh, sounds a bit rubbish imo. I've got wi-fi and the only unsecured Wi-Fi spots I ever come across are schools or businesses. When i'm at my house I can see 20 networks and all of them are secured.

I'm not shocked that a company who makes money by selling people access that allows them to pirate is now pitching some doomsday scenario about how stopping pirates will be the death of us all and will lead to innocent women and children being hung from the gallows.
I only have 3 wifi networks available without my wifi-sat-dish in my neighborhood, and they are all secured...I have cracked two of them just for giggles. More than this, someone broke the lock off of the cable junction box, so anyone can walk up to the box, plug in a modem, and use whatever internet connection they plugged into. I tested this theory by plugging my cable modem into my neighbor's cable line (with his permission), it worked perfect with his IP address.

Any law that assumes guilt is wrong. A law that assumes guilt, and will not even let the accused defend themselves is even worse. That's how witch hunts start.

817.10.2009 10:11

There is a more fundamental issue here which relates to British laws (and those countries who have legal systems based up the British system) and that is the precept, "All people are considered innocent until proven guilty".
France has a legal system based upon the quaint notion of "guilty until proven innocent".

(He shows restraint here and refrains from hobby-horsing (a new verb clump) about how the powerless, the individual persons, and increasingly fascistic police blah, blah.

Where does this place the shareholder who has only $Au10, a cat, and a perpetual war between the older person and the cat for the control of the can opener?

922.10.2009 15:16

More and more are being secured but there are still older systems that did not force a secure network during the set up. My brother inlaw is the neighborhood flunky for years. I tried to explain why his internet ran like crap but he is too stuip to listen. He claims there are no wires so he has no network. I tried to explain he has 2 computers on the internet so he does have an internet. You would think an architech would be smart enough to listen to a programmer.

1025.10.2009 12:21

You dont secure your wifi, hacked = 1 strike
You take steps to secure your wifi but do it incorrect, hacked = 2 strikes
You do it again (correctly) but someone still gets in, hacked = 3 strikes

You're still innocent but will get disconnected?

1126.10.2009 13:38

Ragnarok8, it is way too much work to hack into an unsecure network. It is way easier to broaden your search.

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