Bloke fined for leaving wi-fi unsecured

A German court has fined an unwitting wi-fi user €100 for having an unprotected connection to the Internet.

The court ruled that, although the owner of the connection was on holiday at the time, somone had dowloaded copyrighted material using his connection and that it was his responsibility to make sure that couldn't happen.

"Private users are obligated to check whether their wireless connection is adequately secured to the danger of unauthorised third parties abusing it to commit copyright violation," the court said according to a report on MSNBC.

The ruling could have dire consequences for owners of open public networks and the days of nipping into Starbucks to check you emails or do a bit of casual web surfery could soon be over.

The court stopped short of insisting that everyone should constantly update their passwords by saying that it was only necessary to set the security at the time of installation.