I was reading on the news site ISPReview today that we could well be at the end of our free wi-fi era already. The reason is that the government’s Digital Economy Bill would appear to suggest that wi-fi holders are to be held fully responsible for any data transferred across their internet connection.
Basically, this means that if you are in a pub using free wi-fi and you download an illegal MP3 from a site you are putting that pub owner at full responsibility for that download and is at risk for a hefty fine for allowing illegal downloads.
It was in the news that a pub owner has been fined £8,000 for an unknown customer downloading illegal files.
So this could signify the end of free wi-fi. Companies can’t afford to give out free internet if they risk being fined for something they didn’t do.
It’s a shame really, but I think it’s silly that business owners are put in responsibility for crimes they haven’t committed.