back to article EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

Result, guys. Result. A campaign by Digital Rights activists to preserve open Wi-Fi hotspots has resulted in Europe’s highest court deciding the exact opposite. The ECJ has advised that open Wi-Fi hotspots should probably be operated password-protected – and hotspot owners should require users to reveal their identities. The …

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Meh

That Brexit is looking better every day...

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Big Brother

Re: Meh

Until uk.gov decides that it is a good idea.

They were pretty picky and choosy which European laws were adhered to pre-Brexit. I can still see them picking an choosing.

The difficultly in bypassing this depends on what kind of ID is required to be presented to reveal ones identity... Someone else's birth certificate? Another's Credit card? or would a valid passport be required?

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Mushroom

Re: Meh

Hmmmm

As I recall, the UK courts have already tried a few times to use unsecured WiFi as a "must like paedoes or be a paedo, " smear.

The EU was probably taking it's lead from the UK.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

They were pretty picky and choosy which European laws were adhered to pre-Brexit. I can still see them picking an choosing.

Oddly enough it's the eurosceptic countries like the UK and Denmark that have implemented the largest number of EU directives in national law, although often after complaining and protesting. It's the countries like France who are really picky, but cleverly so, by loudly welcoming a new directive and then ignoring it or implementing something which looks a bit like it but is actually much more beneficial to them. It's a game, where it does not pay to be hoenst & upfront. There is a reason why the French describe sportsmanship as "tres fairplay", the language seems to lack an appropriate French equivalent...

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Re: Meh

If only we had a party in power that respected the people of this country, then Brexit would look great...

Right now we have a Toff who doesn't understand the problems of the nation...

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Re: Meh

"That Brexit is looking better every day...

Well, there is definitely some irony to be found here. Because I know city councils who are busy to experiment with providing free Wi-Fi for the entire city and all its guests. Guess Europe now put a stop to that ;)

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Re: Meh

By "Toff" do you mean someone who has an education? Did you not hear that David Cameron (a "Toff") has not only relinquished control of the Country to someone else, he has actually stepped down as an MP? A quick glance at May's Wikipedia page identifies her as the daughter of a clergyman...hardly a Toff...but don't let the facts get in the way of your spit flecked anti educated individual bile!

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LDS
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Re: Meh

Nothing compared to countries like Italy that vote to approve them, then "forget" to implement them), and then pay fees (with taxpayers money) for not doing so...

But are you Britons sure someone like Ms. May isn't interested in ensuring every WiFi access is controlled? She didn't look like someone who puts personal freedoms before everything else.... wasn't she one of the backers of the snooper's chart?

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Re: Meh

"daughter of a clergyman"

yeah, and Thatcher was the daughter of a grocery store owner.... beware of the wolves in sheeps clothing.

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FAIL

Re: Meh

Because Theresa May is a well known champion of civil liberties and internet freedoms

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Re: Meh

In Germany, you could put in an NFC reader and read the customer's Perso (Perosnalausweis or national identity card). The governments are trying to push the use of the modern NFC enabled ID cards in Europe, so I can see them saying this is a good idea...

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Re: Meh

Whatever she is, she isn't a "toff". I didn't say anything else about her credentials, but the recent fad of calling anyone who doesn't stand behind Comrade Korbyn a "toff" or some kind of establishment shill of Israel is really, really grating.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

To many people, she's a 'toff' because she went to a Grammar School.

Oh wait... Didn't Jeremy Corbyn do the same?

Never mind, she's still a Toff and good old JC a man of the people.

ergo, all Tories are Toffs.

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Re: Meh

A small business is not capable of managing identity verification for transient customers affordably. The usual solution is to just contract the role to a company that specialises in running public hotpots and can do just that.

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Re: Meh

IPv6 will take care of identity of the user's machine on unsecured wifi hotspots.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6_address#Modified_EUI-64

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FAIL

Re: Meh

IPv6 will take care of identity of the user's machine on unsecured wifi hotspots.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6_address#Modified_EUI-64

Great! An unspoofable method of...oh wait. #fail

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Unhappy

"because Theresa May is a well known champion of civil liberties "

Sarcasm is difficult to pull off on the Web.

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Re: Meh

specialises in running public hotpots

A Lancashire version of Plusnet, perhaps?

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Re: Meh

" all Tories are Toffs."

Anyone of the working classes who votes tory is a bloody idiot. If you don't own your own business, sit on the board of a company, hold a directorship or a landed title of some kind, then the tories are not going to help you in any way; quite the opposite.

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Re: "because Theresa May is a well known champion of civil liberties "

"Sarcasm is difficult to pull off on the Web."

So are double-entendres.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "because Theresa May is a well known champion of civil liberties "

So are double-entendres.

A woman walked into a cocktail bar and ordered a double entendre. The barman gave her one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

>To many people, she's a 'toff' because she went to a Grammar School.

Actually she went to Wheatley Park Comprehensive School - she claims a Grammar School education as it was one when she started - ironically she failed the 11+ so had to go to a private school to be trained up to pass the 13+ for a late transfer (socially mobility and all that).

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Re: Meh

Oddly enough it's the eurosceptic countries like the UK and Denmark that have implemented the largest number of EU directives in national law

That's why they're Eurosceptic.

In the EU, the Germans like plenty of rules, the more unreasonable the better. The Club Med countries don't care whether you have a lot of rules or not, because they ignore them.

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Re: Meh

"That Brexit is looking better every day..."

Rubbish. Finding a WiFi hotspot in the UK that isn't password protected is hard enough as it is and it's NOTHING to do with the EU or any ECJ court rulings. It's greedy bastards who can't see that offering a free service that costs them next to nothing to offer might actually attract paying customers in to spend money. No siree, they see it as a "cost" and so have to "monetise" it so get BT or someone to provide the service and require details before letting you use it then MITM everything you do on it.

This whole fantasy of "free" WiFi, your device hopping from one provider to the next as you walk down the street is pure marketing myth. I rarely use WiFi out and about because it pisses me off have to keep signing in everywhere I go.

No, I never enter real details, no I never remember what details I used where and no, it's getting harder and harder to register as micky.mouse@disney.com because thats usually already a registered user.

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Re: Meh

specialises in running public hotpots

Did someone say pubic hotspots?

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Re: Meh

There is a point in success, when you start associating with those same circles.

http://mixmag.net/read/the-prodigys-keith-flint-fox-hunting-news

So yeah, she is a toff, anybody who supports the Cons™ is either a toff, or a wannabe toff "Hyacinth Bucket" type

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ECHR will overrule this

I think you will find this ruling is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the EU is signed up, though seem to for some bizzare reason not ratified yet after a number of years.

And all you Brexit idiots seem blithly in total ignorance that this the ECHR comes from the Council of Europe which

- The UK was a founder member of

- We are not leaving

- The ECHR and it's Human Rights impact on UK Law will not change 1 IOTA with the UK's Brexit from the EU, should that ever happen.

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Erm

So no password is bad, having a password printed on a sign that has to be typed in is good?

And that will stop people being naughty?

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Re: Erm

Don't be silly, that means next time the likes of Sony get their pound of flesh from the shop owner for failing to provide due care if he doesn't cough up the names of the folk who used his wifi.

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Re: Erm

I think the ruling would expect that the password is not available until you have handed over some form of identity document to allow you access. However if 500 people know the password how would you then know who the infringer was?

A further ruling would have to state that every user would need to be uniquely identified and logged on your system for a period of time (12 months?) making it as onerous on you as it is for an ISP in the snooper's charter proposals.

This ruling is entirely flawed and shows, unsurprisingly, a complete lack of knowledge of the technology and does, effectively kill off hotspots for pretty much everyone unless an e-mail address is accepted as proof of identity and a voucher code system is used on the wifi hotspot.

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Re: Erm

The ruling is partially positive for Germany, where this case started, and where businesses are liable for whatever is downloaded or uploaded from their WiFi - which effectively makes running an open WiFi a very risky business.

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Re: Erm

> So no password is bad, having a password printed on a sign that has to be typed in is good?

> And that will stop people being naughty?

You misunderstand the ruling. He can't just post the password on a sign - he has to somehow validate the identity of each user before giving them the password.

They then give the password to someone else (perhaps by accidentally leaving it on a slip of paper on the table when they leave) making a complete mockery of the ruling. Add to this the the fact that the password will be "fu50ny" and it all starts to be a bit silly.

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Re: Erm @ 2+2=5

A bit silly it may be, but under this ruling the business will still be responsible for the behaviour of its users if it cannot identify who was the culprit of some specific naughtiness being investigated

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Re: Erm @ 2+2=5

The ruling is self-contradicting. In one place it says that monitoring information has to be excluded as an option since that breaks some other EU law. The it says that it should require a password...so make a password, and have people show you their ID to give them the password. This, according to the judgement, "may dissuade the users of that connection from infringing copyright or related rights". But you still won't be able to pinpoint who did what and according to the ruling you are then not liable.

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Re: Erm

effectively kill off hotspots for pretty much everyone unless an e-mail address is accepted as proof of identity and a voucher code system is used on the wifi hotspot

Either a voucher, or a deposit paid by credit/debit card which could then be refunded. Certainly it would mean securing wifi with individual user accounts of some kind. How many consumer routers (which I imagine are what most coffee shops and the like have) are set up with that kind of system?

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LDS
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Re: Erm

Have you ever heard of captive portals and other tools to create user/password on the fly and have them removed automatically after a while? Heck, even my AP has one embedded...

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Re: Erm

Having a WPA2 password / passphrase makes it secure at least and cannot be eavesdropped by others in the vicinity. It doesn't matter if the password is printed for all to see, once the traffic is encrypted, it make it a lot more secure.

Having to use a logon-page on top of that, so that you can access the Internet through the router is another matter.

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Re: Erm - 2+2=5

Not exactly, there are two stages or passwords that can be used.

Using a known password for the hotspot to enable encryption is a good thing. This password can even be displayed on the counter, so that customers can gain access to the internal network.

The second stage, which is more controversial, and is probably what the courts want, is to have a proxy or gateway that requires users to be registered, before they get from the internal network out onto the Internet. These systems are available and cost money. In Germany the likes of Deutsche Telekom and the other large telcos generally run them and customers of the Telco can often use the hotspots "for free", because it is included in their monthly mobile or landline contracts.

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Re: Erm

>the shop owner for failing to provide due care if he doesn't cough up the names of the folk who used his wifi.

Just record all the MAC addresses of devices that access the hotspot and hand the list to whoever demands it. You've done your bit, let Sony et al sort out who to heavy from that lot. (But, of course, its possible to set any MAC address into an interface.....so expect those who don't want to be identified to not be identified.)

There should be a law prohibiting anyone who's not technically qualified from making laws about the behavior of technology because they always screw it up. They're a bit like marketing people but with even less understanding of what they're talking about.

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Re: Erm

Indeed, and if they have WP (ok, not many people included here), and they have the option turned on, then all their social network friends get the password automatically.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Erm

WOT?! You mean there's no central MAC address database so we can find out who the pirates are! Oi! Something needs to be done! You! Legislator! Think of the chitlins!

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Anonymous Coward

The EU

Employs a lot of legal folk, someone has to create the work you know.

--

By the requirement for "identities" does that mean that I can't now have a general staff/guest WiFi with the password available to all, that I need to see proof of ID before allowing users to connect?

"Can I use your WiFi?",

"Let me see your papers!"

(no prizes for the accent I slipped into on the second bit)

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Re: The EU

Pretty sure it won't be German; having worked there for a couple of years I know just how paranoid they are about such things. With their history (GESTAPO, STASI) I don't blame them.

My pick would be the voice of Mr MacKay in Porridge for those words.

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Re: The EU

"Let me see your papers!"

"These are not your papers! Guards! Guards!"

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Joke

Re: The EU

"These aren't the papers you're looking f...damn, no no, I mean they ARE the papers you're looking for!"

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Re: The EU

Mr MacKay? Too good to resist!

WiFi guard : "Don't let me catch you abusing that WiFi password I've just given you"

Guest : "I won't "

WiFi guard : "Won't what?"

Guest : "Let you catch me"

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Re: The EU

Essentially yes, although you will need a two stage system. You can keep the SSID WPA2 password as is and freely available, but you will need to put in some additional gateway / proxy system that then asks for additional identification or a special "ticket" number to allow them to gain access to the Internet.

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gv

Users required to reveal identities

Does that mean that you'd have to show your passport to some teen barista before you can use the wifi in the coffee shop?

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Re: Users required to reveal identities

That's so they can write your name on the cup. Wifi access will require much more.

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Alert

Re: Users required to reveal identities

Scanning passports/driving licences, linking MAC address to scanned ID, recording log-on/log-off times, as it's an ISP that would mean making this data available to be searched under the latest Snooper's Charter...

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