I actually feel that you shouldn't be held responsible if someone doesn't protect it. It's not exactly breaking in, most laptops will connect to any wifi spot with no protection anyway.
May not have been all his fault. There are about 3 different hotspots where I live and I could connect, no pass, no security and load google. It's just an insane stunt by UK police again, to catch more innocent people (well to a degree) instead of catching real hackers.
I was recently away from home and booted up a laptop and loaded Outlook and wandered away from the machine. Came back to see it had connected and downloaded emails using an open network. Guess you could argue that the law had been broken though since it was the computers choice to connect is it the one that can be found guilty!?
sometimes bring a bit of legal confusion with them, and this is a case in point.
The argument that because the owner of something doesn't lock it up it's OK to steal it is flawed, and certainly wouldn't exonerate you from blame. Unsecured wireless networks will rapidly become a thing of the past in any case - just as an Internet-connected computer without some form of anti-virus protection has become a thing of the past.
Everyone will catch up,and no doubt there will be plenty of people who find ways to break in, no matter how sturdy the locks - that's life.
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