As ZDNET reported, the UK government will not make an exception with its proposed Digital Economy Bill for public institutions offering “Open WiFi”. The Digital Economy Bill intends to crackdown on illegal downloads of copyright protected data. The bill suggests that ISPs could shut down a subscriber’s internet connection if the subscriber has repeatedly committed copyright infringement via his internet connection.

These penalties not only apply to individual subscribers, but also to institutions and businesses who leave their WiFi open to guests or members. This means, if a bar-owner leaves his WiFi open, and a customer accesses the internet and downloads content illegally, the bar owner will be held responsible. The ISP could even temporarily suspend the subscription. The same is true for libraries, universities and all kinds of shops. So, de facto, this would mean an end to open and unprotected WiFi in the UK.

That is bad news for anybody who wants to offer WiFi to their guests!

But, the good news is that FON can help!

FON service is unaffected by this bill as we comply with all the requirements of the UK government. FON does not offer open and anonymous WiFi access to the internet, but controls the access. Users who log on to FON need to be registered with FON. We know their identity confirmed by payment details such as credit card or phone number. We comply with all requirements of the UK Telco Regulation and collaborate with authorities if requested to identify copyright infringement cases. Just like other hotspot operators.

So, all a bar, café, shop or institution needs to do is use our Fonera WiFi router instead of an WiFi router with “open WiFi”. With a Fonera router, anyone can offer WiFi safely to their customers and not have to worry about copyright or other infringements. FON manages the access to the network.

The Fonera+ is available for purchase in the UK for just £29.95 at our FON Shop.

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MaximTr on March 4, 2010  · 

It seems many governments have long wanted to tame the Internet and a provider

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peter on March 4, 2010  · 

What will you do if the government ask for our identity? What is exactly considered ilegal??

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Brad on March 8, 2010  · 

No comprende … your FON shop only sells one product … and it’s $99.00 USD

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Luis FON on March 8, 2010  · 

@Brad In our US shop we currently sell just that one router: the Fonera 2.0n. In the UK the Fonera+ is available for purchase (for just £29.95) as Martin mentioned on his post.

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steven on March 8, 2010  · 

@AustinTX that’s correct in the UK FON has not enabled “FON Ads” so people can not use the wifi for 10 minutes with a fake account. They have pay with their VISA before getting access… Be it as an “alien” 3 euro’s or be it as a linus/bill by buying a fonera+ for 40+ euro’s (GBP37.95)

In Germany/Italy they even have to buy at least 30 minutes of access by SMS …. to create a validated alien profile so they can use the 10 minutes a week of free fon access using FON Ads…

In other countries it’s not so difficult to obtain free unauthorized wifi.
McDonalds just asks you to push “I Agree”-button after reading you’ll be good…

as far as I can tell DNS tunnelling is still possible on any hotspot to get free unauthenticated wifi but it’s slow …
But in the UK FONspot keepers are secured due to the vpn tunnel…. this feature has not been implemented on fonera 2.0n or other country fonspots… not even in France where the Hadopi “3 strikes” law now exists…

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Jean on March 9, 2010  · 

What you’re proposing only “protects” the owners of the hotspots, but not the users.
Here in France where we have the 3-strikes law, more and more people turn to solutions like connecting via a VPN in a country that hasn’t yet passed these kind of laws.
For instance I use to connect to Luxembourg or the US (which lets me use Hulu and Pandora too 😉

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steven on March 9, 2010  · 

and you think is not logging on their server usage?
you are making it even more easy for them…they just have to knock on connectionvpn’s doors instead of each fonspot user’s isp

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Jean on March 10, 2010  · 

@steven well, their terms of service say they don’t keep those logs, contrarily to what Martin just stated about Fon.

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steven on March 10, 2010  · 

? they keep as much logs as FON does…or haven’t you seen your FON travel log ???

The following was taken from ConnectionVPN’s Terms of Service:
Connection Data Privacy
We DO NOT monitor, record or store logs for any connection activity, except for the following :
– Time, date and duration of your VPN connection
– Bandwidth used during the connection

correlating attacks on google servers and your vpn connection time/date/duration …. we have a winner…. busted! 🙂

3.0 rating

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