Take legal action against unsecured Wi-Fi networks:FICCI

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Mumbai, Oct 7 (UNI) Expressing serious concern over unsecured open Wi-Fi networks for sending terror mails ahead of the bomb blasts in parts of the country, the bussiness body, FICCI, has asked the Maharashtra government to come out with a law which can penalise people or companies that have unsecured wireless networks.

''Usage of an unsecured open Wi-Fi network for sending the terror mails about impending bomb blasts, has been the common modus operandi in all the three cases of serious misuse of such network by terrorists detected at American national Ken Haywood's house at Navi Mumbai, Khalsa College and a small company at Chembur in North east Mumbai,'' a FICCI release said here.

Expert surveys indicate that in Mumbai city alone, there are over 15,000 unsecured networks. It could be many times more if the rest of the State were also taken into account. Terrorists have so far sent terror emails to some media companies. Terrorists may also start misusing open wireless networks to send out e-mail to the population at large, the release said.

''All citizens staying close to the unsecured Wi-Fi network which has been misused are liable to not only to police questioning but also being subjected to lie detector test or brain mapping, as anyone in a radius of 500 feet is a likely suspect,'' it said.

The apex association feels that unless there is a strong deterrence in place, people would not secure their Wi-Fi networks.

It has suggested to the government to adopt a three-pronged approach: One is to give citizens at least a month's notice to secure their Wi-Fi networks. Then use the Police and Municipal authorities to clamp down on people who do not follow the law.

Another is to engage with the Wi-Fi router manufacturers and insist they make routers which are secure by default. Government may also ask the Internet Service Providers to make sure that they do not supply internet to people who have unsecured Wi-Fi connections.

It may be noted here that a large number of countries all over the world have made it mandatory for the Internet service provider to secure Wi-Fi connections before providing internet access.

Finally, FICCI has suggested to Government to coordinate with a large number of business associations/NGO's who could conduct programs for different sections of society to train them into securing their Wi-Fi connections following the model that FICCI jointly with the Maharashtra Police and the Sheriff of Mumbai have followed for training school and college students, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Security Officers of companies, and many others, on how to secure wireless networks, the release added.

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