Germany to scrap rules on wi-fi network operator liability

BERLIN – Germany’s governing coalition has agreed to scrap rules which hold the operators of private wi-fi networks liable for illegal downloads and other violations of the law by users, paving the way for more hotspots in bars, restaurants and hotels.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter Wednesday that “the road to more free wi-fi is finally clear.” He added that the decision to scrap the rules is “an overdue and important step.”

The change will make it easier for wi-fi operators to allow web access without encryption or other technical barriers. The plan is for it to take effect later this year.