The finnish legislation standard used to be (until 2000's where they passed some questionable laws) to lay down technologically neutral laws, where the technology used played no important role but the actual action by the person did no matter what the tool used. This proposed legislation is just an exception to be amended to the current law, which regulates the use of other people's property, which you currently are not allowed to use without a prior permission. Currently some of the facilities offer free WiFi without informing you of such and this behaviour would be illegal by the law even when it's not easy to detect or to prosecute. So they are for the sake of clarity, going to make an exception because it is often hard to find out whether you're allowed to use the open network or not.
The human translation for newstext:
Joining a wireless accesspoint to be legalized
The ministry of justice is forming a law to allow use of unprotected WiFi access points. By the current law the unauthorized use of open networks has been illegal.
The exception is rationalized by for example, the lack of harm done, impossibility of oversight and the relative easiness of protecting the network. For the end user it is also often difficult to find out when the network is meant for public use and when it is not.
The statements received by the ministry of justice (which includes EFFI, Electronic Frontier Finland, by transl.) remind that the avilability of free WiFi access has increased in public space such as parks and air fields and they don't always inform the end user of the free availability.
According to the ministry of justice, there has been only one sentence for the use of unsecured WiFi by the district court. Higher court upheld the decision and it never went to the supreme court.
Most of the statements were for the legalization. However, many of them held it in high value that the owner of the access point should be held innocent in case of the illegal use of the access point.
Experts' opinion is that a lot of the WiFi access points are unsecured and the unauthorized use of them is common. Securing of the access point is usually easy when following the manuals of the access point.
The unauthorized use of the access point might slow the network down but it is hard to note unless there's a lot of file transfers compared to the bandwidth available.