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Germany moves to liberalize public Wi-Fi regulations

German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, smiles prior to the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — The German government is trying to encourage more open Wi-Fi hotspots across Germany by relaxing rules on businesses providing the wireless connection.

Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said her proposed law changes, adopted Wednesday by the Cabinet, mean business owners would no longer be held liable if users of their Wi-Fi connection downloaded illegal content.

The changes, which still need parliamentary approval, also say businesses no longer have to verify the identity of their users, nor protect their connection with a password.

Zypries says “we hope this will remove the hurdles that have thus far hindered a proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots in Germany.”

To protect copyright owners, Zypries says the new measures will allow them to request the blockage of certain sites through which users have accessed illegally distributed content.

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