The New York county of Westchester has passed a new law in an attempt to
curb the current growth in identity theft. Businesses which may store
personal information in an unencrypted manor are now required to install
a firewall or change the default SSID of wireless access
points--penalties for non-compliance range from an initial warning to a
While it is accepted that simple measures like these will not stop
identity theft, this is seen as a move in the right direction.
According to the county's chief information office, Norman Jacknis,
while the law was being considered officials picked up over 100
unsecured access points during a 20 minute drive.
Public hotspots such as cafes will be required to post a warning sign
stating "For your own protection and privacy, you are advised to install
a firewall or other computer security measure when accessing the Internet."
This new legislation has drawn attention from other areas of the US as
well as the UK and Europe.