reply to FifthE1ement
Re: Of course it isn't.
said by FifthE1ement:Well, that's criminal law, not civil law, so there's an entirely different burden of proof that needs to be met. A better analogy would be made from the perspective of a civil case. Imagine that you leave your keys in the car and the neighbor's kid takes it for a joyride. During this joyride he seriously injures himself and/or a third party. In such an instance you can expect a lawsuit, that you will likely lose, after which you'll be on the hook for five to seven digits worth of damages. You may even be held criminally responsible (reckless endangerment comes to mind), though as already noted that's an entirely different animal.
Great analogy, however should you then be responsible if said thieves steal your car keys and use your car to rob a bank? Then the cops come to your house and take you to jail or try to get you to pay for what they stole?! No one would believe that yet that is what they are trying to do on a digital scale.
Now, obviously an open wi-fi network does not have the potential to cause physical harm and death. However, that doesn't mean that it can't inflict financial damages on a third party. The case law has yet to catch up to this reality and it will certainly be interesting to see how it evolves in the coming years. It's worth noting that at least one country (Germany) mandates that you secure your wi-fi network. I highly doubt that will happen in the United States, but we may well reach the point where an open wi-fi network is considered an attractive nuisance.