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The Broom of Flying does not require attunement, and can be controlled via command words:

This wooden broom, which weighs 3 pounds, functions like a mundane broom until you stand astride it and speak its command word. It then hovers beneath you and can be ridden in the air. It has a flying speed of 50 feet. It can carry up to 400 pounds, but its flying speed becomes 30 feet while carrying over 200 pounds. The broom stops hovering when you land.

You can send the broom to travel alone to a destination within 1 mile of you if you speak the command word, name the location, and are familiar with that place. The broom comes back to you when you speak another command word, provided that the broom is still within 1 mile of you.

The bolded passage lays out a use case for the broom's command words that do not require attunement nor physical contact with the broom.

So: can anyone (including an enemy) who knows the command words for the broom summon it to them or send it to another location (as long as it's not being ridden)?

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The intent is probably that only whoever activated it can use it.

functions like a mundane broom until you stand astride it and speak its command word.

Activation requires physical contact. From my reading, this intent is given by the use of you, in every sentence. Usually it would be unclear who exactly is "you", but the earlier sentence defines it (as the person who stood astride and spoke the command word).

You can send the broom to travel alone to a destination within 1 mile of you if you speak the command word, name the location, and are familiar with that place. The broom comes back to you when you speak another command word, provided that the broom is still within 1 mile of you.

The wording, if it was intended that any creature could use it, would probably be "A creature that says the command word", for example.

As an additional conjecture, it would be silly that anyone hearing the command word could mess up the item easily like that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You make a good point about the repeated use of "you". This point applies to most of the items I was concerned about, but there are 3 I've found that it doesn't. I wonder what the best way to follow up is - perhaps I should edit this question to ask about the Broom specifically, and then ask the more general question with the other examples? And would 3 examples qualify as too broad? \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil Jun 12 '18 at 9:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vigil tbh I'm going to sleep now, so I'd be unhappy if you changed the question since I can't edit the answer :P - Other than that, I would make this question specific about the broom (I understood it as being a sufficient example, it seems I was wrong) and cover the items where my answer doesn't apply in another question, as a follow-up. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 12 '18 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I wasn't intending to edit the question in a way that would invalidate your answer, which is a helpful one :) \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil Jun 12 '18 at 9:29
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The wording you've pasted says that anyone who is straddling the broom and says the command word can use it; since the definition of "you" in this case is whomever is wanting to use the broom.

Regarding the use (repeated or otherwise) of the word "you", if you look at the wording for any of the other items, you'll find exactly the same, for example the Amulet of health has the wording

Your Constitution score is 19 while you wear this Amulet. It has no effect on you if your Constitution score is already 19 or higher.

Or backpack

A backpack can hold one cubic foot or 30 pounds of gear. You can also strap items, such as a Bedroll or a coil of rope, to the outside of a backpack.

Does this mean only you can wear the amulet, or ONLY you can strap an item onto the backpack; I think not.

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