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Wireless Networking Electronic Frontier Foundation Networking Privacy The Internet Your Rights Online

EFF Advocates Leaving Wireless Routers Open 686

SD-Arcadia writes "We will need a political and technological 'Open Wireless Movement' to reverse the degradation of this indispensable component of the Internet's infrastructure. Part of the task will simply be reminding people that opening their WiFi is the socially responsible thing to do, and explaining that individuals who choose to do so can enjoy the same legal protections against liability as any other Internet access provider."
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EFF Advocates Leaving Wireless Routers Open

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:06AM (#35963104)

    ... it might get rather expensive to share one's WiFi. Yes, it would be nice to have uncapped service, and some of us might have such. But that's not the case here in Quebec.

  • Re:Oh hell no. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:17AM (#35963220) Homepage Journal

    Maybe if Communism actually worked I'd consider doing something like this.

    It is my personal observation that Communism works well in a small group, like a tribe. More than a few hundred people and you need a tyrant.

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:20AM (#35963268)

    Yeah, it'll become fucking illegal to have open wireless access points anywhere.

    After all, if you have yours open, you are "obviously" intending to aid child pornographers. Or terrorists. Or democrats. Or something.

  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:28AM (#35963394) Homepage

    The summary fails to point out that the EFF is _not_ talking about leaving access points unencrypted. They're actually talking about new standards, which I think is probably a doomed plan; what they should be talking about is a way to use WPA2 enterprise to provide a common authentication domain. This way you could get people to agree to reasonable terms of use (e.g., I will not pirate software on your network) and also have an audit trail in case someone did do something in violation of these ToS. You'd have a central web site where people register, and then set your access point up to authenticate against the WPA2 server run by that registrar.

  • Re:No Thanks, EFF (Score:4, Interesting)

    by walshy007 ( 906710 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:37AM (#35963572)

    And let's face it: the EFF has constantly sided with pirates on issue after issue. I suspect this is the EFF's way of helping pirates by frustrating any enforcement of copyright.

    Your view of the EFF is rather twisted, they espouse freedom to do as you wish electronically without copyright infringement or the like, why should everyone else suffer because the pirates find these freedoms useful at times?

    I can in all honesty say I have never pirated a single piece of software (helps I mainly use OSS of course) and yet I strongly agree with most of what the EFF say with many topics.

    I have at times kept a separate access point dedicated for the purpose open for people to gain access to the internet (limited by QoS so it stays sane) passers by are free to use it as they wish. If others did the same then when I am visiting their area I could use their wifi as well. How is this a bad thing. Wifi is far more convenient than mobile internet access when available. So long as you keep security controls in place in case malicious people try to connect I see no harm in providing a useful service to your fellow man which costs you nothing.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:50AM (#35963838)

    Reminds me of a war movie I saw once where a guy makes a really stirring speech about sacrifice, god, country, etc. When the time comes for the big battle charge, the men all tell him that he's been chosen to lead it. As he charges across the field, he's immediately killed. The men behind him take cover instead of following. One of them looks at another one and says "Damn, he was brave!" and the other replies "Yeah, and dead too."

  • by Local ID10T ( 790134 ) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:50AM (#35963846) Homepage

    I tried leaving my wifi open for awhile, but other people using it would slow my connection down...

    Many modern routers support a "guest connection" with a separate SSID and allow limiting the bandwidth available to the guest(s). You can offer an open wifi connection without compromising your bandwidth beyond what you are comfortable with.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2011 @11:51AM (#35963852)

    The problem is how those stories will be reported. Instead of "Innocent man has door broken down for leaving wifi open," it will be "Child pornographer shot dead, one police officer injured." The laws favor law enforcement when executing a no-knock warrant, and the media presumes guilt. Imagine how hard it will be to hear them yell "Police" when they have just set off a 180db flashbang in your house, or how hard it will be to see their badges when they have a tactical light in your eyes.

    And for the record, I have a gun next to my bed at night.

  • bad press (Score:5, Interesting)

    by poptones ( 653660 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @12:11PM (#35964244) Journal

    They don't go after people who "download" it. Just the other day there was a story on here about someone arrested for "downloading" KP. It also mentioned in the same article the story of another who was arrested for "downloading" Millions of images from a boat using a cantenna several blocks away from the WAP.

    But if you actually read the SOURCE articles for that, the truth comes out: the one who "downloaded Millions" did NOT "download" but UPLOAD. And it wasn't Millions that were UPLOADED (for, obviously, that would take many many hours and this was alleged to have happened in one very late night) but MILLIONS of images that were found on the guy's PC when he was raided.

    This seems to be a deliberate confusion of the truth. "Upload" is consistently confused with "download" in articles like this so the reader is led to believe if you even download something from the internet big brother doesn't like then the MIB will come knock down your door and drag you to hades. Of course this is in the interests of the MEDIA OWNERS who publish this nonsense, because the more fear of the internet they can generate the more likely people are to be good little sheep who only use their connections as an extension of their TV sets, thus ensuring even more monthly income for the big media giants who own shit like hulu and who profit from others like netflix.

    The witch hunt won't end until the last big media conglomerate lies dead in its grave. This is why I don't have cable, I don't go to movies, I don't subscribe to magazines, and I don't "rent." Ayup, I watch what the fuck I want to watch, and listen to what the fuck I wanna listen to. Sorry Alice, I know you own your work but I've bought enough copies of Billion Dollar Babies in my life from people who show absolutely no respect for the rights of the people of the society from which they profit.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger