Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement

If you sometimes find yourself needing an open wireless network in order to check your email from a car, a street corner, or a park, you may have noticed that they’re getting harder to find.

Stories like the one over the weekend about a bunch of police breaking down an innocent man’s door because he happened to leave his network open, as well as general fears about slow networks and online privacy, are convincing many people to password-lock their WiFi routers.

The gradual disappearance of open wireless networks is a tragedy of the commons, with a confusing twist of privacy and security debate. This essay explains why the progressive locking of wireless networks is harmful — for convenience, for privacy and for efficient use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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.1 Individuals, including Bruce Schneier and Cory Doctorow, have laid some of the groundwork. It’s time to spead the message far and wide.

But an Open Wireless Movement will also need to do technical work: we need to build new technologies to ensure that people have an easy way to share a portion of their bandwidth without affecting the performance of their own network connections while at the same time ensuring that there is absolutely no privacy downside to running an open wireless network.

The wireless world we ought to live in Continue reading…

Related Posts

Publishers Force Domain Seizure of Public Domain Music Resource IMSLP, the largest public domain music library on the Internet, has just suffered a damaging attack on the site’s infrastructure. In a wrongful action...
The Internet Society on the Wikileaks issue Recently, we have witnessed the effective disappearance from the Internet of a website made infamous through international press coverage and politica...
Mozilla Leads the Way on Do Not Track Earlier today, Mozilla announced plans to incorporate a Do Not Track feature into their next browser release, Firefox 4.1. Google also announced a new...
Some File-Sharers Leave Trails To Their Front Door Following the publication of a paper which investigates how using the same username across multiple web sites may expose Internet users to scammers, T...
Why I will not buy Google’s Cr-48 Chrome Notebook The Cr-48 is Google's cloud-based notebook computer. It was announced just this week, and is being made available to a select few. In computer-speak, ...
The FBI and Service Provider Wiretapping, or What’s In Your Wallet? The FBI’s apparent desire to require all communications service providers to design a means for law enforcement to access encrypted communications i...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

ContainerizeThis 2016 is a free, 2-day conference for all things containers and big data. Featured, will be presentations and free, hands-on workshops. Learn more at ContainerizeThis.com

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*