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EFF Advocates Leaving Wireless Routers Open

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the sounds-good-to-me dept.

Wireless Networking 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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686 comments

Same legal protections? (4, Insightful)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963092)

Yeah, I'll really enjoy making that assertion before a judge, *after* my door has been kicked in and my gear confiscated!

Re:Same legal protections? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963138)

And you wonder why your rights get chipped away at, piece by piece.

Re:Same legal protections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963234)

If I knew the EFF had my back first, I might be more inclined to open mine. Currently, I lack the firepower to defend an open wifi connection from the no-knock raid that would inevitably ensue from such generosity.

Re:Same legal protections? (3, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963468)

There are millions of open wifi connections, there's been 1 (ok maybe there's been a couple of others) no-knock raids. That hardly seems to make one inevitable.

Re:Same legal protections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963366)

Will you pay my lawyer, when the time comes?

Re:Same legal protections? (4, Insightful)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963370)

Mod parent A/C up. This whole discussion is chock-full of people whining about how standing up for rights *might* cost them something. Of course it might cost you something--we're talking about freedom here! Come on, people, have the self-respect to sacrifice one-tenth of what your ancestors sacrificed so that you could have freedom.

Re:Same legal protections? (0)

MichaelKristopeit412 (2018834) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963474)

paying for your own internet connection, and not opening up your traffic to sniffing and man in the middle attacks to anyone in the vicinity, especially if you're doing online banking, costs much less than one-tenth of what my ancestors "sacrificed".

you're an idiot.

Re:Same legal protections? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963238)

Yes. Technically, you have the same legal protections. As a practical matter, you do not. If someone download kiddie porn from an open router at a coffee shop the FBI will assume the coffee shop was innocent and it was one of the customers. If the same thing happens at your home, then you are guilty until proven innocent.

Re:Same legal protections? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963380)

Yes. Technically, you have the same legal protections. As a practical matter, you do not. If someone download kiddie porn from an open router at a coffee shop the FBI will assume the coffee shop was innocent and it was one of the customers. If the same thing happens at your home, then you are guilty until proven innocent.

Yeah. Kiddie porn is bad, but why do they go after individuals who download it rather than the sites that provide it? I thought the FBI was supposed to go after the big fish.

Re:Same legal protections? (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963448)

The sites that provide it are probably all overseas, in countries with lax enforcement or little cooperation with the US. That makes it hard for the FBI to enforce anything.

Re:Same legal protections? (0)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963454)

then you are guilty until proven innocent.

And even still, from then on when someone searches for your name the first page of results will contain the phrase "child pornography scandal" and your fate is sealed.

Re:Same legal protections? (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963492)

if everybody left their wifi open then they wouldn't make that assumption.

Re:Same legal protections? (5, Informative)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963386)

Even without the potential legal liability of having attacks, threatening e-mails, or child pornography traced to my router if I left it wide open to anyone who wanted to use it, why should I allow others to sap my bandwidth or help take my ISP into data caps?

I pay for my internet service and my neighbors can do the same for theirs.

I speak from experience. I allowed my next door neighbor to piggyback for "just e-mail and some web surfing". They seemed to be low on money so I helped them out.

Then their house sprouts an HD satellite antenna and I notice my own Netflix streaming stuttering. It turns out they had gotten a DVR/DirecTV setup and were doing their own streaming. I blocked DirecTV and next thing I get is them asking me to help them fix their connection because their X-Box wouldn't connect and they wanted me to enable specific ports. Their X-Box would connect and it turned out the ports were what the DirecTV service rep had told them to make sure were open.

They decided they wanted more bandwidth and were lying to me to get it. It pissed me off. I then configured QOS to limit their data rate to just what the X-Box needed to play online. They finally decided to pay for their own connection.

It's just a pain in the butt and a liability to open up a wireless connection to anyone who wants on. I realize my story isn't exactly what this thread is about but it isn't far away. Leave your router open and people will just start soaking up bandwidth. With all of the streaming services out there, data rate increases are inevitable. It's easier to just not ever get on that merry go round and lock down your router.

Besides, liability is far lower. Anonymous users have no accountability.

Re:Same legal protections? (1, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963394)

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:Same legal protections? (1)

MichaelKristopeit411 (2018832) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963414)

sure the ISPs have protections against the liability, but no one directed them to open their networks to anyone, free of charge.

who will protect the EFF from themselves?

Given bandwidth caps... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Given bandwidth caps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963214)

For ADSL, there is ISP in province of Quebec and in ROC that are without caps. RadioActif, AEI are among them. Just do a search and you will find.

Re:Given bandwidth caps... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963374)

... 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.

Here's a thought: leave your shitty little country and come live in North America.

Re:Given bandwidth caps... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963434)

Get a router that can broadcast two SSIDs, one encrypted and password protected for yourself, and an open one with capped speed and traffic limits.

There are some which support this out of the box (Fonera, for example), but you can get much more if you install a custom firmware like DD-WRT.

Free from liability? Oh yeah? (0)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963118)

Not in every country. Also even if you are it doesn't stop other people using up all your bandwidth and depending on yout ISP contract it may cost you a fortune. Oh , and they may throttle your connection while they're at it.

Yeah , genius idea. Not.

Someone tell the hippies to keep away from things that concern grown ups.

Re:Free from liability? Oh yeah? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963198)

In what stupid country do you live?

I pay 30E for 20/20 optical line with no throttling, monitoring, bandwidth cap or any kind of this lame shit.

And my town isn't a big fancy one, just 10,000 inhabitants.

My wireless is open, I just setup a QoS so a single user can't use all the bandwidth.

Re:Free from liability? Oh yeah? (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963344)

that is interesting so what country are you in then? and what gear are you using?

Here in Germany you usually enjoy flat rate i.e. no caps and no additional usage fees. I get the gear from ISP and here starts the trouble - some (vodafone et al) give you gear that is locked so that you can change some settings but not all and at the same time parameters of the connection may change and they do so you would need to watch or reverse engineer their protocol to have that covered. Of course I have my old gear but that is old and not as sophisticated - hence my second question.

This all said I am still wondering why you call country 'stupid'. I am sure if looked at it can be found how stupid your country really is in some other areas. Just a thought...

Re:Free from liability? Oh yeah? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963324)

Just because you leave it open doesn't mean that you can't reserve a specific amount of bandwidth for your own mac addresses, and limit the bandwidth on the open part.

Re:Free from liability? Oh yeah? (1)

kelarius (947816) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963484)

Just because you leave it open doesn't mean that you can't reserve a specific amount of bandwidth for your own mac addresses, and limit the bandwidth on the open part.

The vast majority of consumer routers out there are incapable of doing this with their stock firmware, never mind the technical abilities of their users and trying to guide someone through setting up MAC specific throttling or keeping up with adding new MACs into the list. This is one of the main reasons why MAC filtering is somewhat unpopular right now.

Or you could just pay for your own services (2)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963122)

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.

No, actually, I haven't, because I just use the bloody cellphone I carry all the time in modem mode. I need the service, so I pay for the service. I don't leech and expect somebody else to foot the bill (note that I don't consider using a coffee shop's wifi either, unless I have purchased something from them).

Re:Or you could just pay for your own services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963408)

It's okay, it's okay, just calm down. It's just a bunch of short-sighted utopian hippies talking. No need to get worked up, they'll all get distracted the next time someone wants to defend their copyrights when one of the hippies wants to download it for free.

Or we could have communities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963412)

Or we could have communities, you know, groups of people supporting each other. You talk about how you won't leech off somebody else as if that's some kind of righteous thing. Chances are high it goes the other way too -- somebody in need, you just walk on by. Not your problem. People like you are dicks. You aren't trying to do the right thing, you're trying to make a statement -- you're too morally superior to use open Wi-Fi, which, by the way, I leave open precisely so people who need net access for a moment can use it for that purpose. It's fake morality.

Re:Or you could just pay for your own services (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963490)

What bill? I don't pay any more if I share my connection, and I assume that anyone who shares theirs doesn't either.

Re:Or you could just pay for your own services (3, Insightful)

surgen (1145449) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963494)

I do pay for my own services. And if my neighbor is too cheap to pay for theirs, I don't care. Let them have at it.

Whats all this talk of 'leeching'? Who really cares? I don't need to hoard the portion of my monthly bandwidth allotment that I never use. If I've got it, someone should be using it.

Safe harbor prov? Sorry, only if you're a big corp (5, Insightful)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963124)

Tell all of this to the guy who had his door kicked down and assault rifles put to his head after a wardriver used his open access point for distributing child porn.

Re:Safe harbor prov? Sorry, only if you're a big c (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963190)

A few more cases like that and we might get some laws changed...

Re:Safe harbor prov? Sorry, only if you're a big c (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963250)

Surely not in the favor of a free and open internet though--and honestly, back before Google filtered search results (or when their image sorting game first started), some of the results were... disturbing... to say the least. I would be all for increasing penalties on whoever films/photographs such things (death would not be too much I don't think). Should the individual home owner be protected from what other people do with their internet if they leave it open? Yes. We need to focus on the source of the problem, but given how widespread it surely is (or why would there apparently be taskforces breaking down doors), this may be difficult.

Re:Safe harbor prov? Sorry, only if you're a big c (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963404)

Depends on whether the people whose doors are getting kicked down exercise their second amendment rights.

If enough of those raids backfire, then maybe the cost will be seen as too high.

Re:Safe harbor prov? Sorry, only if you're a big c (3, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Oh hell no. (4, Insightful)

Yaddoshi (997885) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963136)

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

Re:Oh hell no. (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963220)

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.

Re:Oh hell no. (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963330)

The problem with communism is, the group needs to be able to kick out the malcontents.

Situations where "communism" works: Religious communes. But they have a nominal "leader" for the day-to-day management, and if they find someone is not pulling their weight, the group issues a shape-up-or-ship-out ultimatum. The truly infirm or sick aren't kicked out, just the lazy. And the entire group is bound by a certain moral and ethical code of behavior to keep the rest of disagreements from turning into fistfights or worse, along with getting them to altruistically give their labors to the benefit of the whole.

Why does it fail on a larger scale? Primarily because you can't kick out the lazy and greedy any more. I mean, where are you going to send them, Detroit [youtube.com]?

Re:Oh hell no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963396)

See Jim Jones for examples of socialism based religious communes.

Re:Oh hell no. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963498)

That is because Communism makes the fundamental mistake of assuming that people are good. Call me a cynical misanthropic bastard if you will, but any sufficiently large group of people will have an average alignment of "evil", with minority parties in "lawful evil" and "chaotic evil". Sure, individual people are fine - I'm friends with many of them - but once you get above a dozen people or so, forget it.

What is needed is a semi-capitalist system where the government has an economic incentive to do it's job properly (just as corporations have an economic incentive to do theirs). If you rig the system so that greed is working for the people, it just might work.

I've come to the realization that the government is, effectively, a business. A non-profit business, true, but still a business. They provide a service (group protection from invaders, enforcement of laws necessary for societal function, certain social services, and sometimes medical care) in exchange for tax money (or, historically, service). In an ideal free-market system, people would be immigrating to whatever country is providing those things best, at the lowest cost, and emigrating from those that provide those services poorly or expensively. Unfortunately, governments have the mother of all lock-in - just visiting another country is a fairly pricy proposition for some people, let alone moving.

Re:Oh hell no. (3, Informative)

Thruen (753567) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963284)

Communism in it's purest form would work, the problem is we always have to involve people, and as we've all seen only people who will abuse power and use it strictly to benefit themselves ever have the drive to take a position of power. This is also why democracies, republics, monarchies, dictatorships, and every other form of government fail to adequately govern people; even when they start off well, bad people will inevitably take control and turn it into something terrible. No form of government, or lack there of as in anarchy, is inherently evil. It's people that are evil.

Re:Oh hell no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963430)

Actually communism works pretty well. Communes have been used as business models in the US for hundreds of years. Land O Lakes is a great example.

Oh, I'm sorry, you meant the Hanity/Beck/Regan/Palin/Bush/Bachman/et al deffinition where Communism = Evil. My bad.

Idealism not in line with reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963150)

Leaving your router open is a Bad Idea. Yeah, off in magical happy fairy land where your theoretical legal protections actually matter it'd be great if everyone left their routers open. But reality shows that your protections aren't worth squat and you should lock up your router so you don't get punished for what people do on your network.

Re:Idealism not in line with reality (1)

tapanitarvainen (1155821) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963482)

Here in Finland there was a court case a while back where a man was convicted for using neighbour's unprotected WLAN without permission. Rather amazingly, that lead to a new law passed by Finnish parliament just a few months ago, which explicitly allows such use. (Disclaimer: I was rather heavily involved in the campaign for the law, as then-chairman of Electronic Frontier Finland.) Moreover, just about all landline network connections here are uncapped, and there are enough free WLANs around that using or offering them is not suspicious in itself. Nowhere near enough though, so a campaign like this could be very useful here as well.

EFF Advocates Giving Them A Pony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963152)

It's the socially responsible thing to do ... and they really want a pony!

who will pay for open wireless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963156)

most ISP give you a small bandwidth limit and charges for overages. who in their right mind would want to pay for other people to connect to the internet.
before this came happen we need some freedom on the internet, things like net neutrality and unlimited access.

Re:who will pay for open wireless? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963464)

Define "most", because where I live, all four service providers have unlimited data and no associated charges (Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, and Grande).

Perhaps Austin's market demand can justify all the major competitors not having data limits, and in the rest of the country "most" services throttle your usage?

Too many problems. (2)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963158)

Unfortunately here in the UK, the law is a might fuzzier on that one. But even so, there are other issues on open wifi, like the easy of arp spoofing, or rogue access points. Not to mention, what happens if I want to open a sensitive service on my own internal networkfor some reason.

Re:Too many problems. (1)

mouf (1849592) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963240)

Same thing here in France. Thanks to the new almighty 3-strikes and your out law. This law does not punish the people who download, but the owner of the connexion through which the download was performed... As a result, impossible to share my wifi anymore.... and that's a real shame because we loose the spirit of openness of the early internet days.... The winners? Internet providers of course! You cannot share your connexion with your neighbours anymore!

Re:Too many problems. (1)

cforciea (1926392) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963258)

You use a firewall to segregate your internal network from the access point, like you really should be doing if you want your internal network secure anyway. One of the biggest rules to securing any network is to control network access. How can you do that when you are spraying your data all over the block, where anybody can listen in for an arbitrary amount of time without you knowing and try to break your encryption? If you think your wireless network running on a $50 consumer-grade router is secure, you are probably wrong.

Re:Too many problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963426)

I wish I could mod you up, but my karma has been destroyed by the sock puppets who don't want the truth to get out.

Specifically, I suggest an IPCop box with red, green, and blue nic. It will keep people out of your internal lan, yet allow the WAN to go through.

Re:Too many problems. (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963350)

You can use an AP that separates the networks like an Airport Extreme. It can run 3 simultaneously - b/g at 2.4Ghz, a/n at 5GHz and a "guest network" which you can leave open or password protect. The guest network is isolated from your internal services so you don;t have to worry if you are running a sensitive one (beyond your usual precautions).

However, saying all that I don't have the guest network running - one because I live in a pretty densely populated urban area with a lot of APs in range and running an extra channel that I don't really need seems a little anti-social in an already crowded frequency range and because while my connection is uncapped and unthrottled for the most part (Virgin's 50Mb fibre plan), I don;t really want to deal with the potential hassle if someone does decide to use it for nefarious purposes.

If you want to use either of my networks, just ask me nicely for the password :p A pre-requisite is knowing me for more than 5 minutes.

Re:Too many problems. (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963438)

The EFF really should not go making global declarations when they only consider one or two country's laws.

Sure, they can say "should" and "ought" as much as they like. However, unless they can be sure that everybody (hint only 5% of the world is american) could do this legally, it sounds like a particularly irresponsible thing to urge people to do.

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963162)

So basically we are all supposed to leave our Wi-Fi networks open so strangers can check Google when they are lost.

Data charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963166)

When the cops won't bust down my door and my ISP doesn't gouge me for data usage I'd be glad to share.

I don't have the time energy and money to deal with criminal justice system, even if you're found not guilty it can be disastrous. The civil court system is even worse.

It's much better to simply be a sheep and play super nice to avoid any possible suspicion.

Who foots the bill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963168)

It's certainly kind to share, but what about when your connection gets bogged down and becomes unusable because it's being used by numerous non-paying (nameless, invisible) users?

Security implications (3, Insightful)

wiggys (621350) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963176)

This obviously has benefits to society but comes at the cost of making your home network less secure - most routers don't separate the internet side of things from the home network side of things, so it's similar to allowing a person to connect their PC to your LAN socket. Any machines on your network are now visible to an attacker.

Re:Security implications (3, Informative)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963248)

This obviously has benefits to society but comes at the cost of making your home network less secure - most routers don't separate the internet side of things from the home network side of things, so it's similar to allowing a person to connect their PC to your LAN socket. Any machines on your network are now visible to an attacker.

Many newer routers support guest SSIDs that can have separate security settings, and are isolated from, your main SSID. My new Netgear router does this. What it doesn't do, unfortunately, is let me throttle the guest SSID.

Re:Security implications (1)

wiggys (621350) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963320)

Yep, I set up a router for someone recently that was configured like this. The owner runs a Guest House so she could give one password for guests and another for her kids.

Nope... (2)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963180)

I don't leave a connected extension cord going out to the sidewalk so anybody can use my electricity...

I lock my doors so they can't use my shelter or car...

My car's gas tank has a lock on it so I can't "share" my gasoline.

Anybody think that these guys don't encrypt their home APs?

Appeasement is suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963192)

I'm astonished by the degree of cowardice expressed by the other posters to this story so far.
If you don't exercise your rights, you lose them. Simples.

Re:Appeasement is suicide (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963272)

Which rights, exactly, are we supposed to exercise? The right to have someone else provide us with internet service for free? The right to use technology which the article itself admits does not even exist yet? The right to pay exorbitant overage fees and have shitty internet service for ourselves because somebody decided to download a terabyte of porn or netflix data through our free, open wifi connection?

I just want to make sure I write up the proper placard here. I'd hate to show up to a "We want ponies!" demonstration with a sign that says "Free Tibet!"

Re:Appeasement is suicide (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963318)

If you don't exercise your rights, you lose them. Simples.

Yes, because the right to free wireless Internet is a basic human right...

In other words, I do exercise my rights... to secure my person and my belongings. Hence why my wireless network is encrypted.

One Fine Day In Sacramento (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963204)

"Notice all the vehicles outside, parked up and down the street?"

"Yeah, bunch of leeches."

"How can you say that? They're taking advantage of a basic freedom, exercising their rights, lest the government usurp them!"

"Have you looked at the plates on the cars and vans?"

"Uh, no. What's special about them?"

"Exempt. Almost all of them. They're using your connection due to cutbacks - they are the government."

A solution looking for a problem (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963210)

[From the article:] There is currently no WiFi protocol that allows anybody to join the network, while using link-layer encryption to prevent each network member from eavesdropping on the others. But such a protocol should exist.

An easier solution would be for a WiFi access point to offer two networks: an open one and a secured one. The owner/operator of the AP could use the encrypted network, and enable the open network for public use.

The open network could also have a lower priority than the encrypted one, be subject to bandwidth restrictions, and limited to certain times of the day.

I'm not saying that any of this is a good idea. I just think there's no need for a new protocol.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963358)

My router has two networks. Home one and public one. I have the public one switched off.

Now if there was a system where someone using my public one automatically paid towards my monthly payments for broadband, or paid the ISP while giving me some other benefits (eg. Higher speed in return), then I would use it.

But at the moment, no. You want internet get a data phone to tether to.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (2)

tobiah (308208) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963376)

WPA2 encryption
network name: "password is Orange1"
problem solved

Re:A solution looking for a problem (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963398)

This allows your guests to sniff each other's traffic. The only way to prevent this with existing protocols is to use an easy password and name the network in an inviting, password-hinting way.

An interesting idea, but... (4, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963218)

Most of us have had the experience of tremendous inconvenience because of a lack of Internet access. Being lost in a strange place with no way to find a map; having an urgent email to send with no way to do so; trying to meet a friend with no way to contact them.

A wise man once said "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Personally and Socially *Irresponsible* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963228)

So while one person pays for internet service, all his neighbors can leach off of him and not have to pay anything? This is the dumbest idea I've heard in a long time (ok, not that long, but still dumb). Not only from the financial viewpoint, but when one of your neighbors uses your internet connection to pirate music and movies or download kiddie-pron, you'll have the RIAA/MPAA suing you for civil damages and the FBI kicking in your door and leaving you in a holding cell to rot while they tear apart your home and confiscate and destroy all your computer gear. Good luck with that!!

WPA-2 + MAC Filter on the router and a good firewall to monitor and close any open ports that aren't essential on your computer (and other network connected equipment).

Socially responsible? Are you kidding? (0)

sergioag (1246996) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963244)

Actually, you have to be pretty stupid to back this proposal for *at least* the following reasons:

1. Bandwidth caps: I may be charged overage fees for traffic which I didn't made
2. Legal liability: I may get sued for a infringement which I didn't made, but was made by an unknown 3rd party which I cannot identify.
3. Contract terms: AFAIK most (home) contracts forbid you to provide services to 3rd parties.
4. Service quality: I may get degraded service because of unknown 3rd parties browsing for free.

All in all, not free. Isn't it?

Re:Socially responsible? Are you kidding? (0)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963304)

If you're not giving for free without risk to yourself you just not being socially responsible.

Really irresponsible idea (2)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963270)

Most home users have their APs on their private network. Behind that hardware firewall that at least gives them some protection. Advocating that people who don't understand the risks of an open AP, especially one that is not segregated, is really poor judgement on the EFF's part.

No. (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963274)

"Why would I pay for internet service when I can just use someone else's?" Eventually, no one is paying for it. Overall access to the internet decreases.

And if I am paying for it, why would I let other people degrade my connection, hurtle me toward the bandwidth caps, and possibly do illegal things and get my door kicked down?

Letting strangers onto my network or my connection is something I'll be safely be saying no to for the indefinite future.

Socially responsible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963278)

The socially responsible thing to do is to tell the leeching looter to get a job and buy his own damn internet service. At the same time, he can feed himself, put a roof over his own head, plan for his own retirement, and squirrel away money for his own health care.

No Thanks, EFF (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963280)

I won't do this because:
(1) I don't want a slow internet.
(2) I don't appreciate piracy. I write software for a living, and that means having people pay me for my software. Until you've been on the other side of the fence (i.e. the side of the people trying to earn a living from creating digital media, rather than existing purely in the group of people who benefit from free digital everything), you probably won't understand my viewpoint. 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.

Re:No Thanks, EFF (2)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963458)

I'm a physicist. Among other things, I've made a few codes and I've developed some numerical schemes. What would you say if I asked everyone in the world who wanted to use my formulas to pay me a nominal fee? What is the difference between you asking them to pay to use your algorithm, and me asking them to pay for using my formula?
I agree you have to be payed for your work, but you have to be payed when _you create_ something, you shouldn't be payed when _someone is using_ something you created. And yes, I understand it's complicated to make that work, but it's the truth. And it works for physicists and mathematicians.

Re:No Thanks, EFF (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963496)

You're paranoid. I write commercial software too. People buy it. I get some money. Life goes on.

It already exists in a responsible way (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963298)

Isn't this exactly what Fonera [fon.com] is all about? You buy their WiFi hotspot and connect it to your Internet connection creating a separate WiFi hotspot from your personal secured WiFi and anyone who also owns and provides a hotspot is able to access it. That way you don't get freeloaders because only people who opt-in can access the network. There are even some ISPs who are starting to deploy them.

Great Article - Lousy Summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963302)

The summary made me immediately think that the EFF had gone batshit crazy. Fortunately, the article is a very well written state of the state of public wireless and what they feel needs to be done. It is a call to action piece, with part of the action at this stage being the "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 summary also over sell the liability issue. The article does not.

"If you run an open wireless network, you may be able to receive significant legal protection from Section 230 of the CDA (against civil and state criminal liability for what others publish through the service) and Section 512 of the DMCA (against copyright claims based on what others use the service for). While these protections are not complete, EFF regularly engages in impact litigation to help ensure that these laws offer as strong protection to network operators as possible."

I would love to open my wireless BUT... (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963308)

However my network does have some unprotected devices. (most noticably: media player [mede8erforum.com]) and my wireless router [fritzbox.eu] does not have an option to have a second ssid that has internet only routing.

Also this this post [schneier.com] from bruce shows that you still might be harressed because of open wifi, even if you end up innocent in the end.

Compare to 20 years ago (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963316)

Prior to WiFi, we moved along fine for decades without holding out extension cords to our neighbors. This is an operation akin to demanding that all corporate headquarters blindly put publicly accessible wired wallplates in their parking lots just because they can afford 24/7 internet. We all know the security implications.

Just because we're already leaking our radiation* doesn't mean that preventing other neighbors from misusing it and implicating us in their crimes. We have everything to lose and little to gain. Corps have been doing it right all these years, and even though I like unsecuring the WiFi once in a blue moon,

It's terrifying to see how many blackberries, portable videogames, laptops and recent Wifi-chipped desktops connect when I newly name a network. Savvy neighbors in my building just find and attach themselves to it in a single afternoon. I used to be one of them.

* regardless of WPA usage and hiding / not hiding the APs

Socially Responsible? (1)

sircastor (1051070) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963322)

Socially responsible. There's a term that makes me shiver. Let's just write it into a law so I don't even have a choice anymore. I appreciate open wireless networks when I'm away from my home. A business expects that I'll use their services and that's an incentive to bring me to them. If I open up my network to ever joe who walks past my house (or lives next to it) then I'm deincentivizing them getting their own service. Depending on how good my wifi is I might be encouraging 3 or 4 neighbors to simply hitch a ride on my dime. Usually I'll get behind the EFF on a lot of things, this is not one of them. If you do want to provide some open wireless, setup a separate network and apply some strong access rules to it.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963332)

Should I open the doors at home too? :\

Bad idea... (1)

tommyhj (944468) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963342)

In Denmark it's illegal to use other peoples unprotected network without explicit permission. There's been no trials about it yet, but that's what lawyers here have said.

Also, I wouldn't know how to protect my internal network, if someone else had open access to it. I mean, my NAS server, uPnP/DLNA, Windows shares etc. Not an easy task, unless u just block the main door (or know lots about how to do networks).

Setting asside the issues of illegal use... (1)

CyberKender (135686) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963362)

With the data caps Internet providers are putting on all of our access these days, I'm not going to let my stay-at-home-neighbor stream Netflix movies all day, so that the cap is hit half-way through the month. If the data caps were removed, it might be a different story.

Shark Jumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963368)

The EFF really jumped the shark on this one.

Violates TOS (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963378)

That would, I think, violate the Terms Of Service with my ISP, which state that the internet connection is for the use of my household only, I don't know whether they could find out that I was providing connections to others, but I prefer not to violate contracts I freely entered in to,

Not that many people would be likely to use it - we are on a country road with no convenient stopping place outside.

This has to be done large-scale, not individually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35963406)

"explaining that individuals who choose to do so can enjoy the same legal protections against liability as any other Internet access provider"

Please explain this to me in terms of the laws of my country, state/province/whatever, and local government and then explain it to all relevant police forces.

OR explain it to me and my lawyer and pay for my lawyer and pay for any damages the police do when they bust me for my neighbor's *insertillegalactivityhere* internet usage after the courts throw out my civil suit for wrongful trashing of my house.

--

Doing this on an individual basis only works if the individual is willing to pay the price normally associated with civil disobedience, including having his house trashed in a raid, being arrested, possibly having his kids taken away by the courts or, if divorced, by a family-court judge who takes away custody and gives it to an ex-spouse, losing a job due to being in jail and missing work, and possibly other consequences. Not all of us have the willingness or ability to pay the price of such actions.

My foot (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963418)

Yeah, sure, socially responsible thing to do. I'm not putting down $60/month and minding a wireless router just so that the neighbors can get free wireless Internet access on my dime, TYVM. Last time I checked, there were also a few clauses that basically say that you may not pretend to be an ISP, resell bandwidth, or sublet bandwidth, should you be a Verizon/Charter/Clearwire/whoever Internet subscriber. That reads to me that if you do try to use a 'all the protections of an ISP' claim, your ISP will say 'no, WE'RE the ISP' and cut you off. Nice try EFF, but it's not going to fly.

Not socially responsible (2)

brass1 (30288) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963442)

reminding people that opening their WiFi is the socially responsible thing to do

No, it is not. This is like saying it's socially responsible to leave your keys in the ignition so your neighbors can barrow your car when they need to run to the store. It's not socially responsible to suggest that it's OK for people to use Internet connectivity they don't know anything about, like who the man in the middle might be. It's not socially responsible to allow unknown third parties to rile though your personal belongings, like those tax returns you left on that unsecured windows share.

Finally, "legal protections" are for people who can afford lawyers.

Deffo (1)

PotatoHead (12771) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963460)

Been doing it for years. And have been doing it for something along those lines for a reason.

1. The norm that we all need to lock the things down out of fear has got to be checked. There is no need for that.

2. I like the EFF reasoning.

3. The security stuff is a PITA. I've got some stuff that I would rather not share, and it's not on the open wi-fi. Easily done.

Drives my neighbor nuts. They say, "but I want to use MY INTERNET". And I say, "ok" and "why don't you just do that?". "But yours is just there", "Isn't it the SAME Internet", "well, yes but", "so then no worries right"....

Could almost do it, too... (1)

Avalon73 (215477) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963476)

1) Uncapped business internet connection
2) Static IP outside my private network that could be assigned to a wireless router

There's still that "no illegal activity" part of the ToS, though. I doubt having a business net connection would indemnify me from anything, even if the only relevant equipment of mine is a wireless router. Frakking criminals...

Wireless Free Forall (1)

nycheetah (172069) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963488)

It would be nice to have wireless internet where ever we are, but are you kidding me? Open my WIFI to strangers outside of my house? Have you forgotten War-driving? The average person doesn't know how to limit usage for users or even make sure important files are not shared? Give me a break!

That's fine, until my ISP takes my access away... (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 2 years ago | (#35963504)

... you know that binding agreement you enter into that you and your family will be the only users on that connection. It then gives my ISP the right to revoke my connectivity because I broke that TOS agreement and they are not obligated to provide me with Internet connectivity.

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