Open Wireless Movement

Don't be a jerk, open your wifi. (Here's how.)

The Open Wireless Movement is a coalition of Internet freedom advocates, companies, organizations, and technologists working to develop new wireless technologies and to inspire a movement of Internet openness. We are aiming to build technologies that would make it easy for Internet subscribers to portion off their wireless networks for guests and the public while maintaining security, protecting privacy, and preserving quality of access.
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15 Responses:

  1. plumpy says:

    Yeah! Mine is called "Sharing is fun!" and then my address (so you can get closer to get a better signal if you need to). Most of my friends think I'm nuts, but I've had it open for five years and never really had a problem.

    • Ben says:

      It seems like the idea of naming them all the same thing is that then auto-join works.

      I'm betting three months before the first report of stolen identity from an network.

      I am, of course, writing this through my neighbor's wifi network.

  2. Jason! says:

    I love how their answer to "Will opening my network make me liable for others' illegal actions?" is "Uhh, we don't _think_ so. We _might_ be able to help. Hope you don't get raided by the cops." Sure, the chances are small, but if they're that small they should say "If this happens to you we absolutely have your back."

    Also hilarious: "This might be against your TOS, so take that into consideration and stuff."

    • halcy says:

      Here in Germany, this is pretty clear cut, sadly: You're liable for anything people do on your open wireless, and lawyers can send you letters going "Pay us a few hundred or thousand euros and never do that again or pay us even more", and you can't really do much about that unless you are really, really sure nobody did any copyright-infringing via your network and you're willing to spend a lot of money on your own lawyers.

      • Ian says:

        What's the position when using WEP, for example, which isn't open but might as well be? 'Proof' that it was you doing the naughty, or an alibi on the basis that you did secure your network, but some nasty people hacked it?

      • I'd be a lot less worried by the possibility of unintentionally offering pirates an AP than I would kiddie porn, which is precisely why I'm not prepared to run a Tor exit point.

      • jwz says:

        If the law requires you to be a jerk, what should you do? You should not be a jerk.

        Because you know who else liked locking down wifi?

  3. bode says:

    Bruce Schneier is an advocate but even he has some concern. Anyone who says there are no issues is wrong:

    So yes, "we think you won't be liable" is probably correct. That's because after the FBI raids your residence and confiscates your computer, they'll figure out it was your neighbor. I am absolutely sure that's correct - I trust the system more than most here - but just the same I'd rather no one forensically analyze my laptop. If those stories make me a jerk, well, at least I won't need a lawyer.

    I think this is the operative quote:

    "In all three cases, the accused ended up getting off the hook after their files were examined and neighbors were found to be responsible for downloading child porn via unsecured WiFi networks."

    Risk is small, but I don't see the risk-reward here.

    • nooj says:

      "the accused ended up getting off the hook after their files were examined and neighbors were found to be responsible"

      But in the mean time, we found small amounts of marijuana, paraphernalia, and a single narcotics pill for which none of the residents had a prescription. So we convicted them for that to keep our numbers high and maintain funding.

  4. I hope they take up the issue of "open" APs that turn out to be captive portals requiring a login. Maybe organize a crowdsourced blacklist of them, and lobby Google to add it to Android as an opt-in.

  5. asdf says:

    everyone who lives in chinatown should rename their routers to 'free tibet' to troll the chinese

  6. Josh says:

    For those whose who can, I think moving beyond simply allocating wireless, to being a VPN becomes the next obvious step.