Remember the Spirit of Geekdom
I am an IT guy, so I have more gear than most built up at home, but I offer up to 25% of my bandwidth to whoever needs it.
I've been a homeless college student, living in a van, for about a year throughout 2004. Lemme tell you, to a geek without a home for DSL, open wireless kept me sane and helped me roll through my hard times, determined to stay in school so I could get my IT job.
Yes, I could have done illegal things with my pirated internet. I simply didn't. The person driving their car down the street could swerve into that pedestrian for sick fun, but they, 99.9999% of the time, don't.
I also could have run cracks on the WEP keys at the time, but I actually NEVER bothered to. There were enough freebies that I was able to sit in my van playing FPS and strategy games late at night. I was able to Google my brain out on whatever subject I was concentrating on at the time; and I thank those (mostly uneducated and mentally lazy people) who gave me that opportunity.
I was alos responsible enough to only download images of Linux OS CD's late at night, while the connection was idle. Otherwise, they might decide to secure it to stop that stranger from interferring with their productivity. Mostly, I used business Acess Points, but more than one apartment complex had an open connection.
I know that criminal mischief is a potential problem. It always is. The advent of Wireless did not spawn criminal mischief. And it won't be the last thing abused and/or exploited for malice. It would be easy for manufacturers to make wireless routers where the wireless can be left open, but the route to non-you would be directly to the gateway, as I have done at home today.
Ideally, if all machines could be positively identified, allowing some of your AP bandwidth to be used by the kid walking down the street who'd rather surf his little PDA than kick pebbles, would not be such a bad idea.
I would love to see a network of folks who sign up for a free certificate of their ID on a central website. This ID, in turn, could be used as a "Library Card" of sorts, for any Access Points configured to use it. People could allow, say 10% of their bandwidth, just enough to allow friendly, neighborly access, to anyone who authenticated their ID for criminal discouragement purposes.
Any body wanna roll that out? I'm a networking guy and a fairly noob programmer... I can't do it myself!
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