There are many levels of stupid. One is putting your head into a lions mouth.  Another is sharing your broadband with strangers.
There are many levels of stupid. One is putting your head into a lions mouth. Another is sharing your broadband with complete strangers.

The EFF has had it’s thinking head on.  In the world of privacy concerns and your desire to be neighbourly, it’s come up with its own interpretation of a “great” idea.

Much like travelling to just beyond the event horizon of the nearest super-massive black hole and taking a selfie, this idea seems to have been about as well thought out.

Why let a few concerns get in the way of being neighbourly and sharing bandwidth with your neighbours (and any passer by)

According to Wired, the EFF will release free firmware for Wi-Fi routers that will “let you share a portion of your Wi-Fi network, password-free, with anyone nearby.” The software, called “Open Wireless Router,” is part of the EFF’s OpenWireless.org initiative, which aims to make free wireless Internet as ubiquitous as possible.

Source: PC World

What an excellent idea.  Give away a portion of your bandwidth to a stranger.  Why didn’t we think of this sooner?  And I’m absolutely sure there will be no comeback, because who would ever dream of abusing the freebie you’ve given them?

But don’t worry! There’s more! You can set this freebie to only give a small portion of your bandwidth away.   And I am sure that would prevent it being abused.

The most frightening part of this idea is that there are some people who will buy into it.  They will open up their broadband to who knows what intentions of complete strangers and then be surprised when their front door is kicked in by the authorities whilst they are in bed.

To mitigate these concerns, the Open Wireless Router firmware will cap public access to as little as 5 percent of your bandwidth. This way, you can allow someone to check Gmail from your Wi-Fi, for example, while discouraging them from downloading a multi-gigabyte file.

Source: PC World

And of course this would completely stop messages (for example) which could be criminal offences  and of course the authorities wouldn’t think of investigating it further merely saying “Those pesky WIFI philanthropists” as they shake their fists in an angry manner.

Back in realityville this idea is so bad,  I cannot work out who is more naive, the people behind the idea or the poor souls who implement it.

Suffice to say if you disagree with me, go ahead, share your bandwidth with strangers.  See how a court reacts to “It wasn’t me it was a stranger” defence – when you’ve served your sentence you can come back here and tell us all about it.  Maybe you will be able to prove your innocence.  Giving away a freebie to a stranger worth all that potential hassle?