Friday, July 08, 2005

WiFi Mooching Ethics and Law

After finally getting my first laptop with WiFi capabilities (a sweet little 12" PowerBook with as much horsepower as my old PowerMac) I had to wait a few days for my refurbed Airport Express WiFi hub to arrive. While I was waiting, I thought I'd check and see what, if any, WiFi networks I could detect from my home.

Well it turns out there are two networks out there. This begged a second question. What are the ethics of accessing someone else's WiFi network? I asked Geo for his expert opinion and he indicated it is a no-no. Even if the network is as wide open as a barn door sans cows.

A few days later I was excited to receive my Airport Express and get connected. It was quite easy to and securing my network was simple, too. Noone will have to resist the temptation to access my network. Thanks Apple! And now thanks, to Mike Potter's timely advice, noone wil be able to see it either.

Well, I bring this whole story up because this topic is covered in a CNet article today, FAQ: WiFi Mooching and the Law . Apparently, there are still a lot of questions that are yet to be answered.

For now, I will steer clear of the mooching and stick to the using the office, home, coffeeshop & hotel WiFi. Or mooching from friends.

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