Ethical Wi-Fi Borrowing

By Glenn Fleishman
Special to Wi-Fi Networking
Permanently archived item <>

[1] The
Ethicist endorses borrowing a neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal: In a fairly one-sided
debate of the issues, the mention of Time-Warner’s Roadrunner threat letters to
purposeful Wi-Fi sharers aside, The New York Times’s columnist Randy Cohen says
that unless you inconvenience the consumer you’re borrowing from, you’re not
going to ethical heck.

His summary of Time-Warner’s issue is specious,
though. The company argues, in effect, that while you may have a glass of water
at a neighbor’s, you may not run a pipe from his place to yours. Actually,
because the service is unmetered, it’s more like saying, we’re providing you
unlimited water for personal use, and guests are okay, but you can’t run a pipe
to a neighbor’s house.

(Cohen quotes Mike Godwin, the formulator of [2]
Godwin’s Law, which is infallibly accurate.)

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