In an age of surveillance anxiety, the notion of leaving your Wi-Fi network open and unprotected seems dangerously naive. But one group of activists says it can help you open up your wireless internet and not only maintain your privacy, but actually increase it in the process.
At the Hackers on Planet Earth conference next month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation plans to release software designed to let you share a portion of your Wi-Fi network, password-free, with anyone nearby. The initiative, part of the OpenWireless.org campaign, will maintain its own flavor of free, open-source router firmware called Open Wireless Router. Good Samaritans can install this firmware on a cheap Wi-Fi router, creating a public slice of bandwidth that can dialed up or down with a simple smartphone interface.