Fon … I dont think so!

Michiel has an interesting article on his site that outlines a company called Fon that you can sign up to to share your WiFi access point out to its members.

I think this is a seriously bad idea.

The reason I think this is that the AIVD, FBI, whatever, spend far too much time and resources monitoring internet traffic instead of actually catching real criminals.
If they trace the download of illegal material to your network you are more than likely legally responsible for it.
And if you have FON then you may be legally culpable, but totally innocent.

Another thing is that most Broadband providers put in bizarre clauses for misuse of connection.
This could be interpretted in ANY way by their legal department.

As I live on the net the last thing I want is to lose my connection. [I have lost it before, but I forgot to pay the bills!]

So I think I will forgoe the Fon idea until someone else has already been through the legal precedant bleeding edge.

3 thoughts on “Fon … I dont think so!

  1. Bill says:

    I don’t really understand your skepticism. In fact, FON seems to me to be a more secure way to enjoy WiFi. Think about it, right now, you can find many open and free wifi hotposts that can be used to download illegal stuff. Through FON, you can actually know who’s connected to a FON hotpost and when and you can even know the amount of data that each FON user is transferring from which FON hotspot (useful to locate P2P illegal downloaders).


  2. Keitaro says:

    My scepticism doesn’t come from the company, or the concept, which I actually think is great. I would love this to all work out.
    I am a big supporter of Municipal Wireless, for example.
    And I might just do FON regardless of my cynical scepticism which stems from the fact that the judicial process is generally “tech-illiterate”, rather than any misgivings about the tech.
    It may be hard to convince a judge that you are innocent if the guy thinks a mouse is just a rodent and eMail is just a typo.
    My concern really stems from a potential misuse of judicial powers by the powers-that-be in the name of internal security. A lot of these processes nowadays can happen behind closed doors, without the necessary scrutiny or oversight that a fair judicial process requires.
    Plus, in some jurisdictions ISPs are legally responsible for the actions of their users. This is my concern more than anything.
    If I open up my WiFi on FON and someone does something illegal, the potential consequences in such a jurisdiction could be negative.
    Of course, I live in the Netherlands, so I am probably OK.
    I have been told that the law here protects people who download pirated stuff, and prosecutes people who upload pirated stuff.
    The law goes after the suppliers, rather than the consumers. [IANAL so dont quote me ;-)] [Hence the alledgedly liberal drug laws here.]
    I am not sure how the law here would handle modern P2P clients like BitTorrent that upload at the same time as downloading. I guess that would be a little dangerous. [i.e. Stick to IRC.]

    So I am confident about the technology. But sceptical about the judiciary. Especially with the rampant post 9/11 paranoia.


  3. Michiel says:

    Since technorati’s been on the blink often I just found this link 🙂

    Well, Google and Skype are stepping in (as well as some others) so the big players seem to think it’s doable… here’s to hoping they succeed.

    What I fear wil be the largest hurdle is the hardware:
    People either need to hack their linksys router (yeah, I see my dad doing that) which is extra complicated because linksys keeps ‘upgrading’ their firmware with each release, or buy a Fon router (I can see my dad now: ‘but I already have a wireless router’)

    Here’s to hoping we’ll all being enjoying free wifi in the near near future. Because a man has a right to free internets 😉


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