India Looks To Make Open WiFi Illegal

from the overreact-much? dept

In most of the discussions we've had over the years concerning the legalities of open WiFi networks, the issue was whether or not it was legal to access an open WiFi network. Over in India, they're taking a different approach, apparently preparing rules that would outlaw offering an open WiFi network (via Slashdot). This is in response to the recent bombings in India, where officials believe the bombers used open WiFi networks to email each other. That seems like a pretty big overreaction. If it's not open WiFi, the terrorists will come up with other ways to communicate -- and in the meantime you inconvenience everyone else, and make it impossible for those who want to offer open WiFi to do so.
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Filed Under: india, legality, open wifi, terorrism, wifi

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  1. identicon
    Ashwin, 17 Sep 2008 @ 4:15pm

    No go

    This is the problem with India! With a chunk of the populace illiterate and a chunk of the politicians handling portfolios they never understand properly, the laws that come out are pretty absurd. The way to solving terrorism is not by curbing the lifeblood of its new economy, but by increasing and training its law enforcement agency. India's clash with terrorism goes way back before 9/11. Yet, the number of leads and successful case records are almost zero. Bomb blasts are de riguer. The police make a lot of smoke and fire by arresting suspects and then bank on the same thing each time: the public memory is short.
    Indians are resilient and extremely shrewd. They find a way around problems, especially technical problems. You are talking about a country whose street vendors software-hacked open the iPhone even before it was made available legally in the country without any jailbreaking software. The computer tech support guy will fix your Vonage router even though it is not technically sold in the country. And you would think that after the WiFi ban (if it can be implemented), people won't find a way around it?
    As usual, the public will forget this also without holding the politician's feet to the fire about terrorism preventive measures.

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