The Ethicist Says Using Neighbor's WiFi Okay

A few months back at Jeff Pulver’s wireless summit, I was attacked by a bunch of audience members for suggesting that using a neighbor’s open WiFi (assuming you weren’t clogging the network) was perfectly ethical. Attendees got very angry with me and suggested that such thinking was dangerous. Apparently, I’m not alone. Glenn Fleishman over at WiFi Networking News points out that the NY Times’ Ethicist is saying basically the same thing. Admittedly, if someone is sharing their connection against the terms of service of their provider, then they face some ramifications from the provider (should they find out). But, simply using an open connection to do basic internet things (email, web surfing) seems perfectly ethical.

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