This Little Piggyback Went to Market

Tim Lee has a nice post up about the latest efforts to frighten you out of putting up a WiFi network in your house that lacks password protection. Obviously, that password feature is a good thing and people have every right to use it if they so choose. In pratice, though, it's extremely unlikely that anything bad will happen to you as a result of running an open wireless network. More to the point, efforts to stigmatize logging on to open networks as a kind of "stealing" are absurd.

The issue here is that lurking deep in the hearts of telecom companies is the prospect that a bunch of friendly people living near one another might formalize a relationship where several households wirelessly shared a single internet connection. Alternatively, the dark threat of a world where there are so many open home- and business-based wireless networks around that it cuts into the market for selling people portable internet access. And if I were a Comcast executive, I guess I'd say it was smart for my company to worry about this at least a little. But the rest of us have nothing to worry about and journalists should be making that clear, not getting spun.