The Electronic Frontier Foundations is advocating the notion that a user could protect his or her online privacy by sharing Wi-Fi access to others.
The Foundation is planning to release a software that will enable Wi-Fi owners to share some of their bandwidths to anyone in need within the hotspot.
The first version of the software will be released during the Hackers on Planet Earth conference which will be held next month.
This free-net access for online privacy idea is part of the group?s campaign called OpenWireless.Org. To make it work, the EFF will setup and maintain a firmware router which will be known as Open Wireless Router. The firmware is open-source and it is free to download.
Wi-Fi owners can then install the firmware on any router. Anyone in need of Wi-Fi can access the free bandwidth through the use of the interface of a smartphone. However, the Wi-Fi owner will still have priority over the net when needed. Free users can be limited to as low as 5 percent of the total available bandwidths.
Nate Cardozo, an EFF staff attorney, is asserting the legal notion that the IP address of a Wi-Fi owner sharing net access to anybody can no longer be considered private.
Authorities can no longer claim that all the online activities can be traced back to one person since different people are using the same IP address. Still, there are certain risks involved since the IP address is connected to the owner.
Advocates are confident that they can minimize, if not eliminate the risks through the use of anonymity software or virtual private networks (VPN) that will pinpoint to another IP address in case someone is conducting an online trace.
If this plan succeeds, users will have free access to the net through various Wi-Fi hotspots available on the ?OpenWireless.Org? network. Every user?s link will be encrypted using a protocol known as EAP-TLS. However, a user must first agree to download a certificate before being allowed to use the free wireless network.?This security measure will ensure that the network is secure and minimize the abuse of the free Wi-Fi by users. The security update of the free Wi-Fi router?s firmware will be regular and accessible even with just a smartphone.
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