Piggybacking, part 2

Talking of the NYT, the

op-ed page strikes back at the news pages today. Remember that dreadful

story about wi-fi piggybacking? Well Timothy Lee obviously saw it, had much

the same reaction as I had, and managed to get his response published in the

NYT’s own storied pages. Good for him. Of course, the story he’s talking about

isn’t mentioned by name, but since it sat atop the Most E-Mailed List for quite

some time, I’m sure that a great number of the op-ed’s readers will know exactly

what Lee is talking about in his second paragraph:

News reports tend to paint the practice as a growing problem. Reporters use

words like "stealing," "hacking" and "intrusion."

But despite the alarmist talk, the articles rarely explain what the problem


My only issue with the op-ed comes when Lee says this:

One problem, as telecom companies will be quick to point out, is that my

unscrupulous neighbor might use my Internet connection permanently instead

of paying for his own. They have a point: that borders on theft of service.

I’d slap a password on my network if that was happening.

Well, is it theft of service or isn’t it? And who’s being stolen from here,

Lee or the ISP? Would Lee slap on that password because he feels a debt of gratitude

to his ISP for its service, and hopes that maybe the price will come down if

his "unscrupulous neighbor" pays a monthly charge as well?

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