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Sandy Prompts Louder Calls For Free Wi-Fi

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and New America Foundation launched an advocacy effort during Hurricane Sandy, making a plea for homes and businesses to offer free, public Internet access.

If the Electronic Frontier Foundation and New America Foundation have their way, Hurricane Sandy will mean the end of password-protected Wi-Fi networks. On Tuesday, a new advocacy effort called the Open Wireless Movement was launched to promote free, open-access wireless Internet. Besides the EFF and New America Foundation, other partners in the initiative include NYCwireless, the Internet Archive, and the Open Spectrum Alliance.

The Open Wireless Movement is calling for households, small businesses, and large chains to offer free Wi-Fi to the public using secure routers. "To take advantage of the Internet, people should not have to attempt to skirt restrictive Terms of Service to attempt to tether their smartphones. And tethering would not be necessary if there were ubiquitous open wireless, so that anyone with a connection and power can share their network with the neighborhood," says the EFF's Adi Kamdar.

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