EFF Backs Hacking Effort to Create Private, Open Wireless Routers
The Electronic Frontier Foundation creates a project to make a network of open, but secure, wireless routers that allow home users and businesses to share a portion of their bandwidth with anyone.The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced on July 20 a programming effort to create a secure, private way for people to share their wireless routers, allowing others to use their bandwidth without compromising their network security. The project, dubbed the Open Wireless Router, aims to give home users and businesses the ability to assign a portion of their available bandwidth to be used by passersby. While some routers can create similar guest networks, consumer-grade equipment does not do a good job of prioritizing bandwidth, of keeping out would-be attackers, nor stopping eavesdropping, Ranga Krishman, EFF technology fellow, told eWEEK. "There are people who want to open a channel in their router and allow anonymous guests access in their business or home, but the routers available today—they do not do such a great job of doing that," he said, adding that easier-to-use software can help get non-technical people to deploy the networks. In October 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a small group of other organizations announced the Open Wireless coalition, focusing on protecting the availability of free and open wireless networks. Yet, easy-to-deploy hardware and software that reliably guard the privacy and security of the networks have been hard to find.
Wireless networking software needs to allow everyone to have the ability to communicate over an encrypted network, according to the Open Wireless Movement's Website. The EFF's release of its early version of firmware will allow early adopters to submit feedback on the technology, Krishman said.