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Open Wi-Fi May Become Illegal In India 179

Posted by timothy
from the remember-to-punish-the-innocent-first dept.
chromoZ writes with word that because of the serial blasts in Indian cities (and terrorist outfits claiming responsibility via email, often sent via Cyber Cafes and open Wi-Fi spots), sharing unsecured wireless access may get much tougher in India: "The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) after studying open Wifi networks is coming up with a set of guidelines and recommendations to secure them. 'All ISPs may be instructed to ensure that their subscribers using wireless devices must use effective authentication mechanisms and permit access to internet to only authorised persons using wireless devices.' An open Wi-Fi could be as much as illegal in India after this."
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Open Wi-Fi May Become Illegal In India

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  • What a pity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:44AM (#25038937)

    I recently toured Skandinavia. In every reasonably big city
    (that means "more than 15 houses" over there), you can nearly
    be sure to find some open access point. Of course, some of
    those are cluess users using lousy default configs - but quite
    a lot are deliberately open, with SSIDs like "welcome_to_stockholm".

    One even ran a guestbook on the AP's port 80, accessible only
    from the inside. Lots and lots of grateful people from all over
    the world had left a message before mine :-)

    That's the kind of culture I would like to see encouraged in
    other places as well, not this "OMG terrorists" bullshit being
    used as an excuse for more and more control in way too many
    parts of the world.

  • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:50AM (#25039019) Journal

    That fails the "authenticate" requirement. In fact, it completely ignores that authentication (clearly and accurately ascertaining the identity of the connection user) is intended to be a mandatory precondition to access.

    By analogy (not a car analogy, sorry), if you operate a liquor store and your local jurisdiction imposes an age-verification requirement (authenticate purchaser's age) before you can make a sale of an intoxicating controlled beverage (authorize the transaction), your solution is to ignore the "carding" requirement and sell to whomever you feel like. Which works great until the authorities haul you off to jail.

    At best, you can argue that this is civil disobedience. More likely, it's just scoffing at the law. But it's not a solution.

  • Post-Fix (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aalu.paneer (872021) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:51AM (#25039031)
    The current Indian government is the most ineffective and clueless one. The emails are sent after the bombs have gone off, after the victims are dead or injured. The damage is done. The terrorist will find another way of sending their message. Shutting down Open Wi-fi will achieve nothing!
  • Re:What a pity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swb (14022) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @09:52AM (#25039053)

    That's the kind of culture I would like to see encouraged in
    other places as well, not this "OMG terrorists" bullshit being
    used as an excuse for more and more control in way too many
    parts of the world.

    Then vote for cultural homogeneity? There seldom seems to be OMG Terrorist! or repressive government problems when you have a homogeneous culture.

    In places with highly diverse cultures, the tension and the government repression seem to get ratcheted up.

  • Re:What a pity (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:06AM (#25039261)
    cultural homogeneity like in Saudi Arabia?
  • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:06AM (#25039269) Homepage

    yea, this is quite idiotic.

    terrorists don't carry out attacks because they have open wi-fi access. they simply use open wi-fi because it's available and convenient--the same reason everyone else uses it.

    if they can't access the internet via open wi-fi they'll just use other anonymous channels. what is the Indian government going to do, eliminate public computer terminals at schools and libraries? ban proxy servers? or simply outlaw anonymity altogether?

    it would be just as easy to claim responsibility for a terrorist act by leaving an anonymous note or spraying graffiti onto the side of a public building at night. should all Indian citizens have to get GPS implants?

  • Re:What a pity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Idiomatick (976696) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:10AM (#25039327)

    Scandinavia is the least religious place in the world explaining well the lack of violence. Compare that to homogeneous places in africa where violent crime is incredibly high. Or compare that to Canada where we are very multi-cultural but have fairly low rates of crime. A country being homogeneous will i think lower crime but it is NOT a major factor. The places history, culture and religious fervor seems to set the pace.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @10:55AM (#25040013)

    Come on, anyone that has businesses or have lived a couple of months in India knows this "must be a registered user to get wifi" thing will be just BS. Basically, India is a shithole with 3/4 of their people eating their own dried shit to survive, they don't own a computer or have wifi.
    The other 1/4, the guys that will use wifi, cell-phones, and answer your customer support call when you call your US telco hotline, those people are already registered wifi users. So, this is just stupid government propaganda. Harmless. There is no liberty and freedom fight in India. They fighting only to survive starvation...

  • Re:What a pity (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:15AM (#25040337)
    Go back another 5 years to Bombay [wikipedia.org].
  • by eosp (885380) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @11:46AM (#25040821) Homepage
    In Sweden, it is common to either leave one's door unlocked so that passers-by can use the restroom, or have the house laid out such that a restroom is accessible from outside without passing through the house.

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