So I took this apartment thanks to good wireless capital in the neighborhood, and now that I’ve got an antenna, I’m leeching bandwidth from someone on my block. It’s not new to me; I’ve been stealing wireless since I plugged in my 802.11 card one day and discovered that I could.
But at my last apartment, in the student slums of Cambridge, the wireless network was named Nethack Inside, which I took to be some MIT students (or local anarchists). No harm done, right? I’m using up a bit of my wireless karma, but in the long run, I’ll probably give it back.
The ethics here at my new place aren’t so simple. The network is named default (which is better than My Network, I guess) and the street is populated with beautiful Victorian houses. With families. I’m not so sure Mr. and Mrs. PTA would be so excited to know that I’m stealing packets from them.
So here’s the dilemma: is it better to speak up now, or just cry a lot if they find out? Approaching them might ensure me access indefinitely, but it might also freak them out. I can just picture their faces when the cops raid my place and find antennas and wires and pringles cans. “Yes ma’am, it appears you’re the victim of reckless wireless larceny and network trespassing. Don’t worry though, we’ll toss the book at this one.” Ugh.