Should Austin Cops be Searching Out Open Wireless Internet Connetions?


The Austin, Tx., police department today is conducting what Grits for Breakfast blogger Scott Henson calls “a bizarre scheme” called “Operation Wardrive” to find open wireless internet connections in the city. Officers will make contact with residents who have open wireless connections and teach them the importance of securing them.

Henson says it “strikes me as a very strange task for police to undertake [ ] This is less about protection of the public and more about using law enforcement as corporate welfare to enforce terms-of-service agreements with wireless internet providers.” He Notes that the list of open wifi connections will be a public record under the Texas Public Information Act. Simply compiling that list makes the types of malicious activities the police are concerned about more likely, not less, Henson says.

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