Cross-posted from the Free Press blog.
Imagine a world in which, neighborhood by neighborhood, people stop putting password locks on their Wi-Fi networks and instead share their Internet connections with their neighbors, giving everyone in their community access to a fast and open Internet.
There are policy proposals that, if implemented, would connect our communities. And we at Free Press are working hard with our many allies to make those visions a reality.
But in the meantime, there's a lot that Internet users can do themselves to make sure everyone gets connected. That's why we at Free Press are proud to join a coalition led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in launching the Open Wireless Movement. This effort is designed to show Internet users around the country how they can open up their Wi-Fi networks and build a fabric of Internet connectivity throughout their communities.
More than anything else, this movement is about community building — extending the culture of online sharing to our private wireless networks. The Open Wireless homepage includes a ton of information to help people find secure and private ways to share their connections and enable others to get online.
In addition, coalition members are working with open Internet advocates to push Internet service providers into becoming more, well, open to the idea of Wi-Fi sharing. This work includes getting ISPs to create less restrictive terms of service.
The Open Wireless Movement’s goal — to make the Internet accessible to everyone — is connected to the principles outlined in the Declaration of Internet Freedom. Indeed, extending the open Internet’s benefits to everyone will help create a future in which everyone has an equal chance to communicate, innovate and share information online.
Maintaining a healthy democracy depends on our ability to communicate with each other free from fear of censorship or spying. Building an open wireless movement is one way we can have more control over our means of communication — rather than give all the keys to the big phone and cable companies.
Check out the Open Wireless Movement site for how-to guides, legal information and responses to common myths — and to learn how you can join the movement.