EFF asks you to share your internet to improve security worldwide

EFF asks you to share your internet to improve security worldwide

Summary: The Electronic Frontier Federation is soon to release router software which will allow you to open your internet up to strangers -- while keeping a separate, secure portion for yourself.

SHARE:
10
Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 08.15.05

The Electronic Frontier Federation (EFF) is on the verge of releasing wireless router software designed to support the idea of secure, shareable Open Wireless networks.

The digital rights organization's experimental hacker alpha release of the wireless router software is part of the Open Wireless Movement, a campaign to expand the sharing of home-based internet services. The OWM, a joint project of the EFF, Fight for the Future, Mozilla, Free Press and others aim to increase community neighborliness by sharing web access, but also to promote a more secure future — by undermining the idea that someone can be identified through their IP address.

"We are aiming to build technologies that would make it easy for internet subscribers to portion off their wireless networks for guests and the public while maintaining security, protecting privacy, and preserving quality of access," the OWM states.

Due to officially launch on Monday at the New York Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference, the EFF hopes to bring members of the hacking community aboard in order to improve the software.

The Open Wireless Router is designed for small businesses and individual home users to easily set up and enable an open network, so passersby can access the internet. However, the software will also ideally feature a separate password-protected WPA2 network for the owner, and the ability to share a specific portion of your bandwidth through the open network.

However, the software is a work in progress, and the EFF says it is intended "only for developers and people willing to deal with the bleeding edge." The EFF hopes that other features will also be improved upon, including state-of-the-art network queuing, better wifi router security, and a secure software auto-update mechanism.

The hacker alpha release currently runs on Netgear WNDR3800 hardware and is based on the CeroWRT project. If developers would like the chance to hack the code base, the code and instructions can be found at Github.

Topics: Security, Hardware, Privacy

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

10 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • nice find Charlie

    Really appreciate your articles.
    greywolf7
  • One problem that hasn't been addressed is the terms of service

    A home connection terms of service normally includes a "will not be shared" clause.
    jessepollard
    • and

      as was seen in Austria recently, where a TOR end-point provider was prosecuted, in many countries you are responsible for all traffic going over your connection.

      That means that if somebody uploads or downloads music, videos, kiddie pr0n etc. you will be arrested or sued.
      wright_is
      • Unless, of course, your ISP set it up.

        One of the largest US internet providers has been reported as programming their vendor supplied router to create a second, open wireless access point for passers-by (I'm not sure, but I believe it is restricted to "guests" who have their OWN home access through the same company), and initially NOT TELLING their customers that their bandwidth would be shared with strangers. When the story came out, they "assured" customers that the guests' usage would not count against their data limits, and that the guests could not access the home customer's network or data. I hope that is really the case, and I cannot imagine any court that would hold the INVOLUNTARY sharer of a network responsible for what he or she cannot control. I suspect that their customers are going to bolt if there is a competing ISP in their area; but of course, in most cases, there is either no competitor or only one. In my case, I would find a WIRELESS provider with a good 4G or LTE signal at my home, and a reasonable data usage limit, that allows tethering, and make that my primary ISP, if possible.
        jallan32
    • Tell Comcast

      We have an extra Wi-Fi setup here that we sure don't want but Comcast being Comcast, they don't listen. The only saving grace is, perhaps, that you have to have a Comcast account to login. No idea though about secondary liability re Austria.
      Brian J. Bartlett
    • Tell Comcast

      We have an extra Wi-Fi setup here that we sure don't want but Comcast being Comcast, they don't listen. The only saving grace is, perhaps, that you have to have a Comcast account to login. No idea though about secondary liability re Austria.
      Brian J. Bartlett
  • Already possible, just made easier

    I was under the impression that it was already possible. First, several of the desktop router projects support it if the desktop has the hardware. Secondly, I thought some routers already have this feature. Maybe the EFF's goal is to make it easier and more available.
    pyro226
    • Some routers do have Guest Network capability

      Some routers do already have this, although it is turned off by default. And in my case, will remain that way until I am certain it won't significantly mess with my bandwidth.
      Raymond Danner
  • (BTW, ZDNet...)

    Allowing HTML formatting (italics, underline) or BBCode equivalents (which would be safer, methinks) would be a real good idea. Thanks.
    Raymond Danner
  • NSA?

    They'll label this as domestic terrorism? Likely.
    Jow_Blow