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posted by Dopefish on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Robert Channick reports at the Chicago Tribune that Comcast is set to turn hundreds of thousands of Chicago-area homes into wi-fi hot spots, using existing Comcast equipment to build out its publicly accessible wireless network.

The neighborhood hot spots initiative, rolling out during the next several months, will send a separate Wi-Fi signal from Comcast-issued home equipment, enabling anyone within range to get online. Soon, entire residential blocks will begin to show as hot spots on Xfinity's Wi-Fi mobile app. Because the Comcast subscriber's signal will be kept separate from the second, publicly available signal, the subscriber's speed and privacy shouldn't be affected. 'They'll look like two separate networks and they'll act like two separate networks,' says Tom Nagel. 'Any use on the public side doesn't impact the private side.' Once the dual-mode modems are activated remotely by Comcast, visitors will use their own Xfinity credentials to sign on, and will not need the homeowner's permission or password to tap into the public Wi-Fi signal.

Non-subscribers will get two free hours a month; beyond that, they can access Xfinity Wi-Fi on a per-use basis. Rates run from $2.95 per hour to $19.95 per week, according to Comcast. Xfinity subscribers can travel from hot spot to hot spot in this case, from home to home without needing to log on again through their mobile device. 'The Utopian ideal of a massive, free Wi-Fi network has been around since the early days of Wi-Fi, but there was never an economically viable path to deliver it,' says Craig Moffett. 'Comcast has a better shot at it than just about anybody else.'"

 
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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:25AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:25AM (#11662) Homepage

    So if you are an ignorant and participating customer who did not forcibly disable the antenna, and some dick-kneader steals credentials and gets into your "other" network to download The Anarchist's Cookbook or illegal dolphin porn, does that mean that the FBI and the ICE will still kick down your door on a no-knock warrant and shoot your wife and kids dead?

    What could possibly go wrong?

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by edIII on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:42AM

    by edIII (791) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:42AM (#11667)

    That's actually a very very good thing though.

    I know Germany went full-retard, and then finally, said they don't care if it was you or not, you would be financially and criminally responsible. That effectively shut down open access hot-spots, and certainly, and kind of guest wireless services.

    However, in this case, Comcast does make the distinction (at the IP address and network level) that the guest services you operate is not you. It's explicitly not you.

    Furthermore, since Comcast receives revenue, is responsible for the authentication (via XFinity), and is operating a separate network in your home, and this is not owned by you, it is Comcast that will be raided and shot in the head, not the consumer .

    The access if fully authenticated at every point, on a separate network, and Comcast will only identify the area the signal came from. Not the subscriber property in which they are operating their own equipment.

    I would be more worried about my operation of a TOR exit node quite frankly, not Comcast running a signal out of my place.

    P.S - Is dolphin porn really illegal? I need to know.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Geotti on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:59AM

      by Geotti (1146) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:59AM (#11688) Journal

      It's explicitly not you.
      So, you're saying that if *you* want to download The Anarchist's Cookbook (assuming you didn't do so in the 90's), you just connect to the second SSID? Ingenious!

      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:23AM

        by edIII (791) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:23AM (#11738)

        Yep. They allow temporary guest access apparently. Afterwards it's authenticated, but hey, you don't need that long to download all the dolphin porn and anarchist materials do you?

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:35AM (#11862)

        Better: Connect to your neighbour's second SSID ;-)

      • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:12PM

        by etherscythe (937) on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:12PM (#12171) Journal

        Except that, no doubt, you're authenticating to the second network using your own Comcast subscriber/email account, linked to your real name and address. It will be more explicitly you than if you used your own WiFi SSID, because at least your own WiFi might be given out to friends, etc. However, if some flaw were found in the hotspot authentication protocol...

        --
        "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
    • (Score: 1) by Ryuugami on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:54AM

      by Ryuugami (2925) on Thursday March 06 2014, @08:54AM (#11838)

      Is dolphin porn really illegal? I need to know.

      Only if the dolphin was underage.

      --
      If a shit storm's on the horizon, it's good to know far enough ahead you can at least bring along an umbrella. - D.Weber
      • (Score: 1) by Taibhsear on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:01PM

        by Taibhsear (1464) on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:01PM (#12208)

        What is the age of consent for a dolphin?