Net neutrality. Telecom immunity. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If you don’t know what these words mean, it’s time for some schooling: These are some of the issues that are currently being fought by public interests groups who have focused on technology.
There’s been a quite a bit of controversy over using homeless people as wireless hotspots since the New York-based advertising agency Bartle, Bogle and Hegarty (BBH) deployed them at the South by Southwest festival. At first glance, it seems like a two-birds/one stone idea: solving both the real-world problem of employing the homeless, as well as the first-world problem of never finding a darned hotspot when you need one. But even a Wi-fi craving tech junkie like me can see that this isn’t the solution. “Homeless hotspots” are a bad idea for one very important reason:
Until recently, the only service provider for the iPhone in the United States was AT&T…unless you had a “jailbroken” iPhone, that is, an iPhone that’s been hacked to free it from the constraints of Apple Inc. Jailbreakers could then use the less expensive (and less ethically challenged) T-Mobile. But now that iPhone users can choose between AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, jailbreakers are still operating on the iPhone’s operating system. And they want you to join them.