Recurring question: Is it okay to piggyback someone’s wifi? Today, a NY Times story asks, “Is it okay to piggyback on someone’s wireless?” Last year, I pointed to this NPR interview with NY Times Magazine “ethics columnist” Randy Cohen during which he answered the question (from an ethical point).
Cohen’s take: If you pay for Internet access somewhere (i.e., for your DSL connection) then you’ve made your contribution to the network. So, it’s okay to use free wi-fi you may encounter floating around. (However, don’t abuse your neighbor’s generousity by doing anything that may clog his or her bandwidth … and you’re a mooch if you don’t pay for access somewhere.)