Congressional caucus says exercise protection: A press release that appears to come from Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), co-chair of The Internet Caucus Wireless Task Force, recommends some common sense advice often ignored or unknown to regular users of Wi-Fi networks. The advice includes the statement, Set and encrypt your wireless network password, if you want to close your network to strangers. That says an oceanful: they're not trying to implicitly deprecate community networks, for instance. The page linked to has more information relating to legally sharing your network.
Rep. Honda is a well-informed advocate of wireless technology, being one of the House lights who worked on freeing additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed use. I interviewed him through one of his lead staffers, who himself was a former IT trade magazine reporter.
Let's scratch the surface, though, shall we? The Congressional Internet Caucus is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, which means, as I understand it, that they can't engage in politics, only education. The goals and nature of the group are pretty interesting, and 160 representatives and senators are signed on to the group.
But take a look at the advisory committee from industry. The MPAA. The RIAA. AOL Time-Warner. Excuse me, Time-Warner (pay no attention to the AOL part). VeriSign. The software cops at the Business Software Alliance who sent threatening letters without knowing whether someone's violated anyone's copyright.
And it gets weirder. Alongside these firms and organizations, the Center for Democracy and Technology, which is fighting the so-called PATRIOT Act. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). But also the People for the American Way Foundation and the Progress and Freedom Foundation. (It's code: say democracy, and it's liberals or left-of-center; say freedom and it's conservatives, or right-of-center.)
And weirder. Scroll down and you'll see the American Library Association, the ACM, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Google, Intel, and Yahoo.
Is it just possible that this group actually represents a diverse set of interests all providing a complex interplay of information about the impact of the Internet on the lives of Americans? It seems to be.