Comcast thinks it ok to install public wifi in your house

Jeroen van Aart jeroen at
Thu Dec 11 02:35:03 UTC 2014

Why am I not surprised?

Whose fault would it be if your comcast installed public wifi would be 
abused to download illegal material or launch a botnet, to name some 
random fun one could have on your behalf. :-/

(apologies if this was posted already, couldn't find an email about it 
on the list)

"A mother and daughter are suing Comcast claiming the cable giant's 
router in their home was offering public Wi-Fi without their permission.

Comcast-supplied routers broadcast an encrypted, private wireless 
network for people at home, plus a non-encrypted network called 
XfinityWiFi that can be used by nearby subscribers. So if you're passing 
by a fellow user's home, you can lock onto their public Wi-Fi, log in 
using your Comcast username and password, and use that home's bandwidth.

However, Toyer Grear, 39, and daughter Joycelyn Harris – who live 
together in Alameda County, California – say they never gave Comcast 
permission to run a public network from their home cable connection.

In a lawsuit [PDF] filed in the northern district of the golden state, 
the pair accuse the ISP of breaking the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and 
two other laws.

Grear – a paralegal – and her daughter claim the Xfinity hotspot is an 
unauthorized intrusion into their private home, places a "vast" burden 
on electricity bills, opens them up to attacks by hackers, and 
"degrades" their bandwidth.

"Comcast does not, however, obtain the customer's authorization prior to 
engaging in this use of the customer's equipment and internet service 
for public, non-household use," the suit claims.

"Indeed, without obtaining its customers' authorization for this 
additional use of their equipment and resources, over which the customer 
has no control, Comcast has externalized the costs of its national Wi-Fi 
network onto its customers."

The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages for themselves and on behalf 
of all Comcast customers nation-wide in their class-action case – the 
service was rolled out to 20 million customers this year."

Earthquake Magnitude: 4.8
Date: 2014-12-10  22:10:36.800 UTC
Date Local: 2014-12-10 13:10:36 PST
Location: 120km W of Panguna, Papua New Guinea
Latitude: -6.265; Longitude: 154.4004
Depth: 35 km |

More information about the NANOG mailing list