Google Wi-Fi Proposal Opens the Door to Massive Privacy and Security Headaches

Posted by Kraig Baker

Google's offer yesterday to build a municipal Wi-Fi network for the City of San Francisco has many positive and exciting ramifications for convenience, access, and conquering the digital divide. Providing such a network to a wired and technology sophisticated city like San Francisco by a technology provider that will undoubtedly facilitate simple use of VoIP and other multimedia will create massive security headaches. It will be interesting to watch how Google plans to build the network to manage and minimize such headaches. Maybe Google has some ideas that will advance the cause of secure computing and access...

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Michiel - October 5, 2005 10:51 AM

"will create massive privacy and security headaches"... why? I don't see it, and if you make broad sweeping statements like that you need something to back it up IMO.

Personally I cheer for Google's bid, and I hope this will be a prelude to Global Free Wireless.

Rob Hale - October 5, 2005 5:27 PM

An article of mine published recently outlines some of the privacy and security risks associated with Wi-Fi, some of which, I think, apply to the project contemplated in San Francisco.

David Fierberg - March 29, 2006 4:37 AM

SF Metro Connect, one of the six respondents to the SF RFP and comprised of SeaKay, Cisco Systems and IBM, is proposing a free and open network that will be designed, deployed and maintained as a public benefit network.

Our proposed network will not capture private information and market it or use it in any way. The network will be built on a technologically agnostic platform enabling businesses to sell premium services to unlimited people without interference by proprietary interests.

The network will also be the most sustainable into the future - a technology refresh clause and multiple income streams will keep the network relevant and robust in years to come.

Finally, SF Metro Connect is committed to creating a digital inclusion fund at the San Francisco Foundation and devoting considerable resources to the digital inclusion goals laid out by Mayor Newsom.

Check out our site at: for more information.

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