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The Open Wireless Movement hosted at is an Internet activism project which seeks to increase Internet access by encouraging people and organizations to configure or install software on their own wireless router to offer a separate public guest network or to make a single public wireless access point. If many people did this, then a ubiquitous global public wireless network would be created which would achieve and surpass the goal of increasing Internet access. The project was initiated in November 2012 by a coalition of ten advocacy groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Fight for the Future, Free Press, Internet Archive, NYCwireless, Open Garden, OpenITP, the Open Spectrum Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, and the Personal Telco Project.[1] EFF representative Adi Kamdar commented, "We envision a world where sharing one's Internet connection is the norm. A world of open wireless would encourage privacy, promote innovation, and largely benefit the public good. And everyone—users, businesses, developers, and Internet service providers—can get involved."[1] As of September 2016, seventeen groups have joined the project, adding Engine, Mozilla, Noisebridge, the Open Rights Group, OpenMedia International, Sudo Room, and the Center for Media Justice.

The project uses various strategies to encourage and assist people to make their Internet connections available for public use. It explains the benefits and drawbacks of the effects on society and on the owners of routers, answers questions regarding safety and legality, guides novice users in configuring their routers, and provides firmware for novices to install on their routers.

The EFF created a fork of OpenWrt firmware called OpenWireless which anyone may volunteer to install on their router to make it work for the project.[2][3][4][5] This firmware was first shared at the 2014 Hackers on Planet Earth conference.[4] Its developers set out to achieve simple installation on a wide range of hardware routers but struggled with the diversity of closed, proprietary devices, and development of the OpenWireless firmware was deprioritized in April 2015.[3]

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  1. ^ a b Spiegel, Dana (2012-11-27). "Share Your Network–Join New Open Wireless Movement". NYCwireless. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  2. ^ "OpenWireless firmware project". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  3. ^ a b Eckersley, Peter (2015-04-15). "Three Paths to Better Open Wireless Routers". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  4. ^ a b Greenberg, Andy (2014-06-20). "This Tool Boosts Your Privacy by Opening Your Wi-Fi to Strangers". Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  5. ^ Silver, Joe (2014-06-20). "New open-source router firmware opens your Wi-Fi network to strangers". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2014-08-21.

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