Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Free wifi banned in Italy

As far as I know, apart from North Korea, unheard of in the world, Italy managed single-handedly as a measure of counter terrorism to turn the clock 20 years back, banning free wifi hotspots and limiting the maximum time of usage.
I was unaware of this fact till now, but the law, named after interior minister Giuseppe Pisanu, one of Berlusconi's henchmen, was introduced in 2005 after the London bombings and obliges the operators of public wifi services and internet cafés to keep a record of the identities of all their clients and a log of their internet traffic for possible consultation by the police.
Before opening your laptop at a local hotspot, you have to purchase a unique username/password code which expires in 12 hours and can be used for a maximum time of 3 hours only.
Also you will need to handover your passport or ID and sign a contract.
How convenient for tourists like me when writing an email or blog in your room and being shut off in the night time; no new tickets for sale until the next morning 9 am.
Because once you are logged in, your 3 hours will be valid for one month, I bought 30 hours for which I needed 10 unique usernames/passwords which took the owner of my apartment roughly half an hour to issue and it took me another 20 minutes to log-in/log-out all 10 users/passwords combinations to prevent expiration.
Now I almost finished my fourth id/pw in two days so I'll have to purchase more in the shop in another two or three days.
Well done Italy, even China and Vietnam offer free high-speed wifi almost everywhere you stay and mostly at each floor in your hotel, this luminous idea will surely give you a leading edge in the information based paperless 24 hours economy.
What's next I wonder; banning free speech and should you be allowed to speak after purchasing the needed papers the duration will be restricted?
And how to call this new Italian era: Denaissance?
Taking in account this article and my previous article yesterday, will they come and get me now and bring me to an Italian Guantanamo Bay?
See also: networkworld.com


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