Feature Friday: Pinning Wifis

I’ve started using a cool mobile app called WifiMap.

It does something quite simple but also quite useful.

When you have the app on your phone and you are using a public wifi (open or password protected), you simply open WifiMap and it gives you the opportunity to “pin” that wifi on a map and supply the password, if there is one.

Then, when you are out and about, maybe in a foreign city, maybe in a new neighborhood in the town or city where you live, you can open WifiMap and find the nearest wifi that you can get onto and do work or play.

That’s it. It’s simple. But quite useful.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I’m in.Stuff that just makes sense.

  2. LIAD

    So sweet and simple. Exactly the kind of thing a global open network was created for.We’ve crowd mapped so many things. Perhaps WiFi these days is actually one of the most compelling. Especially for tourists.WifiMap having the option to save a password is a nice sweetener and shows how a vertical solution can offer the best UX. Let’s just hope the data, especially the passwords dont degrade too quickly, making the utility stale and cumbersome rather than beneficial

  3. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    I will get to work pinning Europe ! – Nice

  4. Alex Christodoulou

    There’s http://4sqwifi.com/ too that auto generates the passwords from foursquare tips

    1. William Mougayar

      Hmm. iOS only 🙁

  5. William Mougayar

    I’m not getting the usefulness of this App. I get it that it creates a mesh-like effect of wifi-spots. But my phone’s Settings do that already, and if I’ve already been to a spot, it’s already stored and it will connect automatically. With this App, it’s asking me to re-enter these passwords again. Seems like lots of rework. And I’m not entering my home’s or office wifi passwords into a remote database.Am I missing something?

    1. Alex Christodoulou

      You contribute by submitting the wifi networks you use, and when you go to a place you have no access to a wifi network, you get the passwords from nearby networks that others have contributed by submitting their passwords

      1. William Mougayar

        But what if these other passwords were granted privately, then they become shared?

        1. INQUE

          Also doesn’t work in some countries, because the one owning the Wifi network would be liable for any actions anyone else would do.

          1. Alex Christodoulou

            This stands too when you buy a coffee at Starbucks and you use their wifi. What’s the difference if I use their wifi without buying a coffee?

        2. Alex Christodoulou

          You are supposed to submit public wifi spots, e.g. Starbucks etc so that one can have access to it without going into the shop. If one connects to a home wifi and shares it, this is dangerous.

          1. William Mougayar

            ok, but even those public wifi’s like starbucks etc. want you to accept terms etc. the first time you sign-up. so i don’t know if this bypasses their authorizations, but i doubt it.

        3. scottythebody

          Yes. it would basically be theft at that point.

    2. Marissa_NYx

      Yes! Your iPhone settings won’t be giving you the passwords for your neighbors wifi . This one has the password there for your taking:) whether you call it squatting, stealing or simply turn a blind eye to the ethical issue , you can walk around “borrowing” people’s wifi passwords and data capacity wherever you are . Definitely a benefit when out & about in a foreign city.

      1. William Mougayar

        again, i don’t like that part about using password protected wifi.

      2. Tom Labus

        how are they getting the PWs?

    3. Richard

      This sounds like a battery killer

      1. William Mougayar

        that too.

  6. Twain Twain

    Now … Wi-Fi 3.0 … may be … wearable …The circuitry exists.

  7. Russell

    Aside from FIFA’s $5m bung to Ireland in 2009, this was my Friday Fun read …The terminator turns his hand, and muscle, to timepieces -http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4… (paywall)

  8. David Semeria

    I wouldn’t be too happy if people took our guest wifi (which we provide as a simple courtesy to visitors) and put the details in this app.

    1. awaldstein

      How true–I live in a large building. How many wifi’s do I see as I move around the building–lots.Ran into one that was called “Not f…cking yours!”

      1. William Mougayar

        but doesn’t your wifi settings show you those anyways?

        1. awaldstein

          point well made.

      2. JLM

        .”FBI Observation Van No 3″One of my neighbors who has a small sense of humor.It is really amazing how many networks there are out there when you scan for them.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          “FBI Observation Van No 3″The liberal media is always all over anything regarding surveillance and what is being collected. So are the hackers on Hacker News. They seem to feel that just because things are collected they will and can be used, it’s a knee jerk reaction and also almost like a religion. They don’t even analyze at all the risk to them it’s just a slippery slope with no benefit at all or protective factor.I could care less that the FBI is flying planes with fake cell towers collecting information. Not at all. I could care less that cops drive around (or private parties) and scoop up license plate numbers all over the place for a database or even if they are recording each and every call that I make. The idea that they have even 1/1,000,000th of the ability to begin to use that data is absurd.And as far as red light cameras, well I guess if I ran the red light I deserve to get a ticket. Same as using radar guns or speed traps.And I trust the government way more than I trust private parties who would be doing the same thing. Reason that I shred practically all of the paper that leaves my office.

      3. PhilipSugar

        My favorite: “I read your emails”

      4. Anne Libby

        There are some hilarious wifi names in my building. Then there are the people using their names or apartment numbers, d’oh.

    2. RichardF

      Also it’s sounds like a great opportunity to provide honeypots

      1. David Semeria

        Yes, I had the same thought.

      2. Alex Christodoulou

        Honeypots don’t need such an app, you just pop them up with free access and all unaware passing by users will use them

        1. RichardF

          I know they don’t need them but this is another way of providing what would seem like a connection that could be trusted

    3. Girish Mehta

      Not a practical app if password is being shared. Public WiFi has significant security risks. More countries will start to enforce more strict authentication procedures on public WiFi in future…while exposing passwords on an app is going in the opposite direction. Thanks.

    4. Richard

      I have the exactly the opposite problem, I have to constantly turn off my wifi when walking in front of a starbucks etc., the wifi signal is strong enough for my phone to communicate with but too weak to grab data, drains battery as well.

      1. David Semeria

        Just deselect the option to connect to open networks automatically.

        1. Richard

          The problem is that i like this feature (at my regular spots)

          1. fredwilson


      2. fredwilson

        I have that problem too

        1. Silvano Schröder

          Smarter WiFi Manager solves this problem. It is an application that comes installed on Blackphone and can be downloaded from the Play Store: https://play.google.com/sto

  9. Marissa_NYx

    I can see half my neighbors wifi passwords on the app! Interesting.

    1. William Mougayar

      that’s exactly what i don’t like (or understand) about it.

  10. Marissa_NYx

    Hey, I’ve renamed my user name to my favorite: cool, hip tech NY = NYx. I’m back in town next week. Can’t wait!

  11. LIAD

    whole thing is a trojan horse.step 1: get the crowd to map global wifi networks and passwordsstep 2: convince wifi owners to sell metered accessstep 3: charge roamers in bitcentsstep 4: obviate FON and othersstep 5: sit back and stroke white cat

    1. William Mougayar

      well, FON has a huge network in europe already.

    2. fredwilson

      You see things the same way I do LIAD

    3. Drew Meyers

      Totally agree with this.Some friends and I discussed this idea at length while traveling last year, and letting individual owners profit from selling wifi access was part of the long term thinking of how to make this work. I get the travel scenario, absolutely, but travel is a crazy crazy hard vertical to reach people in given infrequency of travel for most (2-4 trips per year). The nomad crowd would use this, sure..and pay something for it if there was enough data in it. But is there a large enough crowd for this, and some actual way to reach them at the right time, to turn it into a big business? I’m not convinced.

  12. RichardF

    I avoid public wifi hotspots at all cost. Several years ago I was in Starbucks and the firewall on my laptop went nuts, it was pretty obvious who the culprit was because as soon as I started to look around a guy who caught my eye, quickly shut his laptop down and bugged out. These days I just flip the personal hot spot on my phone, if I’m in a major city I’ll have faster speeds anyway.

  13. pointsnfigures

    will be interesting to see if there are network effects around this. from the comments, it’s not clear since people are highly suspicious of public wifi. how does me individually mapping out wifi spots benefit anyone when my phone automatically finds wifi as I walk??

    1. scottythebody

      The “value” of the app is sharing the passwords, not the hotspots.

  14. Tom Labus

    NY State rules for running a Bitcoin Exchange. http://www.engadget.com/201… Is this good or bad @wmoug:disqus?

    1. pointsnfigures

      what if the exchange is already registered with the SEC or CFTC? Suppose the new NASDAQ futures exchange listed Bitcoin? They are talking about using the blockchain to clear transactions on pink sheets.

      1. Tom Labus

        I believe it’s for new cos with no affiliation based on that article

      2. JLM

        .BTW, the guy who founded Silk Road was just sentenced to life in prison. It is a terrible story.A very well educated, privileged kid from Westlake (neighbor to ATX).Nice kid — who tried to have 5 people murdered at the end.His bitcoin app worked well enough to kill several people with overdoses and make him $20MM and get him a life sentence. The murders were a nice touch.Nice family. Nice kid. Bad situation.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. pointsnfigures

          You’d be nuts to trade on one of the exchanges that trades Bitcoin in China. Matching engines are easy to program. It’s the back end clearing mechanism-and margining that is hard. In every exchange I have seen currently trading Bitcoin futures, there is counterparty risk. Playing with fire.

  15. LE

    Using wifi like this, or any wifi, is a security risk. Using this app only increases the risk because it is easy to seed this with traps. I don’t even keep wifi “on” with my iphone. I don’t even want it connecting to any networks if I am out and about. I use LTE and pay for data as the lesser (security wise) of the evils. I don’t even use the wifi in my own office on my cell phone! [1]Here is a test. Next time you are on public wifi, if you are on a Mac, look on the sidebar and you will see others using the same wifi. You can then browse their machines sometimes depending on how they have them configured. But you can always typically make a connection to the machine. And that’s w/o even doing any hacking.Just from my bedroom by observing the wifi that my neighbors are broadcasting I’ve been able to figure out a great deal about who lives around me. Why? Because many of them broadcast their names as the wifi hotspot or their business name or something else very revealing.[1] Why? Because if I do it means that I might forget to turn it off and then if I am out and about I could connect to an open network with no password and be exposed to risks I do not want to take (knowing what I know..)

  16. jkrums

    Simmilar to what these guys are doing – http://instabridge.com/en/ but seems like you can choose trusted (private)wifi if you share your private wifi with the community and not rely on only public hotspots.

  17. LE

    Then, when you are out and about, maybe in a foreign city, maybe in a new neighborhood in the town or city where you live, you can…..Here is the way that I would finish that sentence.What I want is a way to see where I can go to the bathroom.I am even willing to pay to be able to walk in to a place and use a clean “certified” bathroom.So what I want is an app showing a list of places that will allow me to either use for free, or pay for using a clean bathroom. How much would I pay for using a clean bathroom? Enough to make it worth it for the bathroom owner. (Whether private or public space.)In NYC for example certain bathrooms require you to punch a receipt code in to use a shitty bathroom. Wouldn’t surprise me if people buy the cheapest item just to be able to use the bathroom already.Now finish this sentence. This is like ______________ for bathrooms.

      1. Richard

        Acess to most 5 star hotels facilities is fairly easy.

    1. fredwilson

      Build that app. It’s a winner

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Or how about Uber for bathrooms? You get the code to unlock the bathroom through the app for a monthly subscription fee. App maker keeps the bathrooms clean.

      1. LE

        “App maker keeps the bathrooms clean” is similar to the “Adopt a Highway Program” where in exchange for being allowed to put a sign up someone agrees to keep a stretch of highway free of litter. (In reality of course a contracted company does that and charges the “advertiser” the money.)For this program the way it could make sense is if the app was free and there was perhaps a bidding going on for where you could go and at what price. And the app takes a small cut of each transaction and facilitates payment and collection and so on.So “57th & 2nd” is a 4 star bathroom that you can use for $2 and 58th & 3rd is a 4 star bathroom you can use for $1.50 and another place may be free all dynamically changing and vary with time of day and even if the venue wants usage at all. Maybe a restaurant that is normally closed at lunch would take the money but not during dinner when they are open. Or maybe they would if they were a bar or a convience store and felt it would get people in who might become patrons. (Statistics could track all of this of course).Additionally, actual bathrooms of real people could be used with pictures of who would show up “accept them or reject them” or vice versa pictures of who has the bathroom and so on.That’s just the start. Wish someone would do this.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Ah interesting! I guess I actually was probably thinking more of “Breather for Bathrooms” :)In a way, it’s hard to believe this doesn’t exist yet!

      2. Boswon Thomas

        Can you just stop your girly thoughts and talk sense in this elite forum

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Ha ha ha!

  18. Mark Gavagan

    SAD NEWS: The inventor of the USB plug died last week. After lowering his coffin into the ground, they had to pull it up and turn it around.(author unknown)

  19. Matt Zagaja

    If I’m being honest most of my free public WiFi experiences have been frustrating to marginal. The only one that consistently seems to work well is Starbucks which is run by Google.So to go off-topic I finally go my Apple Watch the other day. There is a bit of a learning curve. Really cool that it stays unlocked while it detects your heart rate, some exciting potential applications seem to exist for security and logins, especially if it can authenticate with other devices in the future. I’d really love to have it serve as a car key. Apple pay is fantastic. I never owned a fitness tracker before but now can quantify how poorly I do on my runs. To me it looks slick and doesn’t feel intrusive. I can understand the apprehension by some people in dropping the money for it, but overall I’d say useful and good quality product with potential. I see more and more people buying fit bit though, and wonder if the market is going to end up shaking up the same way the Android v. iPhone market does with fit bit playing the low end and Apple at the high end.

  20. Jack Mulroe

    Hi Fred,Thanks for the tip. Which version have you been using–free or pro? It looks like the free version has had a lot more traction… Do you think the pro version adds enough value to be worth $4.99?That being said, I wonder if the founders have considered an advertising revenue model. I bet international “wifi chains” such as Starbucks and McDonald’s could be sold on the idea.By the way, I recently subscribed to your blog and have been working my way through all of your past MBA Mondays posts. They are great! Thank you.

    1. Richard

      It’s the cost of a latte? Why are people so price sensitive when it comes to apps?? (No disrespect to you)

      1. Jack Mulroe

        I am personally OK with paying $4.99. I am asking strictly from a business standpoint. The truth is, people are “so price sensitive when it comes to apps”. I do not foresee that changing anytime soon. If the pro version of the app is not gaining traction, the free version could benefit from advertising.

        1. Richard

          What business standpoint would this be? I for one want to change the paradigm of questioning whether an app is worth <$5, particularly if the free version is usefull!!

          1. Jack Mulroe

            I am wondering how to best scale a business. You are right, it would be nice to change that paradigm.Although, if the free version is useful, why would I pay for the pro version? The founders need to create enough value for their customers to differentiate the pro version from the free version. If they are unable to do so (which I am not sure about–that’s why I asked Fred) then a viable option would be an advertising revenue model.The advertisements would serve a solid purpose–they would guide users to a nearby wifi connection. The app would make money and the nearest Starbucks location can make $4.99 off that latte.

          2. Richard

            The spending paradigm says its great to support kickstarter events, hot dog vendors, bartenders … but somehow when it comes to apps (on a 600 phone and $100 data plan) $5 has to be scrutinized like a hotel room purchase

    2. fredwilson


  21. Kevin Parakkattu

    This app seems interesting but I wonder how they will pivot when public Wi-Fi becomes dominant. As of right now, if you are a Optimum/Time Warner subscriber, you essentially already have Wi-Fi where ever you go (in NYC). I saw this presentation a few weeks ago and I thought it was a unique solution to the lack of free public Wi-Fi in NYC (see video): https://youtu.be/BNrPJRmVZtUWhat does everyone think about the future of Wi-Fi coverage programs like Google’s Project Fi? Also, interested to see people’s opinion on Bibelly’s endeavors (see video).- KP

  22. Ramón Cacho

    Hey Fred, not sure if you’ve heard of Wifi Skeleton Key. It basically allows users to establish a connection to hotspots across China without the need for credentials. I first read it on techinasia.com, nothing revolutionary but at least it takes privacy into account.https://www.techinasia.com/

  23. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Not related, but, look! Someone has finally made the Cone of Silence:https://www.kickstarter.com…Thought of you immediately 🙂

  24. Joe Lazarus

    I’m in Italy on vacation. Used this twice today while we were out and about. Worked like a charm. Thanks for the tip.

  25. ShanaC


  26. TedHoward

    117 comments and not a single mention of Wi-Fi Sense. Funny how ignored MSFT is in the technology world.Windows Phone 8.1, as long as you’ve configured it to, will auto-login to its known list of public Wi-Fi access points. No need to open a map to find them, though you can turn that on in the Maps app if you want.

  27. awaldstein

    Usage and engagement to care enough to rate are not necessary a given of courseThe biggest hole in models I see day and day out is just this. Assuming that advertising is an answer is always a warning sign to me.

  28. Bob Vance

    I don’t understand what you’re implying?40 people consensually left CMU to join Uber, how is that wrong?

  29. JLM

    .It is getting impossible to overlook the lack of table manners of Uber. Eating pappardelle with their fingers?This is likely an actionable tort — “tortious interference with employment relationships” — even in an “at will” employment relationship. Likely that the Carnegie Mellon bunch had some written understandings.http://www.cmu.edu/news/sto…The fact that the money differential is so substantial, makes it obvious and more than a little ham handed.Funny thing is the CMU and their ilk are in the business of renting out their talent and undertaking efforts to commercialize technology — robots being a hot trend, obviously.Why not just hire them for a big long term project? That is what they started to do.One has to wonder what else is not known about Uber’s actions. Tip of the iceberg to you.In ATX, Uber applied to the City to be approved — running roughshod over the taxi medallion crowd. They wiggled into the City Council with a regulation which would have allowed them to operate.Hired the right folks locally to carry the ball, kissed some rings, likely got into some predictable beds . . . slick entry into the cesspool that can be the ATX City Council.ATX, of course, loves all things high tech and many on the Council thought this was “keen” and even “peachy”.The City required Uber to forego their “demand pricing” algorithm as part of the deal. This was a city staff initiative.The wily chaps representing Uber pulled a fast one. They bifurcated the reg into two separate regs — first one gives Uber the green light, second one bans demand pricing.Vote goes to the City Council — first reg gets approved.Council doesn’t act on second reg.Obviously, Uber’s henchpersons (unfair characterization, I am sure, likely moonlighting seminarians) got to the Council and found a way to bypass the demand pricing issue.Of course, during the public discussion leading up to this vote, the Uber Ubers promised — PROMISED — no demand pricing for sweet, little Austin. Not for you great guys.One is tempted to conclude this is just how this company operates. They are becoming the poster child for . . .JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  30. LE

    “Trust us” as in “me loves you long time”. [0]I’ve read versions of that story where CMU has tried to cover up how bad this is for them and actually spin it as a positive.Knowing only what I know from news articles, it seems like the naive trusting academics fucked up on that one “long time”. News flash: Your attorneys can’t protect you from things that they don’t think about, it takes your brain as well and someone who thinks like the enemy. [2] Naive academics don’t think like the enemy. They don’t think like business people do. And this is the result.[0] From Full Metal Jacket https://youtu.be/12tce-THLU…[1] The same type of people that didn’t anticipate spam in the design of email and a host of other security issues, to which they now say with a straight face, “it wouldn’t matter anyway since there would be no way to prevent it even if we knew back then what we know now”. (Sure!)[2] Ask yourself “will this every happen again at a University”. If the answer is “well not if the contract is written the right way” then you know that someone fucked up.

  31. Matt Zagaja

    This seemed appropriate.

  32. pointsnfigures

    Uber has made key hires that help it understand the political process. Promise, compromise, but do what you want. Deals are never deals.

  33. LE

    Why not just hire them for a big long term project? That is what they started to do.Well because then others could also hire them for a project.

  34. LE

    One is tempted to conclude this is just how this company operates. They are becoming the poster child for . . .Not sure why everyone is so surprised when money is involved. After all people worked for tobacco companies and for companies whose entire existence depended on tobacco companies and so on.

  35. LE

    Takes another swipe at naive academics…There must not have been a specific psychological experiment, with college students as test subjects, that showed this behavior was possible that was written up in a prestigious academic journal. Or perhaps there was but it was in the wrong journal. Or, perhaps it was in the right journal, but they missed it or mabe the key decision maker was on sabbatical that month….or…

  36. JLM

    .A “partnership” requires partners to work with a degree of honesty and fair play that is a higher legal standard than the duty a man owes to his wife. That is the law.Each and every opportunity presented to the partnership is owned by the partners in equal measure.One partner cannot steal an opportunity that belongs to the partnership regardless from whence it is sourced.This is why sophisticated companies hide behind the perfume of “single purpose joint ventures” which are chartered in writing with specific project objectives and which lawyer around the issues of confidential/proprietary/trade secret information, intellectual property, commercialization of work product, hiring practices, interference with existing arrangements, confidentiality, disclosure and non-disparagement.More importantly, I don’t go to your house and steal your employes — your maid, your cook, your yard guy.Not the way honorable people operate.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  37. JLM

    .Nah, long term exclusive project. NDA. Commercialization agreement. Happens all the time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  38. JLM

    .David Plouffe — an Obama henchman extraordinaire!What they did in Austin is slimy even by the standards of Amarillo feedlots.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  39. JLM

    .Dante will be housing the tobacco execs and the Uber boys in the same ring of Hell, no?When the science of tobacco was known, what the tobacco companies did to mislead the gov’t and the public was criminal.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  40. LE

    long term exclusive project. NDA. Commercialization agreement. Happens all the time.If it happens all of the time it probably doesn’t happen with this type of situation. For example I am sure Elon Musk wasn’t interested in using Lockheed Martin or Ford or a major university but rather wanted to cherry pick employees to work for him directly.To me, having them work for you as employees offers all of the above plus more of a prophylactic so it is covering more bases. Plus you get more flexibility in many cases. Similar to owning your own property vs. renting. Less to think about. Plus someone you hire you can also fire.Long term project and NDA also means they are still employed by the University and not indoctrinated into the culture and so on. Also, can’t tie them up with stock options and other methods just to start. Also less likely to feel they have ownership and are part of “the team”.That said we are both shooting in the dark because the specific of what Uber is trying to achieve are what matter and neither of us is privy to all of the thinking and the facts.

  41. JLM

    .They would say, “Me love you long time, GI.”You have to add the “GI” to get the full impact.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  42. LE

    Sure but that doesn’t explain why many companies today, including the famous “Wawa” chain on the East Coast, still do a great business in selling cigarettes. [1] In other words if back then what the tobacco companies did was criminal, then what would you call what the people who sell cigarettes today are doing?[1] When you go to the register they always ask you “what else” and it is very clear that they mean “any smokes”. I have asked them “how many people buy cigarettes here” and it’s clear from their answers that it is “a large percentage”. They don’t sell cigarettes from the profit from the smokes I am guessing. They sell them because it brings “Joe Sixpack” into the store and he buys lunch and gum.

  43. JLM

    .Not sure how your comment responds to what I said about tobacco execs — who knew that tobacco was addictive and dangerous for decades before they admitted it.They engaged in discovery deception by failing to produce reports they possessed that said exactly that.Corporate thugs just like some may feel about Uber. [Just for the record, I think Uber and all of its lawyers are princes. Sainted holy men.]There will always be vice in the US — alcohol, Twinkies, tobacco.Like most things, it is a matter of degree.Will a single Twinkie kill you?No.Will a thousand Twinkies a week?Maybe but it will absolutely influence your health and the public interest in that becomes the cost to the social safety net (Obamacare).Substitute your favorite vice for Twinkies to make it work for you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  44. LE

    I’ve always found that interesting actually. When you watch a movie about a subject that you know something about you can often find things that differ from your own experience. I remember an ex girlfriend who thought of herself as a violin prodigy commenting on the way the violin was held in a movie.The reason for this is simple. The movie is based on what the screenwriter writes and if that is not his personal experience perhaps they hire a consultant who knows and advises. But they don’t hire 20 consultants (I am guessing) so whatever that consultant says is what ends up in the movie. If you had been the adviser for that movie then that would have been the line.Of course maybe there were other creative reasons they left out “GI” from that scene.

  45. LE

    In order to answer that question more honestly you’d have to be more specific and less general and/or give an example.By the way I read this in the print WSJ 2 days ago (post my comment to you btw) you should read it:http://www.wsj.com/articles

  46. PhilipSugar

    I agree with you 100% on this one. The argument “if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear” has to be one of the dumbest ones ever.As a conservative there is a reason for the 4th amendment. A very, very strong one. This is one that people really need to get together on.

  47. JLM

    .This is such a massive abuse of power as to be the kind of thing that starts a revolution.It is outrageous.Here’s the big thing — we have no idea what the NSA is really doing.Snowden is a traitor and I would execute him tom’w before breakfast but what he revealed is frightening. What our gov’t is doing.Worse, the NSA always survives any administration. A similar problem as the CIA. They take a long time letting a new administration learn what is going on and then they play four corners and then they wait out the administration.Can you imagine what is really going when you have some nerds — 28 years old — with unlimited access to all things digital and a stadium full of Cray computers?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  48. LE

    I never said and I am not trying to imply “if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear”. Although I can see how someone would think that because that is commonly what people do say in reply.In fact I said that I was ok with getting a ticket by radar if I had broken the law. Or a red light ticket.And I drive around without a front license plate (for the past 4 years now) in a state that requires them. If I am stopped I will pay the fine ($80 iirc). Could I get thrown in jail? Chance of a chance very low, worth it to me. (Upside is someone stealing my car could get stopped which would be great..) I have given thought to this. Maybe I even like the danger. (Safer than Fred’s moped rides around NYC by the way…)I am simply weighing the chance of something actually happening (hypothetically) with the benefit overall. So I think that what the government is doing protects me more than it harms me.

  49. JLM

    .The Constitution belongs to the people.It is the document which creates the government which is intended to serve only the people.When the gov’t is formed, it does not have the authority to seize the Constitution and decide which elements are going to be continued for the benefit of the people.The provisions of the 4th Amendment are not granted by the gov’t — rather, they should prove to the people, every day, that they are not violating it.Clearly, all this nonsense about mining data, in the absence of “probable cause” and, even worse, an acknowledgement that nobody has done anything even “suspect” or “wrong” before the gov’t starts compiling data, is a wholesale breach of the protections of the 4th Amendment.I love my country. I respect the Constitution. I do not trust our gov’t.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  50. Anne Libby

    The most hopeful thing I’ve seen of late was so much public alignment in the public utterances of Ron Wyden & co and Rand Paul & co.May we eclipse labels like conservative/liberal/GOP/dem. Bad actors exploit these divides to diffuse (perceived) opinion and slow action on areas where we all agree.Summer of 2002, I remember being at the Duluth (MN) airport, watching a grandmother — dressed to travel, her hair was perfect, and she was wearing a lavender pantsuit, with a brooch — being wanded by a security officer at the gate. Her towheaded 3 year old grandson looked on.I remember thinking, this is how we teach our kids to give up our rights. God willing, that little boy is an almost-adult today.I agree with you more than you agree with yourself. (And would not self-describe as a conservative.) We have a lot of work to do.

  51. PhilipSugar

    “So I think that what the government is doing protects me more than it harms me.”That sums up where we disagree. Ronald Reagan said it best: “the nine most terrifying words you can hear are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help”

  52. PhilipSugar

    I agree with you about labels more than you agree with yourself, and have said it before, my bad.Why do I have to describe myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. What does that really mean? It means I think government should be smaller and if you have found a partner to go through life with, I am happy for you regardless of your genders.

  53. ShanaC

    Yup. I’m sick of labels, it is making it hard to construct and discuss good policy

  54. Anne Libby

    One thing I like about coming “here” is when people who believe different things talk with one another. (Though sometimes we start talking at one another, and over one another.) I had this experience in business school, too.I wish there were more places that this happened in the rest of the world!

  55. Anne Libby

    Or even to discuss what we believe!

  56. ShanaC