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October 15, 2008

What A Lovely Walled Garden It Is

To write this post, I'm currently "hacked" into the wifi system of a small community college on the east coast. For fear of my safety and those involved, I've hidden the identity of individuals in the story below.

My mission started out simple enough; spend 1 hour online to check my email and catch up on the latest from icanhascheezburger.com.

I asked a student walking around if they had wifi on campus. "You mean wireless internet?" "Yes." She pointed me towards the library.

In the library I opened my laptop and was confronted with a password to access the wifi. Fair enough, IT wants to protect the other 1000 people from the community from plugging in and stealing their goodies.

I asked the librarian what the password was. She said to get a password I had to talk to IT which is located in the Arts Building. "Really?" "Yes." "Where's the Art's building?" "Across campus, about a 10 minute walk." "Really?" "Yes."

After two wrong turns and 20 minutes later I found the IT room tucked away with a closed door. I opened the door to two older folks staring at me like I might steal some blue network cords.

On the front desk was a note stating to get a password for wifi I needed a student ID and a valid government ID. Hmmmm, maybe they'll let me substitute my Starbucks Gift Card for a student ID?

"I'm a guest on campus for the day, so how can I access the wifi?" "You mean wireless internet?" "Yes." "Oh, hmmmm, well, hmmmm, right. Let me check."

She called her boss who was not in his office. "Sorry I need his permission to let you access the wifi. There's nothing I can do." "Really?" "Yes." "Wow."

So here I am "hacked" into the wifi system of a small community college on the east coast and what a lovely walled garden it is.

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