The Register writes today about the ongoing protest against Fon’s 15-minute free Internet promotion. As usual, they don’t really know what Fon is; they think Fon is a VOIP company. KenRadio thinks Fon is a meshing router. Boingo thinks they’ve added 130,000 new hotspots through their partnership with Fon. Whatever.
Fon does not verify the emails given for free access, and this is the only “identification” required for free access. Additionally, the promotion was sprung on the Fonero Community without warning, fully activated and without debate. Fon President Martin Varsavsky wrote in his blog that trivial details like how much Bills would be compensated, and how Foneros could opt-out would be provided later, but there still is no mechanism provided to do this. Perhaps we need to email email@example.com and wait the usual 2 weeks, etc.
In response, Fon makes the orange “Alien” icons vanish from Fon Maps. These had been used by Foneros to spell out messages on Fon’s maps, just north of their headquarters. These icons were automatically placed where Aliens lived, and were not opt-out (though you could manually misplace them to protect your privacy). A year of complaining to Fon about privacy was fruitless; a moment of embarassment while the Press watched seems to have suceeded.
ADDITION: BlogWiMAX has picked up on the story.
ADDITION: NewsWireless.Net has picked up on the story.
ADDITION: Wireless-Weblog has picked up on the story.