Staff editorial: Cut the wires

The University is right to be cautious in expanding its wireless technology program. Though wireless technology is the future of Internet connectivity on college campuses, the administration should move diligently to iron out security concerns before moving forward with the project.

Imagine being able to take your laptop with you from your residence hall to Gelman library, on a break in Kogan Plaza and finally to meet friends on the Quad – all the while continuously connected to the Web without being connected to a port or dealing with wires.

The university is well on its way to making this dream a reality, recently expanding wireless service to Kogan Plaza and additional sections of Gelman. Off-campus students, who do not have access to the university ethernet with their own computers, will have an easy way of getting Internet access once the project is expanded.

While there are many benefits, an insecure wireless system leaves the campus vulnerable to drive-by hackers able to steal Internet access and students’ personal information on the Web. Eliminating Social Security numbers as a form of student identification will go along way in limiting hackers’ ability to attain students’ vital information off the wireless network, but all precautions should be taken before its implementation. Students want this technology, but they want to feel it is secure before they use it.

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