About 2 months ago, Cisco pushed to its consumer-grade routers a firmware upgrade that stripped away the ability to log into and configure the routers locally. Instead, consumers thus upgefirmed were treated to a Cloud Connect signup page where they could establish an account that would centralize management of consumers' routers in Cisco's servana.
By the fifth of July, Cisco had backpedaled. "Did we say mandatory? Did we push that firmware? Oopsie. Our bad." They then made it clear that any consumer could opt out and maintain local control of his consumer-grade router by simply following the friendly instructions, which begin "We are sorry to see you downgrading to our Classic software (non-Cloud)…."
Now, via Ars Technica, comes word of the latest fad in centralized management of the people's resources.
…wireless researchers in Germany proposed a way to improve the communications abilities of first responders…: creating an “emergency switch” that lets government employees disable the security mechanisms in the wireless routers people have set up in their own homes. This would allow first responders to use all the routers within range to enhance the capabilities of the mesh networks that allow them to communicate with each other.
…The residents’ wireless traffic would still remain private, in theory…..
This even though bandwidth is already set aside for that purpose.
I, for one, regret that I have but one subnet to allocate for my country. But just to hedge, I'll be printing up a selection of bumper stickers and t-shirts featuring salient slogans:
Government is Just a Name for the Things
we relinquish to nonaccountable bureaucracies
It Takes a Village
To Distributively Deny a Service
We Don't Need To Show You No Stinking Passwords
since you already have root
Anyhow, I'm all for it. First Defenders, after all. And The Children.
What could possibly go wrong?