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The WiFi next door hears you having sex

Posting in Technology

WiFi circa the 19th century.

This is not quite what it sounds like, so to speak. But still worth noting.

According to a BBC story, neighbors are getting down right vindictive and hoaxing in the names they choose for their WiFi networks. Those names pop up on other people's nearby WiFi-connected computer menus. In some cases, the labels communicate a "shut up" type message to, say, fellow building dwellers who don't know how to keep the music down. In others, the word play is a bit more prurient.

Some common names noted by OpenSignalMaps, a company that keeps a database of network handles:

    • We can hear you having sex
    • Stop having so much sex
    • Stop wearing heals
    • Stop slamming the door
    • Shut up
    • Stop shouting
    • You're music is annoying (to which someone replied via a new WiFi name, Your grammar is more annoying)
    • Terror network
    • Virus detected shutting down

And then there are names intended to tell WiFi moochers to "keep your hands off":

    • Stop stealing my paper
    • Go away don't steal my broadband
    • Thou shalt not steal
    • Covet not thy neighbor's wi-fi

Now that we've circled back to sex, let's leave the name game there. Meanwhile, safe computing!

Image: "Eavesdropping" by Vittorio Reggianini, from Wikimedia via Sotheby's.

— By on October 18, 2012, 11:12 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure