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25th of November, 2017

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Business Ethics 101

I’m no boy scout, not any more, but I still sometimes suffer from a debilitating case of morality. As an example, I was swilling beer with some friends of mine last night, and one of them was explaining his marketing idea to me. He’s driving into work, and he decides to leave his iBook on. He’s got his wireless card turned on, and a sniffer program running. On his way to work, about 5 miles, he finds something like 20 wireless networks, only 2 or 3 of which are password-protected. His idea is to find drive around, sniffing out open wireless networks, and going into the businesses and telling them their networks are wide open to whomever drives up to the curb, and offering to fix it for them for a fee.

This is a little too chaotic for me. That would be like coming home and finding some guy sitting on your couch. Then he tries to sell you a new lock. We debated the legality of it, and I’m pretty sure that it’s legal, but I could see some reasons why it wouldn’t be.

One other thing I’m not really sure about is how the network techs who already work there will feel about it. I mean, if you’re a network tech and you’ve got an unsecured wireless network hanging on on your LAN, you’re incompetent, no question about it. But you’re still a guy, and you’ll still want to kick my ass when I saunter into your boss’s office with a backup CD of his Quickbooks directory that I made from the parking lot.

There’s nothing like ethical ambiguity and an almost certain ass-kicking to discourage a business venture.

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