Italians Urged to Remove Wi-Fi Passwords to Help Earthquake Victims

By James O Malley on at

The Italian Red Cross is urging residents of Croce Rossa to unlock their wifi to aid recovery efforts, following the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit central Italy yesterday.

So far, 159 people are reported to have died in the quake - and it is clear from images of the aftermath that it has been hugely damaging to buildings and infrastructure too.

The IB Times reports that the Italian Red Cross has been tweeting urging residents to remove their passwords from their wifi. The tweet even gives details on how to login into a router's admin system in order to change the settings.

The thinking is that it will aid communications efforts via messaging apps and ease the load on mobile networks, which often become log-jammed during emergencies. Given the scale of the earthquake, chances are phone masts themselves could have been directly effected too - so wifi could be the only way to get connected.


As we reported yesterday, Facebook has also activated its safety check feature, enabling residents of the region to let friends and family know that they are okay.

There could conceivably be cybersecurity risks with leaving networks open - but it appears, at least in the view of the Italian Red Cross, that this is a risk worth taking given the immediate situation in Italy. (Via IBTimes.)