LinkNYC Provides New Yorkers with Free WiFi, Calling, Charging and more
Yes, you read that right.
LinkNYC has created a free WiFi, Calling, Charging, Tablet (with a Web Browser,) 911 button, and Information Kiosk.
They’re already all over Manhattan.
Reactions are mixed.
Some New Yorkers consider the kiosks to be a nuisance, some are downright horrified that this is a plot to spy on New Yorkers, and some are optimistic seeing LinkNYC as a way to help connect those without resources.
Here are a few quotes:
“It’s baffling why they can’t lower speaker volume and brightness to about 50% maximum after, say, 1AM? I have called multiple times to complain, sometimes at 4AM when I’m woken to the glorious sounds of some gritty Trap video. If you live near one of these, they light up your homes, as you can tell from my above complaint. Not to mention what the others have mentioned, they should call these Homeless Twerk Video station, that’s all they’re used for. As ilivehere said, someone got a nice payday,” one reader wrote on Neighborhood Square.
“Everyday and I mean EVERYDAY I come out my building to find the (2) kiosks on my corner (125 st) are always plagued by bums and junkies. They even place crates, chairs and magazine boxes to sit & sleep on while they entertain themselves with movies & music which means the working class people, who pay taxes & may want to use cannot or will not after seeing what’s been on it all day & night..If they cannot be monitored properly then they should take them down,” another reader wrote.
“I think the majority of you complaining about bums using the LinkNYC really need to STFU. You ought to be grateful you have a roof over your head & don’t have to resort to this. Leave people alone & let them be because you never know, tomorrow it could happen to you,” another commenter said.
Cryptome.org calls them “spy kiosks:”
But why the hell would you not put a camera on it?
The kiosks are sure to encounter vandalism, hacking, and other crimes; concluding that a built-in camera is a plot to spy on New Yorkers completely overlooks the fact that it’s a logical security measure.
But after reading around, I will say there’s something fishy about these.
I first found out about these Kiosks via intersection.com.
“Intersection is a technology and media company redefining the urban experience.”
So, Intersection is the one whom develops LinkNYC then, right?
This is where researching this got very interesting.
Allow me to take you down a mystifying trail of companies and consortiums that reads like the beginning of an epic conspiracy theory:
- LinkNYC is developed by Intersection.
- Intersection is owned by a “consortium led by Sidewalk Labs.”
- Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company.
- Sidewalk Labs is a merger between Control Group and Titan.
As you probably already know, Alphabet Inc. is essentially Google or Alphabet is now what Google was but also it owns Google.
All of this research led me to one BIG question.
Why so many f@#king names?
Conspiracy theories aside, how are all of these free services paid for?
Surely someone has to pick up the tab.
In fact, LinkNYC claims that not only will they pay for themselves, “[their kiosks] will generate more than half a billion dollars in revenues for New York City.”
Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
If you’re interested in having a Link in your city, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org