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[liberationtech] "Pirate" wifi on NYC subway: now open-source!

Nathan of Guardian nathan at
Tue Dec 13 10:13:05 PST 2011

Some of you may have heard about a temporary wifi network that was run
on New York Subway's L train last month. If not, you can catch up here:

What made this effort unique is that this "mesh" didn't try to allow
people to get online to the plain old Internet, but it instead conceived
of entire new apps and content distribution mechanisms that were
appropriate to the context of people crammed in a subway car on their
smartphones. They also considered issues of how to make people aware of
this network, and how to physically put it in place each morning they
deployed it, including how to not look suspicious to the very serious
NYC police anti-terrorist surveillance system.

One of the primary developers of the project is Sean McIntyre, a student
of mine at NYU ITP. While I cannot take credit for the idea, I did give
him permission to use this work as his semester project, and I can
definitely say he will easily be getting a passing grade! I have cc'd
him on this email if you are interested in getting touch about deploying
your own "notwork".

Open-source project:

Press release:

Video on the project here:

Tech doc describing the hardware and configuration:

and if you are in the New York area, here is this from Sean:

"We're having a meeting this Thursday, Dec 15 from 7-10 PM off the
Morgan L in Brooklyn to chat about the project. The goal of the
meeting will be to release this idea and help develop ideas in the
same realm. Email me off list if you are interested attending."


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