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[liberationtech] Mesh Networks?

Douglas Finley dafinley at gmail.com
Fri Jun 17 09:41:28 PDT 2011


Thank you!

On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM, Venessa Miemis <venessamiemis at gmail.com>wrote:

> they're working on it in portland - http://www.personaltelco.net/
>
> - v
>
>
> On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM, Douglas Finley <dafinley at gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> Can we practice in the States first? Or asynchronously. Whatever.
>> Pick a community. Build a mesh network. And see what happens.
>>
>> On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 10:06 AM, Yosem Companys <companys at stanford.edu>wrote:
>>
>>> What do you all think?  Will mesh networks work?
>>>
>>> Shervin Pishevar is a really smart guy, so if anyone can help organize
>>> this effectively, it is he.
>>>
>>> But mesh nets have been around for a while and never taken off, so just
>>> wondering what the technical hurdles are.
>>>
>>> Thoughts?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> Yosem
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>    [image: CNN.com] <http://www.cnn.com/>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>   Starting a revolution with technology
>>>
>>> *(CNN)* -- Political revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia not only inspired
>>> other regional uprisings -- they sparked a flurry of ideas about how to help
>>> revolutionaries better communicate when their governments pull the plug on
>>> the World Wide Web.
>>>
>>> Shervin Pishevar, founder of Social Gaming Network (SGN),<http://www.sgn.com/> has
>>> a plan to give freedom-seeking individuals the ability to link up and form
>>> their own life raft to "make what no government can ever block."
>>>
>>> "I want to use technology to bring freedom to the Mideast," says
>>> Pishevar, one of 10 members of Ted Turner's U.N. Foundation's Global
>>> Entrepreneurs Council<http://www.unfoundation.org/about-unf/global-entrepreneurs-council/>
>>> .
>>>
>>> And Pishevar's latest startup, OpenMesh<http://www.openmeshproject.org/>,
>>> would do just that.
>>>
>>> OpenMesh involves the use of ad hoc wireless mesh network technology that
>>> mimics the survival instincts of fire ants: A single fire ant will drown in
>>> a pool of water. But if they link together, the ants can form a living raft
>>> and survive.
>>>
>>> Routers and mesh network-enabled laptops can link together to form a
>>> network enabling individuals to send messages along these linked "nodes" to
>>> create a local system that allows individuals within a group to communicate.
>>>
>>> If one individual within the mesh network is able to connect to the
>>> outside world, that person can share the connection with others on the
>>> network.
>>>
>>> Mesh network technology is not new, nor is it the only work-around to
>>> disabled wireless and Internet communications.
>>>
>>> But Pishevar and fellow tech entrepreneur Gary Jay Brooks are providing a
>>> space where online activists in the world's hot spots can come together to
>>> share their ideas.
>>>
>>> Starting in January, a regime-changing wave of protests started in Egypt,
>>> inspired by demonstrators in neighboring Tunisia who ousted their president
>>> in a popular uprising.
>>>
>>> The Egyptian government shut down the Internet for five days during the
>>> protests, so Egyptians used satellite connections, dial-up modems and land
>>> lines to call Internet service providers in other countries to get online.
>>>
>>> Mesh technology would have enabled those connected to share their
>>> connections along the network.
>>>
>>> By enabling groups of individuals with the physical hardware to work
>>> around any state-imposed firewall, Pishevar plans to give freedom-seeking
>>> people the tools to "eradicate dictatorships throughout the planet."
>>>
>>> Many hard-line governments will attempt to drown out dissent by
>>> controlling the Internet with kill switches and firewalls. But with a phone
>>> -- or a $90 router the size of one -- an individual can link to thousands of
>>> others, creating a private network harnessing**the firepower of the
>>> Internet.
>>>
>>> And that can create a free community unbound by topographical and state
>>> barriers.
>>>
>>> *Five ways they got around the censors*
>>>
>>> The crackdown on the Internet in North Africa and the Middle East is
>>> hardly a new tactic to quell political dissent.
>>>
>>> A recent Freedom House study found that about a third -- 12 out of 37 --
>>> of the countries reviewed had "consistently or temporarily imposed total
>>> bans on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or equivalent services."
>>>
>>> Read the Freedom House study (PDF)<http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/fotn/2011/FOTN2011.pdf>
>>>
>>> U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said restrictions on Internet
>>> activity that prohibit free expression are among the most worrisome trends
>>> concerning human rights.
>>>
>>> Yet as governments become more savvy in their attempts to repress freedom
>>> of expression on the Internet, their citizens have become cyber-sleuths,
>>> creating innovative technologies to circumvent censors and authorities
>>> tracking their Internet activities.
>>>
>>> Activists in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain told CNN about five technologies
>>> that have been most useful in getting around government-imposed blockades:
>>>
>>> *1. Tor*
>>>
>>> Tor <https://www.torproject.org/> is a circumvention tool that allows
>>> users to access censored information online, by bouncing communications
>>> among a network of users around the world, ultimately enabling its users to
>>> maintain anonymity online.
>>>
>>> Slim Amamou, a "hacktivist" based in Tunisia, describes Tor as a program
>>> that enables you to "circumvent the central service of censorship by using a
>>> computer from someone else in the world."
>>>
>>> It played a crucial role, he says, because social media pages sharing
>>> information about the protests were "systematically censored so you could
>>> not access them without censorship circumvention tools.
>>>
>>> "So [Tor] was vital to get information and share it."
>>>
>>> *2. Speak to Tweet*
>>>
>>> Speak to Tweet <http://twitter.com/#!/speak2tweet> is a joint project
>>> between Google and Twitter that was first used during the Egyptian
>>> revolution when the Mubarak regime shut down access to the Internet.
>>>
>>> The application allows individuals to call a phone number and leave a
>>> voice mail, which is automatically translated into a tweet with a hashtag
>>> from the country of origin.
>>>
>>> The program has also been used in Syria, Libya and Bahrain. You can
>>> listen to the messages on Twitter through @speak2tweet.
>>>
>>> *3. HTTPS Everywhere*
>>>
>>> HTTPS Everywhere <http://www.eff.org/https-everywhere> encrypts
>>> communications between its users and major websites, including Google,
>>> Twitter and Facebook. The Firefox extension was created by the Tor Project
>>> and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
>>>
>>> According to Movements.org, "Using HTTPS means that you are creating a
>>> more secure channel over an unsecure network, better protecting you from
>>> surveillance and eavesdropping. HTTPS encrypts the transmission, but NOT the
>>> content you are transmitting."
>>>
>>> *4. Psiphon*
>>>
>>> Psiphon <http://psiphon.ca/> allows clients to bypass content filters.
>>> Unlike Tor, users do not have to download the program, but they need to be
>>> invited into the network by another Psiphon user, making the network hard
>>> for oppressive governments to infiltrate.
>>>
>>> The Freedom House Review of Censorship Circumvention Tools<http://freedomhouse.org/uploads/special_report/97.pdf> recommends
>>> this program for uploading and distributing materials when a high level of
>>> security and fast app speed are required.
>>>
>>> Additionally, the report says, although Psiphon provides privacy, it does
>>> not give its users "full anonymity, since the proxy server will log all
>>> client activity."
>>>
>>> *5. CryptoSMS*
>>>
>>> CryptoSMS <http://cryptosms.org/> is a service that sends and receives
>>> encrypted text messages, which is particularly invaluable in places where
>>> mobile phones are more readily available than Internet access.
>>>
>>> It requires the SMS sender to create a password that is used to encrypt
>>> the message. The recipient must have the password to decrypt it.
>>>
>>> CryptoSMS will not hide your phone number; it will merely encrypt the
>>> message itself.
>>>
>>> *Creating an online oasis of freedom*
>>>
>>> Pishevar developed his OpenMesh project as part of his participation in
>>> Ted Turner's U.N. Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council.
>>>
>>> Each council member is young, varied and unassuming.
>>>
>>> Elliott Bisnow's company, Summit Series, doesn't even have a website.
>>> They organize "Woodstock or Burning Man [type events] for business people,"
>>> he explains, and they do it all on Twitter.
>>>
>>> These philanthropic entrepreneurs know how to use current, even
>>> relatively old technology -- by crowd sourcing ideas and messages -- to
>>> create ephemeral communities and movements that direct political change and
>>> revolutions.
>>>
>>> In floods of political turmoil, people like Pishevar are trying to create
>>> oases for freedom.
>>>
>>> "The number one thing that keeps me up at night is freedom," he says.
>>>
>>> CNN's Scott Bronstein and Leon Jobe contributed to this report.
>>>
>>>     Find this article at:
>>> http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation/06/17/mesh.technology.revolution
>>>
>>> © 2008 Cable News Network
>>>
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>>
>>
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>
>
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