Covered Topics

Please see the list of the topics I've covered. It's located near the bottom of the page. Thanks for stopping in!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wanna BEAT Internet Censorship? Build Your OWN Internet!

We have read recently how the Egyptian, Chinese, and Syrian governments have cut Internet access to their citizens to control the flow of information and keep ordinary citizens from being able to report human rights abuses. In the case of Syria, cell phones have also been affected by government censorship efforts. Since time immemorial governments have treated their citizens "like mushrooms - keeping them in the dark and feeding ..." - well, you know the rest of the saying.

Even as the United States government talks of "needing" the ability to shut down Internet access to US CITIZENS in the event of "cyber terrorism" or "other civil crises", the state Department and Pentagon are spending American tax dollars to develop and provide alternative cyber networks to folks in other countries affected by such censorship.

Here's a link to an article in today's New York Times online edition:

While I think most of what the New York Times produces is best used as bird cage liner or kitty litter, THIS article actually has some VERY GOOD information.

Quoted directly from the article:
"The group’s suitcase project will rely on a version of “mesh network” technology, which can transform devices like cellphones or personal computers to create an invisible wireless web without a centralized hub. In other words, a voice, picture or e-mail message could hop directly between the modified wireless devices — each one acting as a mini cell “tower” and phone — and bypass the official network. "

"mesh networks - information hops directly between cell phones and computers without going through state-controlled networks. They do this with special software."

Given the natural disasters that have hit the US within the past few years, as well as other events that could suddenly cripple the ability of US Citizens to communicate freely by phone or Internet, perhaps we would do well as individual citizens to network with each other and create our own 'free' Wide-Area-Networks (WANs), or community Internets. This would go far in augmenting the services that amateur radio (ham) operators provide in times of need. Amateur radio operators use "packet radio" to transmit digital information. Unfortunately most folks don't have the training or the license to use it. But most of us who own laptops DO have Wi-Fi capability which are readily adaptable for use in mesh or ad-hoc networks.

Something for any concerned citizen to think about.

For those interested in developing this technology, a google search will turn up all the information you need to get started. I've included a couple links here:

"Fab-fi networks" - open-source systems using common, "every-day" materials and readily-available equipment for creating community wireless Ethernet networks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Constructive comments are welcome! Spam, or any abusive or profane comments will be deleted.