US government funding ‘shadow’ networks

() The Obama administration is funding so-called “shadow” internet and cell phone networks, which allow activists to operate independently of government controls.

The “shadow” networks are portable kits that fit in suitcases, which could maintain ad-hoc computer networks useful to activists in places where internet is either inaccessible or being monitored.

One team of technologists in Washington, DC, has received a government grant to build a portable network.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Villamizar had the opportunity to meet them. She reports from the US capital.

  1. The OLSR daemon is an implementation of the Optimized Link State Routing protocol. As such it allows mesh routing for any network equipment.
    It runs on any wifi card that supports ad-hoc mode and of course on any ethernet device.
    OLSR is next to AODV one of the main two internet standards for mesh networks. It is widely used and well tested.

  2. FunkFeuer is a free, experimental network in Vienna, Graz, in parts of Weinviertel (NÖ) and Bad Ischl. It is build and maintained by computer enthusiasts. This project is non commercial.

    FunkFeuer is open for everybody interested and willing to contribute. One of the goals is to built a unregulated network which has the potential to bridge the digital valley between the social layers and deliver the infrastructure and the knowledge for it.

    To be able to participate in FunkFeuer you need a WLAN router (starting at 60 EUR) or a PC, the OLSR program, an IP from FunkFeuer, some patience and motivation. You can see on our map where reception of FunkFeuer should be possible (keep in mind that there might be buildings in your path, so reception is then only possible circuitous). One third of Vienna should be covered in principle. In Graz are some nodes around the Kunsthaus.

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