Meshnet activists rebuilding the internet from scratch

(newscientist.com) Worried about the NSA snooping on your email? Maybe you need to start creating your own personal internet

THE internet is neither neutral nor private, in case you were in any doubt. The US National Security Agency can reportedly collect nearly everything a user does on the net, while internet service providers (ISPs) move traffic according to business agreements, rather than what is best for its customers. So some people have decided to take matters into their own hands, and are building their own net from scratch.

Across the US, from Maryland to Seattle, work is underway to construct user-owned wireless networks that will permit secure communication without surveillance or any centralised organisation. They are known as meshnets and ultimately, if their designers get their way, they will span the country.

Dan Ryan is one of the leaders of the Seattle Meshnet project, where sparse coverage already exists thanks to radio links set up by fellow hackers. Those links mean that instead of communicating through commercial internet connections, meshnetters can talk to each other through a channel that they themselves control.

Each node in the mesh, consisting of a radio transceiver and a computer, relays messages from other parts of the network. If the data can’t be passed by one route, the meshnet finds an alternative way through to its destination. Ryan says the plan is for the Seattle meshnet to extend its coverage by linking up two wireless nodes across Lake Union in downtown Seattle. And over the country at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, student Alexander Bauer is hoping to build a campus meshnet later this year. That will give his fellow students an alternative communications infrastructure to the internet.

Read more.: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929294.500-meshnet-activists-rebuilding-the-internet-from-scratch.html#.Ugdkc6zI_-s

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5 comments
  1. http://p2pfoundation.net/Mesh_Networks
    https://temporaryartist.wordpress.com/tag/mesh-networking/

    > 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.
    http://www.funkfeuer.at/index.php?id=42&L=1

    > Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN) is a grassroots wireless community, taking advantage of new, state of the art wireless technologies, to connect people and services. The network comprises 1120 backbone nodes (as of Aug, 2010) and more than 2900 client computers connect to it. More than 9,000 people have stated their intention to join AWMN in the near future.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens_Wireless_Metropolitan_Network

  2. > Broadband-Hamnet™ (formerly called HSMM-Mesh™) is a high speed, self discovering, self configuring, fault tolerant, wireless computer network that can run for days from a fully charged car battery, or indefinitely with the addition of a modest solar array or other supplemental power source. The focus is on emergency communications.

    In its current form it is built using the Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS wireless routers and operates on channels 1-6 of the 2.4GHz ISM band, which overlaps with the upper portion of the 13cm amateur radio band. Other platforms and bands are in development at this time. Next will be Ubiquiti equipment with others supported as development resources permit.

    OLSR is used for auto linking of the mesh node radios.

    OpenWRT firmware tools are used for firmware development.

    Broadband-Hamnet™ is currently being designed, developed and deployed as an amateur radio broadband communications system. It originated in Austin, Texas but has spread all across the USA and many other countries around the world.

    http://www.hsmm-mesh.org/

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