(motherjones.com) JOSEPH BONICIOLI mostly uses the same internet you and I do. He pays a service provider a monthly fee to get him online. But to talk to his friends and neighbors in Athens, Greece, he’s also got something much weirder and more interesting: a private, parallel internet.
He and his fellow Athenians built it. They did so by linking up a set of rooftop wifi antennas to create a “mesh,” a sort of bucket brigade that can pass along data and signals. It’s actually faster than the Net we pay for: Data travels through the mesh at no less than 14 megabits a second, and up to 150 Mbs a second, about 30 times faster than the commercial pipeline I get at home. Bonicioli and the others can send messages, video chat, and trade huge files without ever appearing on the regular internet. And it’s a pretty big group of people: Their Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network has more than 1,000 members, from Athens proper to nearby islands. Anyone can join for free by installing some equipment. “It’s like a whole other web,” Bonicioli told me recently. “It’s our network, but it’s also a playground.”
Indeed, the mesh has become a major social hub. There are blogs, discussion forums, a Craigslist knockoff; they’ve held movie nights where one member streams a flick and hundreds tune in to watch. There’s so much local culture that they even programmed their own mini-Google to help meshers find stuff. “It changes attitudes,” Bonicioli says. “People start sharing a lot. They start getting to know someone next door—they find the same interests; they find someone to go out and talk with.” People have fallen in love after meeting on the mesh.
Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/mesh-internet-privacy-nsa-isp
(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
(thebitcointrader.com) As the SOPA debate rages on in Congress, the brightest minds of the Internet are already taking decisive steps toward building a new, alternative Internet which would remain untouchable by the corporations currently threatening to tear apart the fabric and soul of the Internet we know and love. For more on SOPA and the threat it represents, have a read of one of my older articles, here.
This new, decentralized (sound familiar?) Internet would not rely on corporate-controlled Internet Service Providers or be subject to the whims of increasingly undemocratic US government regulation, but would depend on its worldwide userbase for maintaining its infrastructure.
The key to the implementation of the so-called “Meshnet” is the establishment of a sufficiently powerful network of nodes. While a completely voluntary system would be ideal, the costs associated with the construction and operation of these nodes would be non-trivial; an incentivized system would be far more effective.
Enter Bitcoin and BitSyncom.
Read more: http://www.thebitcointrader.com/2011/12/meshnet-bitcoin-and-bitsyncom-creating.html
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