Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meshnet activists rebuilding the internet from scratch

Via Bill 

 DIY networks for all <i>(Image: Paul Taylor/Getty)</i>

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.


  1. " The Genie " is out of the bottle , and " they " can NEVER put it back . Hence ....the threats , the paranoid spying and all the rest .

  2. This is very interesting. First I've heard about it. I hope you will follow up as this develops. I know I'll be on the lookout for news about this. Thanks.

    1. Certainly and if you hear something new, please let me know and thanks.

  3. Hopefully some bright bulb will develop and market an inexpensive box that will let most of us plug it in, turn it on (hopefully it'll have a solar panel on top), and connect directly to each other. That way, when the Powers That Be pull the Internet and cell phone kill switches, we'll still be connected.

    Of course, since they will need to connect with some radio frequency, the FCC will dance all over it. The Oligarchs can't allow this kind of thing to reach the masses.

    1. The Oligarchs can't allow this kind of thing to reach the masses.