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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.
Originally posted by swanne
reply to post by Lady_Tuatha
This sound really cool, S&F for this.
But I can't help but wonder: If the authorities can't enforce laws on this new Internet system, won't it open the door for Mafia and neonazi surveillance-less communication, thus higher criminal coordination?
Again, nice find
Visions of a decentralised internet come with a seedier side – the darknet. One way to access it is through the anonymising routing service Tor, which lets a user find hidden web pages that have .onion addresses, rather than IP addresses. But anonymisation like this can facilitate otherwise unacceptable activities. Illegal drug market, Silk Road can only be accessed using its .onion address. But Alexander Bauer, who works on a meshnet in Maryland thinks meshnets are less likely to carry this content. Any website that can successfully run on a meshnet must be socially acceptable to every peer they connect with, making it less attractive for child pornographers or websites like Silk Road. "That's why we don't think the network will be taken over by child porn. You have to have someone accept what's on your node in order for them to pass your traffic around," he says.