Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Oct 2011 19:10 UTC
Internet & Networking "Computer networks proved their organizing power during the recent uprisings in the Middle East, in which Facebook pages amplified street protests that toppled dictators. But those same networks showed their weaknesses as well, such as when the Egyptian government walled off most of its citizens from the Internet in an attempt to silence protesters. That has led scholars and activists increasingly to consider the Internet's wiring as a disputed political frontier."
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FreedomBox
by Lennie on Mon 3rd Oct 2011 20:28 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

For anyone who wishes to know more about the FreedomBox:

Short video from CBS:
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7358702n

Other videos:
http://freedomboxfndn.mirocommunity.org/listing/popular/

Website:

http://www.freedomboxfoundation.org/learn/

Debian project where the software is to be combined:

http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox

Reply Score: 5

RE: FreedomBox
by Nomius on Mon 3rd Oct 2011 21:30 UTC in reply to "FreedomBox"
Nomius Member since:
2007-03-24

They have some svg graphics and everything in the website !!! Oh my... Another project from a Debian user with no source code, a poor wiki, some vague ideas, nothing else...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: FreedomBox
by Lennie on Mon 3rd Oct 2011 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE: FreedomBox"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I wouldn't say that. As I understand it, a number of people from the Debian project are funded fulltime to work on it.

And there is a real interrest from people. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia about the project:

... on February 18, 2011, the foundation started a campaign to raise $60,000 in 30 days on the crowdfunding service, Kickstarter.[5] The goal was met on February 22,[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreedomBox

Reply Score: 2

RE: FreedomBox
by Laurence on Tue 4th Oct 2011 07:14 UTC in reply to "FreedomBox"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

This headline is very misleading as, from what I read, this doesn't seem much like an alternative internet.

At best, this is an alternative WWW, but at worst it's just an alternative for many online services.

If they're trying to escape oppression, then they need a hardware infrastructure that runs separate to the pre-existing (and often government controlled) infrastructure. In some cases, this even means laying independent pipes et al.

Granted this is a lot easier said than done, but anything short of that is just a layer on top of the existing internet and thus vulnerable to the same problems regarding repression that the existing set up is subject to.

[edit]

My mistake, FreedomBox is a separate entity to whats discussed in the OSNews article. I see the relevance of the title now.

Edited 2011-10-04 07:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Internets?
by twitterfire on Mon 3rd Oct 2011 21:18 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11


To put it simple, the internet is like an autisic AI program.


Internet currency by some weeaboo/Asian with the penis size equivalent of a needle.


Even in olde tymes, word of Ted Stevens' failure ran rampant.


A reaction to finding oneself on the Internet.


The internet has many guardians
Invented by Al Gore and pluralized by Dubya, the internets have become the new center of world communication. Technically speaking, the WWWord Internets came into being during the 2004 presidential elections when Dubya spawned multiple clones of the Internet by saying "there are rumors on the Internets." Needless to say, like all brilliant things Bush said, "Internets" became a reality.

However, according to the Bible:

1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

1:3 - And God said, Let there be Internet: and there was Internet

1:4 - And God saw the Internet, that it was kinda "meh": and so God divided the Internet from the Internets.

Since the dawn of the time, there have actually been two separate entities know as the Internet: the plain, old, boring NORPy Internet, where normalfags who call themselves Netizens go to do shit like online banking, shop on Amazon, play online poker and put stuff on like it was a truck and the Internets, (where you are now) where nerds, hackers and haters go to lurk moar, troll, flame, post noodz and generally lulz it up. Obviously, the latter is much moar fun, infinitely moar interesting and a provides a home for a diverse crowd of society's outcasts and malignant narcissists.

The parallel universes that are the Internet and teh Internets have very little in common, the exception being the Internets' primary directive which -as everybody knows- is the delivery of p3rn.

Though immensely complex due to the large amount of tubes involved, there are a handful Internet Experts, most notably Kim Jong Il.


Good ol' ED.

Edited 2011-10-03 21:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by andih
by andih on Mon 3rd Oct 2011 21:58 UTC
andih
Member since:
2010-03-27

I think we need this now. US is about to become a fascist police state, so people better start worrying, or vote for Ron Paul.. That would be the best thing to do oc.. But just in case reading up on ssh and vpn solutions is not a silly thing to do either I believe..

The way media and the police have handled the Occupy Wall Street thing is really really worrying.. Interesting that JP Morgan donated 4.6 million dollars to the NYPD to get people arrested too.. jeeez, who is in charge there over there? The banks or what?!?

GL america.. Vote for RonPaul.. he is the only one who will make a difference..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by andih
by Kivada on Tue 4th Oct 2011 03:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by andih"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Yes, vote Ron Paul, let the ever benevolent corporations control the country! Oh wait, thats exactly what we have now... A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for the Koch brothers, the banksters and rest of the traitorous oligarchs.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by andih
by Bobthearch on Tue 4th Oct 2011 06:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by andih"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

If all of the people who spammed the internet for Ron Paul actually voted for Ron Paul...

Reply Score: 3

How practical can this be?
by Alfman on Tue 4th Oct 2011 03:41 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

I think a multitude of networks, like Internet2 cited in the article, are worthwhile in terms of providing resiliency against centralized control. But in the end most of us as individuals would not have the resources needed to peer directly to them, we have to establish VPNs over our existing internet connections. So long as this is the case, we are vulnerable to being blocked. Also, who's to say these alternate networks, even if truly independent, would not also be shut down under a repressive government?


I hadn't heard of freedom box before. I believe in their goals, but I have a hard time imagining this type of WiFi mesh network could scale well.

Freenet (which implements a virtual p2p mesh network atop the internet) is an excellent case study. It has scaled very poorly in my opinion, and that's with excellent connectivity under the hood.

There are two operating modes for freenet:
1. Opennet, where traffic is routed between strangers, which maximizes connectivity but makes it highly vulnerable to denial of service.
2. Darknet, where traffic is routed between explicit peers. The connectivity is so limited that darknets may become fragmented and separate, or otherwise two large segments are connected via a single overloaded peer.


I don't know which kind of model Freedom box will choose, but either way, I think scalability could be a major problem against a foe intent on taking the network down.

Reply Score: 3

RE: How practical can this be?
by andih on Tue 4th Oct 2011 14:50 UTC in reply to "How practical can this be?"
andih Member since:
2010-03-27

No, its going to become different with ron paul. e.g the "allmighty" Fed will become history.. Something that should have been fixed long ago. The whole bankingsystem will lose its power when dollar is based on gold and not on the useless stockmarket. Read up guys! Ron Paul will shrink gov. and give freedom to the people, now its government not only is huge but controlled by the banks. You guys know why we are bombing libya? Not because Gadafi is a bloodthirsty tyrant, but because he wanted to start using gold as payment to imports and exports, he even wanted to create a new currency for whole africa, the gold dinar.. That would give the worldbank huge problems and they would start giving gold for oil, someting they are not interested in! They want to keep up paying useless papermoney for oil. really system sucks bigtime and I believe Ron Paul might be the last hope for an peaceful solution.

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, it would mean a gold market that's even more corrupt and amoral than what we have for all precious matters today.

I agree that money being immune to speculation is a good thing, but I wish we could base our currencies on something else than a natural resource, like, say, work hours.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: How practical can this be?
by andih on Tue 4th Oct 2011 21:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How practical can this be?"
andih Member since:
2010-03-27

Well gold is at least a lot lot better than debt.. A solution must be found, and the banksters are not the ones that should come up with an idea.

Some interesting news from US, home of the fee, land of the slave:

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/09/20/oc-couple-threatened-with...

Can you believe it guys??!! Something must be done now!

Please all americans in here, vote for ron paul,, the future in my own country depends on what happens over there too!

Reply Score: 1

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

andih spammed...

Well gold is at least a lot lot better than debt.. A solution must be found, and the banksters are not the ones that should come up with an idea.

Some interesting news from US, home of the fee, land of the slave:

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/09/20/oc-couple-threatened-with...

Can you believe it guys??!! Something must be done now!

Please all americans in here, vote for ron paul,, the future in my own country depends on what happens over there too!


Look, I'm a huge fan of Dr. Paul--or "Dr. No" as I like to call him, but this is incredibly off-topic. The discussion is on what can be done to the technological problem of repression and Dr. Paul as much as I like what he says and his voting record is an attempt at a social solution to a technical problem. It doesn't work.

Worse, OSNews.com is an incredibly international site so your spamming creates ill-will in people who can do nothing to help Dr. Paul, except become resentful of how his name interrupts their discussion.

Also, the point of this discussion is not how to prevent the coming oppression (some would say it is far far too late for that) but what to do to withstand the storm and rebuild liberty afterward. And even if Dr. Paul should be successful in the United States of America--what good does that do the rest of the world who still desperately need this technology to build their underground networks?

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: How practical can this be?
by andih on Wed 5th Oct 2011 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: How practical can this be?"
andih Member since:
2010-03-27

bornagainenguin, I dont believe that was spamming at all. Im pointing at the miserable status quo in the US at the moment and saying there are ways to actually take the problem by its roots, instead of circumvent problem by creating another internet and come up with solutions that just make the evil system becoming more controlling.

I really hope they get this alternate internet up and working soon, but I also really, really hope USA will not be needing it.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

andih,

I think Ron Paul is entirely off topic, but no big deal.

"I really hope they get this alternate internet up and working soon, but I also really, really hope USA will not be needing it."

I'm not so optimistic. The US government was caught red-handed illegally wiretapping millions of phone calls and building government databases of our phone associates. They used the US patriot act to demand private information from public libraries, and used a gag order on to cover up the fact that they were doing it.

http://www.aclu.org/national-security/government-drops-demand-libra.....

Luckily the ACLU got involved this time, but we generally have no way of knowing when government corruption occurs until a whistle-blower potentially sacrifices their own life to go public.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/03/congressman-calls-execut.....

This guy revealed solid evidence that the government was involved in crimes of war, and rather than address those crimes, the government seeks to make an example of him. The government has shown again and again that it seeks to undermine democracy by shrouding it's actions in secrecy. An actual democracy needs to put the people at the top and have no secret government entities pulling strings.

Having a functioning "freedom network" in the US would help people monitor their government. It would aid those who are too afraid to come forward. The government would be held accountable by the people... At least that's the theory.

Edited 2011-10-05 21:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

...home of the fee, land of the slave..


That should read, "...land of the fee, home of the slave..."

Reply Score: 1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Please all americans in here, vote for ron paul,, the future in my own country depends on what happens over there too!


Friends don't let friends vote for admitted Creatards.

Reply Score: 2

Practicality?
by bornagainenguin on Tue 4th Oct 2011 15:53 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

Forgive me if I'm being an idiot, (something I try to remain open to whenever I don't understand something) but just how practical are all these types of things?

It seems to me the biggest weakness in these types of alternate networks is the human element. People need to be educated into the existence of "another internet" before they'll use it. Mesh networks require people to be running specific hardware and or software to be able to function at all. Geography conspires against people living in small towns from being able to get involved at all with such things because A) people don't know of the network or how to connect to it and B) there aren't enough people of the mindset in that area to achieve the required number of users to make such a thing work.

I don't dispute the need for anonymous decentralized networks, I just ponder whether they'll ever be practical anywhere except in the larger cities?

I imagine its a bit like a Rave used to be. In a large city word can get passed around relatively quickly where to be at what time for the party to start and people will show up and leave before outsiders seeking to prohibit or stop the party from happening can get there. In a small town, by the time enough people hear about it to actually show up--the police are already there and standing by to arrest people for disturbing the peace before the first song can be played.

How can these alternate internets work around this problem? Also, what are the consequences for being found to be running a node in the mesh? Aren't we looking at the same kinds of problems "pirate" radio has?

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

RE: Practicality?
by Alfman on Tue 4th Oct 2011 16:33 UTC in reply to "Practicality?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

bornagainenguin,

"It seems to me the biggest weakness in these types of alternate networks is the human element. People need to be educated into the existence of 'another internet' before they'll use it."

I think we, as techies, often overlook those kinds of problems. I was coming at the problem from a different angle. However I don't know how people would learn about the network in the first place, or how one could acquire freedomboxes under a repressive regime. I guess it depends whether freedombox is itself legal or not.

In order to be continuous, a WiFi mesh network needs a node every 50-100 meters or so. To have an adhoc network span even just 15kilometers seems incredibly unlikely, particularly through rural countrysides and crossing borders. I'm inclined to think that such a network would have to be deliberately planned, and users would have to travel to spots which have known coverage before using it. It'd be quite vulnerable to deliberate sabotage.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Practicality?
by Lennie on Tue 4th Oct 2011 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Practicality?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

We don't really know very well how practicle this will be.

It would use the normal internet, but be encrypted most of the time. Until the normal internet is not available anymore.

It could obviously use directional wifi and ham radio.

If you are in a country with problems, you will obviously set up as much as possible before you loose the normal internet connection.

This probably sounds a bit corny, but I would rather life in a world where we have this available to us than life in a world where we do not.

After all it is mostly a matter of combining a lot of things that already exist.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Practicality?
by bornagainenguin on Tue 4th Oct 2011 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Practicality?"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Alfman commiserated...

I think we, as techies, often overlook those kinds of problems. I was coming at the problem from a different angle. However I don't know how people would learn about the network in the first place, or how one could acquire freedomboxes under a repressive regime.


Goes back to that xkcd comic (http://xkcd.com/538/) we have a security mindset, but we focus on the wrong things! What good is the technology if it cannot be deployed in time to be useful? Or if it cannot be accessed by non-technical people and used by them when needed?

Alfman contemplated...
I guess it depends whether freedombox is itself legal or not.


I'd assume under the kinds of regimes we're talking about any communications that could not be vetted by the state would be considered subversive or terrorist-inclined based on the 'what do you have to hide if you're innocent' principle.

So that means aside from the other human issues there is also an additional technical issue of camouflage to consider, so that communication can happen in the clear without being recognized for what they are. Difficult! As with pirate radio, an enemy could simply follow the signal to its source! Then it really doesn't matter if it is encrypted because they would have the broadcast medium to decrypt with.

I assume you'd eventually want to either cloak as an innocuous WiFi hotspot or an actual pirate radio of some kind. Ideally some kind of noise that corresponds to the way TrueCrypt does hidden volumes would be required. That way you provide plausible deniability that admits to a lesser crime?

Alfman replied...
In order to be continuous, a WiFi mesh network needs a node every 50-100 meters or so. To have an adhoc network span even just 15kilometers seems incredibly unlikely, particularly through rural countrysides and crossing borders.


That's the thing, the protocol looks promising but without a way to either establish continuous meeting times to push the information along the line to other parts of the network or a way to convince people to join such an effort the technology is rendered useless by the human factor.

Alfman considered...
I'm inclined to think that such a network would have to be deliberately planned, and users would have to travel to spots which have known coverage before using it. It'd be quite vulnerable to deliberate sabotage.


Agreed. And unless some way can be found to limit or block willful sabotage such a network is actually less secure than the current internet. At least with the current setup it is possible to get lost in the background noise; being caught as a member of one of these alternative networks incurs an automatic 'what are they up to' penalty.

This is the part that I never see addressed in these kinds of endeavors, and I really wish the people involved would start discussing it. Of course talking about the human factor takes the plausibility out of these kinds of projects and probably causes the developers to be overwhelmed by just how difficult it would be to corral people towards working together to make such a thing happen when the people you most need to become involved are the ones who would dismiss any such efforts as paranoid...

--bornagainpenguin

PS: I must have been typing my comment while you were posting yours sorry for the duplication of thoughts. Still nice to see that I'm not the only one pondering how these types of things would work in the real world!

Reply Score: 2

MIM, making yourself a target etc.
by Bounty on Tue 4th Oct 2011 17:42 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

I think anything that's an extra layer on the existing internet is basically just a competitor Tor.

Approaches that that go P2P and mesh on alternative hardware, eventually linking to the net sound interesting. However there are some issues. Who's going to broadcast "Anti-Government NET" SSID during a crysis? Then let anyone and everyone wield the network? Basically I'd like to hear more of the concepts people are seriously working on.


(ps My first thought was a modified DD-WRT (& or PC/phone software that would do the same) with a 'free-mesh' option to route with other 'free-mesh' routers. However there seem to be some potential issues with this.)

Reply Score: 2

Osiris
by KLU9 on Wed 5th Oct 2011 19:16 UTC
KLU9
Member since:
2006-12-06

Interesting to see these developments. Reminded me of Osiris, a P2P forum system: decentralized and "untakedownable" as it were.

Altho I just noticed from its Wikipedia page that despite its "counterculture" goals and having a version for Linux, it's not open source, which doesn't inspire confidence in its security or longevity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris_(Serverless_Portal_System)

EDIT: Doh! just read the roadmap on its new homepage, addressing the open v closed issue and mentioning the creation of a new open source version.
http://www.osiris-sps.org/roadmap/

Edited 2011-10-05 19:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2