Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Jul 2013 21:35 UTC
Microsoft Documents released by Snowden show the extent to which Microsoft helped the NSA and other security agencies in the US. "Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal; The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail; The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide; [...] Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio; Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a 'team sport'." Wow. Just wow.
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RE[4]: Intranet
by corbintechboy on Fri 12th Jul 2013 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Intranet"
Member since:

Now I like that idea.

And with the power of current smart phones we could have a nice, complete internet. And if you split resources across devices (in some instances many devices) you could create a very complex system.

The only issue this leaves however is the current caps. This would not really be able to be an unlimited service. At the same time however, if a developer of some sort who is into cell technology could figure out a way for phones to "talk" to each other without need for cell towers, we could have a winner (this might be what your getting at as well).

I like the idea.

Edited 2013-07-12 03:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[5]: Intranet
by Alfman on Fri 12th Jul 2013 04:58 in reply to "RE[4]: Intranet"
Alfman Member since:


While I am fond of the idea of having a massive public mesh network, there are a number of impediments that would likely hold it back.

1. There are legal implications. Users who volunteer their IPs to build mesh network gateways are in danger of becoming victims of the court system (ie running open wifi).

2. On the internet IP routing is accomplished via powerful BGP routers that build routing tables by trusting the routes advertised by peers. This works as long as the peers are trustworthy (which they generally are, but things can go wrong, see However in a mesh between *untrusted/adhoc* peers, this becomes a distinct vulnerability for the mesh network.

3. Performance is an issue: bandwidth, latency, low cpu, packet loss, etc. Without centralized packet management, one hog might consume the bandwidth of everyone else in the vicinity. Realtime applications like VOIP could prove difficult.

4. Existing technology in mobile devices might not be adequate, consider that generally WiFi APs/Clients only support a single channel at a time, significantly limiting scalability. Professional mesh networks can use multiple radios simultaneously for this reason.

5. Having a mesh doesn't necessarily bring more privacy or security if packets still go through a compromised ISP. Even if traffic doesn't go through an ISP, it becomes easier than ever to perform a MITM-attack in an adhoc mesh network. Even secure encryption schemes require keys to be exchanged beforehand or the use of a CA (which can be compromised).

Don't get me wrong, I'd very much like to see a public mesh network succeed and participate on it, but I'm also skeptical as to some of the security features some people might want it to have in the context of government spying.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[6]: Intranet
by Morgan on Sat 13th Jul 2013 02:19 in reply to "RE[5]: Intranet"
Morgan Member since:

All of that is why I had said it was a nice idea but probably will never happen. It's interesting to theorize about though!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Intranet
by zima on Thu 18th Jul 2013 23:59 in reply to "RE[4]: Intranet"
zima Member since:

if a developer of some sort who is into cell technology could figure out a way for phones to "talk" to each other without need for cell towers, we could have a winner

Radio modules aren't like that, you can't simply "hack" them via an app to work in a totally different configuration than intended when designing them. Plus, the GSM spectrum is very regulated, you'd get into trouble for attempting to (essentially) jam cell towers.

Mesh networks in general don't really scale up, it chokes up ...that's why ISPs are happy about giving you wifi routers, they choke up local spectrum.
Constantly running mesh network would also kill battery life.

The best you could hope for, when using mobiles, is something like ...but this still gets into the issue of GSM spectrum being very regulated.

Edited 2013-07-19 00:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2