"Get out there, and help us build a way to freedom," says narrator Josh Harkema at the end of a 3-minute animated presentation of the MeshNet project. Still a dream in need of support, MeshNet (originally called the DarkNet) is intending to become "an alternative to the internet, with no centralized authority, making it impossible to censor or shut down."
Fed up with endlessly being forced to fight off bills such as SOPA and PIPA, and facing the fact that a small number of corporate hierarchies control massive amounts of information and intelligence flow via the internet, the makers of MeshNet ask for our help. Whether we have computer skills or not, their video says, global citizens can get involved by getting a grasp of the concepts, pitching in technical expertise, and at the very least talking to friends about building a more simple, uncensored, and sustainable flow of intelligence between actual people that is uncensored by corporate hierarchies.
As PCWorld GeekTech blogger Cassandraw Khaw writes, "Project Meshnet
may sound like something straight out of a science-fiction novel but
it's actually an idea that is slowly coalescing into reality."
I'm currently reading Robert David Steele's The Open Source Everything
Manifesto: Transparency, Truth & Trust published by Evolver Editions in their Manifesto Series. In Chapter 2 titled "Open Source Everything," Steele writes about the
importance of Open-Source Hardware, including Open Tools such as
OpenMoko and OpenBTS, both of which are potentially very powerful if
combined with Open-Mesh Networks:
OpenMoko, the concept of a handheld device that integrates open-source
software and open-source hardware, is alive and well. When combined with
OpenBTS and Open-Mesh Networks, it is the cornerstone for empowering
[humanity] and unleashing their entrepreneurial energies, while also
creating the Autonomous Internet, one that cannot be shut down by any
government or corporation.
OpenBTS is the open-source software/hardware combination that
replicates cellular phone services using open spectrum, enabling free
and very low-cost communications. Combined with mesh networks and other
means of disconnecting from the government/telecommunications monopoly
of the grid, OpenBTS is the foundation “liberation technology” and is
central to the release of humanity from corrupt hierarchies and their
“rule by secrecy.”
When the five billion poor receive OpenBTS and have access to the Internet, everything will change. (Steele, p41)
If you want to find out more about MeshNet, you can check out this short video for an easy-to-understand conceptual approach to the project. For a quick rundown that's slightly more technical, check out this blog post from GeekTech contributor Cassandra Khaw at PCWorld.com. And here are some more links to complete information about the MeshNet:
Image by wildxplorer on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.