By Cyrus Farivar | http://arstechnica.com
The Free Network Foundation has worldwide plans
Other projects have moved beyond mobile phones, trying to create new infrastructure that can be used by activists to spread an Internet connection across a wide area through either mesh networking or a related project spawned out of Anonymous and reddit, often referred to as a “darknet.”
For years, mesh networking projects have sprung up across the world as a way to share an Internet connection over a large geographic area. The idea is that each individual node can share data (including an Internet backhaul) with other local nodes, eventually cobbling together a much larger network.
Many community wireless projects got started in the early 2000s as a way to provide Internet access to underserved, and particularly rural communities. Since then, many have collapsed due to a corresponding rise in commercial Internet service, particularly 3G service provided via local mobile providers. Of the community WiFi networks that still operate, few are designed for encrypted, heavily secure communication. Activists instead are now trying to create community networks that are built from the ground up with security in mind.
Some have been more successful than others. Since 2003, for instance, the FunkFeuer network in Austria has worked on expanding its wireless network across many parts of the country. This past weekend, the two main hubs in Vienna and Graz were connected via a new node over the Alps, with the Graz network extending southward into neighboring Slovenia. Other similar city-scale projects exist in St. Louis, Oakland, Vancouver, Montevideo, and Athens.
“What you want to have is end-to-end encryption the whole time,” said Aaron Kaplan, one of the leaders of FunkFeuer. “If you rely on the encryption happening in between, it just takes one link to cheat on the encryption, which decrypt the packets, stores them, and then encrypts them again—like a man-in-the-middle attack.” Sigue leyendo