[p2p-hackers] What we should build for the Egyptian (and other) protesters

Alen Peacock alenlpeacock at gmail.com
Fri Feb 4 13:54:45 EST 2011


I'd always hoped that a global ad-hoc wireless network would spring
from something like MIT's RoofNet
(http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/roofnet/doku.php).

There's still a lot of academic research into ad-hoc networks, but I'm
not aware of anyone really pursuing something like this in the
commercial space -- anyone been following closer than me?

Alen


On Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 11:49 AM, Serguei Osokine
<Serguei.Osokine at efi.com> wrote:
> On Friday, February 04, 2011 wrote:
>> The only way something like this will take off is if it provides
>> some *very* compelling value even when the internet is functioning
>> normally.
>
> Two things that spring to mind first are CB-like (as in "CB radio")
> anonymous contacts with people who are in the vicinity, and the p2p
> traffic anonymization through local relay chains. 802.11 typically
> has plenty of spare bandwitdth, being much faster than your normal
> ISP broadband link, so you can have, say, five-hop relays without
> any service quality degradation whatsoever. Kind of like local Tor,
> except that in 802.11 space you're not paying for forwarding traffic
> with your own service quality, and tracking the ad-hoc MAC-address
> routing is pretty challenging for an adversary.
>
> Of course, 802.11 traffic is routinely encrypted these days, so that
> might be a bit of a challenge - but this challenge is present in any
> ad-hoc scenario.
>
> Best wishes -
> S.Osokine.
> 4 Feb 2011.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: p2p-hackers-bounces at lists.zooko.com [mailto:p2p-hackers-bounces at lists.zooko.com] On Behalf Of David Barrett
> Sent: Friday, February 04, 2011 9:12 AM
> To: theory and practice of decentralized computer networks
> Subject: Re: [p2p-hackers] What we should build for the Egyptian (and other) protesters
>
> On 02/04/2011 08:58 AM, Julian Cain wrote:
>>
>> This is false. Egypt cut ALL Internet traffic including mobile. Having said this the only solution is an AD-HOC network built with existing hardware w/ internet gateways somewhere along the path. This technology has been around for quite some time. The downside is that it takes an incredible amount of effort to daisy chain home and office routers in a manner that will "act" like the Internet. This is the only solution to a complete government/corporate takeover. Build a new Internet with existing hardware that gateways users into the public Internet.
>
> Just to clarify, did Egypt cut *domestic* phone and internet, or just
> *international*?  For example, if I had a server inside Egypt, using an
> Egyptian domain, could users inside Egypt generally access it?
>
>
>> Most home routers can perform this either by extending the network or bridging networks.
>
> The only way something like this will take off is if it provides some
> *very* compelling value even when the internet is functioning normally.
>  Otherwise it'll always be relegated to being a tiny fringe project.
>
>
> I think a better approach is to prepare a system that uses the internet
> when it's available (as it almost always is), but then offers to set up
> a DHT or even, ad hoc mesh network -- or even a "sneakernet" -- if it
> detects the internet has stopped functioning.
>
> For example, imagine that everybody's mobile Twitter device, upon
> discovering a loss of connection to twitter.com, offered to connect to
> the "BlueTooth mesh".  In high-density environments like a protest, I
> imagine it could actually work.  Then all the laptops that had domestic
> internet access establish a DHT (perhaps they quietly had it established
> all along) and bridge the various bluetooth meshes that have sprung up
> around the nation.  And at that time also mention that it can just
> "manually synchronize" using a USB keydrive or MP3 player.
>
> But all this needs to be kept quiet, totally automated, and entirely
> unobtrusive in normal operation; it can't bother people to even consider
> these options when the internet is available, because the internet is so
> much more convenient to use.  Nobody will care about any of these
> features, and they'll be an active *demerit* to the application that
> *reduces* its adoption -- up until everybody absolutely depends on them.
>
> -david
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