Sunday, March 06, 2011

Mesh Networks to the rescue of Freedom of speech and association

Wireless20MeshImage via WikipediaI have written before about the importance of mesh networking. Unfortunately due the government/corporation backed FUD campaigns about the "risks" of sharing your network connection, Mesh networking has not gained any significant traction, since the technology became available.

I don't need to explain how the widespread availability of mesh networking wound affect the business models of ISPs and telecoms. What motivates me to talk about mesh networking today is not at all related to economics, but to politics and human rights.

North AfricaImage via Wikipedia
We have all witnessed in the news, the serial uprisings taking place in North Africa. Time-and-again, the first reaction of the threatened governments shutdown the internet (and other communication networks) to try and block the people from communicating among themselves and with the outside world. It has been in the hand of hackers, trying to get these populations back online.

At this point in time, it is very important to sensibilize regulators to this issue. It is urgent that we de-regulate public access to wireless networks and stop the FUD. Technological solutions to robustify access to the internet will emerge naturally from communities, because the technology is ready and very cheap.

So how can you help? Talk to your favorite politician about it. If you're a hacker, start/join a mesh community one your area. Or just read more about this issue and discuss it with friends.