Weaving a New ‘Net: A Mesh-Based Solution for Democratizing Networked Communications
by Aram Sinnreich, Nathan Graham, & Aaron Trammell
Although the Internet is largely decentralized in its communication and social patterns, its technical and regulatory apparatuses are highly centralized and hierarchical. Consequently, digital communications are vulnerable to a degree of surveillance and censorship that would be unthinkable in traditional social arenas, threatening “Internet freedom” and cyberliberties in both democratic and politically repressed societies. We believe a new architecture is required in order to protect the continuance of civil liberties in networked society. In this article, we propose 10 “social specifications” describing the requirements of such a network, and outline an architecture called MondoNet that meets these specifications using ad hoc, wireless mesh networking technologies. We also address the legal and technical challenges facing the MondoNet project, and anticipate future developments in this field.