P2P Foundation

The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives

Via Magius:

Autonet is a project to create a wireless, global internet that can
provide more reliability than corporate phone companies by being
community based and freely licensed.

The cutting off access to The Pirate Bay by BT in the UK (
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/251609/bt-blocks-off-pirate-bay.html ) is
just another sign of the beginning of the end. The fact that the Great
Firewall of China exists signals that the internet is already obsolete
and that the Great Firewall of the US is just around the corner. While
moves against net neutrality began years ago and have been fought,
nasty laws such as HR4437 and the Total Information Awareness program
have a way of coming into existence later in the future, slightly
modified, under different names. The internet as we know it, as a
place for free exchange of information, as the center of what has been
called a second 17th century with new ideas, creativity and innovation
emerging daily, is rapidly coming to an end. We must use these last
gasps of freedom to route around the disaster and create a truly free

How? Advances in wireless technology such as ubiquitous wireless
routers, community mesh networks which are easily expandable and
self-healing as well as long range wireless efforts such as HPWREN
indicate a possible future for a community based internet free of the
centralized control of telephone corporations and governments. While
this is definitely a fork, more forks are to come and we can only hope
that a few networks will emerge which can be broad enough to span most
of the globe.

Major questions remain to be solved, such as speed issues, routing
issues, DNS control, splits and neutrality. The Autonet, or Autonomous
Internet project seems to begin to address this rapidly changing
situation, where today Germany (
http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0906/msg00023.html )
has installed internet filtering as well and more countries are to
come. While today those cut off are defying copyright laws, tomorrow
any other political issue may be the cause for being denied access to
global networks. While today the FBI is content to steal servers from
information providers like Indymedia, perhaps tomorrow they will not
be happy until indymedia is completely cut off of the network, or
other open sources of information such as blogs, twitter accounts and
social networks of dissident groups.

The popular revolt in Iran and subsequent disruption of network access
by the Iranian government is only a glimpse of what is to come in the
US and around the world, where the first line of attack against
political resistance is to cut off network access. By establishing a
community based, wireless, global network we can allow groups of
individuals, not corporations, to maintain freedom of communication;
We can create out right to communicate instead of asking for it, and
continue to route around obsolete intellectual property laws which
restrict our dreams and our creativity. Join this effort by going to
http://alt-bit.org and contributing to this research, lets start
outlining the problems, finding the technical solutions and work out
the issues, collectively, as a Free Software / Open Hardware project,
using open licensing.

Another urgent reason for Autonet is one that has motivated Free
Software hackers for so long: Technological progress without a
reliance on corporate support. Given the current financial and
economic crises, how long can we expect dinosaurs like phone companies
to survive? If one of these crises turns into disaster, the
consequence is likely to be the disruption or collapse of the global
networks on which we rely. I am not ready to give up what has been
gained from these networks, including a worldwide communication
between political actors empowered through fast information flows. We
must start this long, difficult project today so that we may be ready
for unexpected dangers which threaten our capability to communicate as
a multitude, globally.

To add to the project, go to http://trac.alt-bit.org/wiki/projects/autonet

To sign up to participate, go to http://trac.alt-bit.org/register

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