The Next Big Thing ~ Decentralized Peer to Peer Internet is Born ! Hurrah !!!

Sharing the Internet: "Commotion Wireless" Technology Lets Communities Create Free Webs of Access , this is more than exciting , I was waiting for this forever , this will mean no more monopoly on the internet no more control from the governments and the corporations , free internet for everybody everywhere ...WOOOW..!!!!!!
About two years ago, news reports described the State Department-funded project of Sascha Meinrath as a way for overseas dissidents to overcome repressive regimes that try to censor them by shutting down the internet. This week a variation on the software he helped design will launch here in the United States. It is called Commotion Wireless. You can download the program on your cellphone or laptop computer in order to create what is called a "mesh" network that allows you to share Internet access with other devices on the network. "It challenges this business model that everyone has to buy their own Internet connection, and it really puts forth this notion of, 'Why don't we share resources?' We can share them across our neighbors, we can share them within our offices, we can share them across entire cities," says Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute.

1 comment:

  1. Projects such as Commotion-wireless (and other like-minded initiatives) tend to overlook key challenges.... Here's a glimpse into some of these -- apologies for the length.

    Nonetheless, kudos for the hard work on Commotion...

    Yahel.

    ===========================
    A key challenge for any community-owned, decentralized, communication network is that of resource allocation and control. The network’s finite resources must be shared among citizens in a manner that deprioritizes unwanted traffic and abusive users, while desired content is allotted higher capacity. Intuitively, the way to achieve such a prioritization mechanism is through means of community-reputation systems: content from reputable users should have higher priority. However, use of reputation conflicts with anonymity as we need to know who the users are to exploit their reputation.

    Anonymity is a critically required property for dissent-networking, due to fear of persecution, and it is therefore ill-suited for applying traditional reputation systems as these must authenticate users and defend against Sybil (fake) identities.

    This ostensible paradox was the focus of our research at UC-Berkeley over the past two years; we believe to have found a solution for this dilemma – The Rangzen SocialMesh.

    Furthermore, it is our belief that use of specialized hardware and even minor tweaks such as outdoor antennas, is inappropriate for our target populations and may put users at unnecessary risks. Therefore, we intend to use only smartphones for realizing our solution, via an installable software app.

    We acknowledge the numerous pilots and vast body of research on mobile-mesh networks - projects that failed to scale beyond the lab. The majority of failures is due to their attempt at supporting Internet-like, online, end-to-end connectivity that is in conflict with the store-and-forward communication paradigm. The store-and-forward paradigm, on which peer-to-peer ad-hoc meshes are based, increases resource contention exponentially with every added node and hence extend latencies and do not scale. Moreover, it is unlikely that our target localities will be dense enough to provide the desired end-to-end coverage, even if we had a way to avoid contention.

    These fundamental challenges in supporting Internet-like connectivity over a mobile mesh led us to focus on a Delay Tolerant Network (DTN) paradigm. Although ill-suited for many Internet applications, it provides a robust packet delivery fabric that is grounded by extensive body of work, primarily from the sensor-nets community.

    In a DTN-Mesh, phones exchange traffic when they opportunistically come within radio range of each other and collaboratively relay messages on behalf of other members. We augment this resource-hungry, epidemic-routing approach with our prioritization algorithm which is based on a social graph of trust relations, formed among users. Additionally, we refine existing incremental replication and multicast flooding solutions, to optimize the use of resources. The lack of real-time connectivity imposes severe restrictions and makes the anonymity and attack-resiliency features of our solution especially challenging. However, given our design is DTN-based from the ground up, it is robust and apt for the target beneficiaries and environments.

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