Decentralizing the Internet So Big Brother Can’t Find You

John Case case at
Fri Feb 18 09:11:02 PST 2011

On Fri, 18 Feb 2011, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 03:22:49PM -0600, J.A. Terranson wrote:
>> I'm tired of hearing the current calls for "mesh networks" myself. As you
>> point out, they are *incredibly* complex, and these "wall-wart servers"
>> aren't going to implement that kind of thing IMO.  Christ, large ISPs
> I fail to see where they're mentioning the word mesh at all.
> If I would do it, I would just package Tor, Tahoe-LAFS, I2P
> and maybe a couple other select goodies (tinc, opportunistic
> encryption, whatever), and put it on the residential Internet.

You're right - they did not specifically mention "mesh", which probably 
means this individual is operating even one level of abstraction higher .. 
in the realm of "I know computers can do wonderful things".

ToR in this context doesn't make much sense to me - it's a network 
designed to run over the public Internet, and the whole point of his 
"dream" is to get out from under the thumb of the public internet.

Did I misread, and he thinks that a bunch of low power micro devices, as 
nodes on the plain old Internet, are going to be helpful in any way ? 
Tahoe-LAFS makes a bit more sense, as it makes content available without 
shackling any one system (operator) with liability for that content.

> If you recall I repeatedly suggested that here and elsewhere,
> to the overwhelming sound of crickets.

Well, if you're suggesting that I have little to contribute, you're right. 
My interests float into this area, and I've lurked long enough on BATMAN 
and MANET and OLSR to know when to call bullshit, but that's about it.

Make no mistake - I agree with the sentiment that this is possible, and 
that it's coming, and I will be very happy when/if it does ... I just 
think some dose of reality is needed for the boingboing set of 

>> still have trouble with simple IP, and they have "trained [or] experienced
>> 'engineers'".  It's a silly call to arms at this point.
> If you're talking mesh, one of the basic requirements is to get
> rid of central address allocation authority and establish
> a local-knowledge based routing. If you get that far, the
> human operator mistakes are removed from the loop.
>> I was with a group that tried to work out a mesh implementation across a
>> relatively small (~15sq miles) area, and it never came to fruition,
>> despite several years of work on the problems presented.
> Do you have a pointer to description of your project, and what went
> wrong?

I think the BATMAN people have some long, detailed summaries of successful 
implementations in places like .de and .it and so on.  By successful, I 
mean, they got packets to flow.  The deeper issues of establishing 
everything with no centralized authority, etc., are unsolved.

> I can tell you one thing: Eben Moglen is not a stupid man, and he's
> surrounded with technically capable people. If he can raise the money
> for 10-100 k wall wart units you can assume people will do useful
> things with them.

That's good news - better that someone is pushing in this direction than 

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list