Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

November 28, 2011 -

 Internet users are wary of the U.S. House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's PROTECT IP Act, and are already thinking of ways to get off the Internet the government hopes to to control very soon. One such movement came to fruition on Reddit, where outraged users decided that they needed to come up with some solutions. One such solution is a Reddit subgroup called "Darknet Plan." The goal of Darknet Plan - or Meshnet, as it is often called - is to build a mesh-based version of the Internet that wouldn’t be subject to the control of any corporation or government, according to a Forbes report . The main focuses of the plan are anonymity, using a peer-to-peer architecture, and a strong resistance to censorship.

Around 10,000 users have joined the group in the last few days, and around 200,000 have visited according to Chris Bresee, the 17-year old Vermont resident who founded the project. Bresee actually created the sub-group over a year ago, but he attributes the newfound attention to the new bills being pushed by legislators.

"I would say the Darknet Plan is driven almost in its entirety by fear of censorship coming out of Congress," says Bresee. "That’s what’s driven me, and I think that’s what’s driven the other ten thousand users to join."

Mesh networks allow users to connect to each other directly instead of to a centralized Internet service provider. Bresee claims Meshnet would start by working to create local clusters of users and connect them with the Internet.

"We would piggyback on the current infrastructure to connect these islands of meshes," he says. "But as the mesh networks grow, less and less dependence on the ISPs would be needed."

It's certainly an interesting idea, but as the Forbes article notes - it's only in the discussion phase right now.

And on a related note, the Los Angeles Times has an in-depth look at both laws and what affects they could have in this editorial.


Comments

Re: Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

well, guess who's going to get visits from the feds and FCC soon.

Re: Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

...Why? Nothing done was illegal? Or are you saying that doesn't matter and if their power is threatened, they'll reply by illegal actions? And if so, WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU DOING ALLOWING THOSE PEOPLE TO GOVERN YOU?!!

Re: Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

Getting a visit from the feds has little to do with doing anything actually 'illegal'.  They can always drum up some vauge charges if they really want to.

Heh, though one of the amusing pieces is that some of the more successful darknets were actually in part sponsored by the NSA as a way to get uncensored internet to Chinese citizens, but when people in the US started using them the FBI went after them as terrorist and kiddyporn tools.

Most people do not have the resources to fight the feds, esp when the taint of kiddy porn or terrorism are thrown in.  The allegations alone can be life destroying....

Re: Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

Yes... I still remember the guy who got convicted for having kiddie porn here in Canada (he had hentai) or the one in the USA (thumbnails he picked up on a random porn site). Worse, that's when there's even some child porn to be connected at all. Just mentioning that something MIGHT be used by pedophiles nowadays is enough to have everyone condemn it. Or just start spreading rumors someone is a pedophile, see if he'll be able to clean his name, even if he is innocent.

Re: Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

Fact is corporations have too much pull and no doubt will do anything they can and likely shouldn't be able to do to make sure this never happens.

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