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.