tl;dr: we bring together developers, service providers, collectives and citizens to further cooperation in the space of peer-to-peer group collaboration.
10 years ago: hard times
10 years ago there was an ad-hoc meeting in Berlin during the art biennial gathering actors of the peer-to-peer messaging and privacy-by-design free software projects. A dozen people from various horizons gathered in different spaces around the city, discussing issues we were all facing at the time. One of the recurring issues faced by all collectives was the difficulty of funding development.
I witnessed dire misery in the privacy community in Berlin and elsewhere with my own eyes. Brilliant people with few or no income barely afloat, trying to cope with an increasingly pressing surveillance system and sometimes well-founded paranoia for those who were working on the most “dangerous” projects. Then the Snowden Apocalypse descended upon us all and we were blessed with lucidity—not paranoia: indeed, a global surveillance system had been at work globally and with an intensity beyond our wildest expectations. We were relieved and thought that the general public would see the pattern of violence that accompanied the rise of the Internet, following the continuous pattern of violence and domination that characterized our ‘civilization’ for so many centuries. Yet, after the Collateral Murder video and the hundreds of thousands of leaks that followed demonstrating the spirit behind the Empire, and its extent, even after the Panama and Pandora papers, not much has changed, and the majority of the people seem to be oblivious about the actual state of the world. The ongoing craze about Ukraine shows that the people need ways of collaborating together without interference from national authorities, may they be local or foreign: when a war breaks, it’s too late to think about reliable communication infrastructure.
P2P research matured
A decade after this impromptu meeting that showed our fragility and determination, the funding issue seems less pressing, as some in the community benefited from cashing in from the indecent Bitcoin boom, while others embraced the Next Generation Internet funding in Europe.
P2P research has matured and long standing software as well, refining their properties, reinforcing their presence, growing their communities; making available the means to resist censorship, share documents and communicate anonymously, in other words: provide the means for out-of-sight networking beyond the reach of prying eyes—and certainly used and abused by uncooperative parties as well.
Yet, we still lack knowledge about other people’s work, and how to bridge collaborations, inspirations, and bring together developers, service providers, collectives and citizens…
The LibreRouter project has designed and produced a high performance multi-radio wireless router targeted at Community Networks needs. Global South reality and that of Latin America in particular has been specially considered in terms of cost and legal viability.
elRepo.io provides the means to create a decentralized repository of culture, organized, resilient, and with a local perspective. Communities will be able to curate, organize and classify content while keeping both data and metadata descentralized ; store content locally and reliably reducing the risk of being censored or taken down ; reduce internet bandwidth needs by exchanging information locally even when internet connectivity is down. Built on top of mature technologies that leverage the capacities of distributed Community Networks, uses libretroshare as Friend-2-Friend secure decentralized communication backend.
Irdest is a research project that aims to create tools for the next internet. These tools allow devices like laptops and smartphones to create dynamic mesh networks over Bluetooth and direct WiFi connections, rather than relying on internet access via a mobile network. This decentralised and open network extends across any irdest-enabled device, so that if two people aren’t close enough to each other for their devices to connect directly, data can be sent via other devices in the middle, without those devices being able to read or change the messages passing through it.
NO CYBER… QUANTUM… BLOCKCHAIN.
Reminder: “war” is a legal term that describes an armed conflict between States. The victims of wars are all the people confronted to State violence, regardless of their origin, including the soldiers fighting it. As such does not support any “side”, but the one of the people. ↩︎
Quoting Daniel J. Bernstein. ↩︎