Amazing idea, but will it fly or be stopped while its still on paper?
Most governments wish to restrict the freedom & privacy of the current net. And the US is no exception as mentioned in the article. I would expect regulatory roadblocks to MANET because it does promote freedom & privacy.
I really hope to see this in the future, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
I am curious to know, just what censorship or restrictions has the US government placed on the Internet? Certainly, the FCC keeps trying to place outrageous rules into place, rules that they have no authority to create, but just what is it "mentioned in the article" and repeated by Jeff.Petro are so onerous but not explicitly called out?
Hmm... it's somewhat hard to see just what current problem would be solved by this new network. Governments that censor 'net traffic could just as well censor a distributed wireless network: by denying frequency allocation, by jamming via mobile platforms, by shooting you... it's not as though the spectrum is some sort of subspace that only people and not their governments can access. (Interested parties should read "The Weapon Shops of Isher" by Van Vogt.) As for encryption, you're free to encrypt anything you want right now, at least in the States. But here's a bottom line: without a need that when fulfilled, fills someone's pocket, ideas of net "freedom" and "privacy" are just hype. My experience observing the rise of the 'net over the years has been that much of the "freedom" is just a euphemism for "irresponsible license" and "privacy" means "access to pornography". Don't think so? Note the names associated with responses even in this forum. How many are a person's name, such as mine?
On the tech side of the issue, the idea of a pervasive wireless net is appealing. Rural areas still won't be served because there won't be one of those big bad ISPs to foot the bill for the repeaters, but college campuses will be the first to have a MondoNet...
Overall I have to ask: what problem is being solved that isn't really a problem of the current Internet but of politics, and who is going to pay for the solution? And, of course, in what coin?
This is very interesting, especially since it appears to be effectively an extension to wireless intranets. However, connecting a lot of wireless devices together without some sponsor or sponsors (as Bob pointed out), does not necessarily provide a lot of feature-rich content. Of course, there is probably a lot of that most of us would be happy to forgo, but some of it is very worthwhile (and I suspect that the part that would make it to this kind of network is the stuff we would like to forgo).
Mesh, Wi-Fi hotspots, Cellular, or other networks provide the most benefits when there are great numbers of access points. To make up for some 'lack' of them or more precisely the need for more of them, some cellular phones today offer the ability to become a wireless hotspot for other nearby users. SO there is clearly a perceived need for more access points.
The idea behind mesh networks was for a node to not only act as its own node, but also to act as a relay to other nodes anywhere on the net. A further reason for mesh networks operating on the Node to Node, or Node Path model, was that any node could be used and no one part of the network could bring the rest down. If one node failed and later came back up, the net 'healed' in that location.
Kinda like what the internet was supposed to be when it first started if I remember the premise behind its predecessor, ARPANET, correctly. :-)
I don't understand how radically this new thing is different from the local area networks of today existing in all the communities - college campuses, company premises and so on. These local area networks are totally private and if not connected to internet via a broad band or any such connection , are totally free from any infringement, spying by anybody outside that local area network.
@prabhakar: The Manets aim to replace the Internet, hosting all content without interference from any carrier or government. Sinnreich speaks of wiretapping and other government invasions of privacy in the US. Overseas, there are rampant reports of censorship in China and governments like Egypt that tried to eliminate dissent by shutting down the Net.
@rick.merritt: well, in the name of national security, any type of network can be shutdown at any government's insistence. Considering the fact that mesh networks are being deployed to monitor infrastructures like bridges, power plants, etc., their security is of paramount importance. I have to agree with @prabhakar_deosthali here, I don't see how MondoNet resolves these issues.
Wiretapping & other government invasions of privacy will always be there, often in the same of sophisticated sounding lingo, similar to what we had in the US after Sep11 (in India it was the POTA). Internet/MondoNet is one platform to invade privacy, governments will always find and use others!
Dr. MP Divakar
Take the Egyptian situation as an example. This could help maintain interconnectivity within the geography of a wireless mesh (subject to jamming) but in order to reach outside of that geography would require some connectivity to the backbone, which was blocked. I.e., there is no wireless mesh that extends from Cairo to a neighboring country or even probably between cities. So while it may help people organize themselves locally, it doesn't seem to solve the problem of getting information in or out of the local geography. And with no connectivity out of the city/country, users can't use centralized resources (e.g. Facebook) to communicate.
Dr. Divakar and jam60 make cogent points. But the underlying issue is this: it is perfectly reasonable to restrict the government's ability to interfere with private communication, it isn't so reasonable to restrict it's ability to monitor and control communications for reasons of national security. This is a basic conflict that cannot be resolved by technology. No technology will keep people safe from their own government; no technology exists that cannot be perverted to uses that oppress a population. Safeguards against totalitarianism are human beings, not MANET arrangements with clever encryption. By the way, Rich, you screw up this network not by jamming, as you point out, but by denial-of-service. Your friendly government C-117 flies overhead and drops a half-million nodes, about 4 grams each, over a city, all competing for time on the network... guess what happens to the network?