Um, wow. There is a new initiative by the Free Network Foundation to build a private network for Occupy Wall Street and its affiliated movements in other cities. “We are the Free Network Foundation, builders and advocates of distributed and decentralized communication systems. We believe that the Internet should be used to connect people, not to spy on them, oppress them, or turn a profit,” says co-founder and executive director Isaac Wilder.
The organization has two prototype “FreedomTowers” providing internet access at Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Austin. But the organization wants to build more, with the goal of establishing an occupation-to-occupation Virtual Private Network. The only stumbling block? About $64,000. Mr. Wilder explains:
Eventually, my travels led me to Occupy Wall Street. We knew that it was time to put up or shut up–all of a sudden, there was a real need for the technologies we had been cooking up. In two weeks, we designed, built, and tested the first two FreedomTowers. Now there are towers in use at Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Austin, and Occupy LA with the number set to double in the next few weeks. These towers don’t just provide Internet access to the occupiers. They are designed to run services locally, so that information destined for the other side of the park doesn’t have to travel several thousand miles. They serve as uplinks to a Virtual Private Network, so that communications between occupations can’t be intercepted. Rain, snow, cold, hot–freedomTowers will keep us connected as we do the important work of restoring our democracy, and bringing our civilization back into harmony with mother earth.
Free the Network is running a campaign for $75,000 on IndieGoGo, hoping to be the latest occupation-themed project to raise money from the masses. The VPN project is in line with the protest’s social media of choice, an anonymous but Twitter-esque app called Vibe, and the outcries of Twitter censorship.