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US Government Backs Suitcase-Sized "Shadow Internet" to Battle Censorship


The United States is developing what the New York Times is calling “shadow internet” – a prototype network that can fit into a suitcase and be carried across state borders to provide political dissidents with access to the web in the event that their repressive governments shut down communications. This project is part of the Obama administration’s effort to undermine government censorship.

The suitcase will use a mesh network technology, which creates a wireless web from cell phones and personal computers that can transmit messages, pictures or videos to one another without the need for a central, official network. This sort of tech has previously been used in remote or disaster-struck areas to provide web connections--it's like a cell phone swarm that in concert is strong enough to operate without the need for nearby towers or even satellites.

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