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Commotion – Developing a distributed p2p mesh networking infrastructure

photo of Sepp Hasslberger

Sepp Hasslberger
4th May 2013

Commotion is an open-source communication tool that uses mobile phones, computers, and other wireless devices to create decentralized mesh networks.


We’re building a new type of tool for anyone to use: one that uses a distributed mesh infrastructure to provide a communications platform for communities and human rights advocates. A distributed infrastructure eliminates the ability for powerful groups, such as governments, to completely disrupt communications by shutting down the commercial or state-owned communications infrastructure. And, “device-as-infrastructure” networks enhance communications security among activists by eliminating points for centralized monitoring, by enabling direct peer-to-peer communication, and by aggregating and securing individual communications streams.

We aim to:
- create a simple, easy-to-use communications tool that anyone can set up and use without technical expertise
- prevent powerful groups from surveilling, disrupting, or shutting down communications.
- enhance security among democratic activists by enabling direct peer-to-peer communications.
- develop a flexible, open-source software platform that programmers around the globe can continually adapt and build upon

We intend to develop tools that:
- allow existing Wi-Fi-enabled devices (laptops, smartphones, home wireless routers) to network directly with one another to form a distributed wireless mesh network.
- support encrypted and anonymous data and voice communications throughout the network.
- provide local communication even if Internet connectivity is disrupted or severed.
- allow existing, unmodified GSM mobile phones to connect and exchange anonymous calls, text messages, and data with other devices on the network.
- allow any device on the network that is connected to the Internet to share that connectivity with every other device on the network, regardless of the Internet connection type used (satellite, dial-up modem, mobile phone, fiber, or DSL/Cable).

New Commotion Release (DR1) Ready for Testing

March 13, 2013 – OTI
Commotion’s first developer release (DR1) is now available for testing. This version replaces our September 2012 pre-release (PR3) and adds several new features. Though Commotion developers tested each component feature, we will begin extensive pre-release testing of the entire DR1 suite in the coming weeks. We hope you will join us in testing the new components…

Democracy Now has an interview with Sascha Meinrath on Commotion:

Sharing the Internet: “Commotion Wireless” Technology Lets Communities Create Free Webs of Access


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