Archive of November 2011

Wed 30 Nov

Bro IDS Cheat Sheet

My friend Matthias just posted a Bro language cheat sheet for the Bro IDS. Bro is a great tool for network measurement and monitoring. I've been using it for some traffic analysis I'm doing for my research. I'm still learning how to use Bro, but it's one of those tools that I'm more excited about using every time I learn a bit more about it.

Sat 26 Nov

Why wireless mesh networks won't save us from censorship

Or "why the reddit 'Darknet Plan' is a fun but misguided solution to the wrong problem".

It's exciting to see so much interest of late in the Darknet Plan hatched by redditors to build a second, people-owned, censorship-free Internet using a large-scale wireless mesh network. Freedom of speech on the Internet is an important issue and it's important for all of us to take it seriously. Additionally, as someone who thinks wireless networks are the bee's knees (and who does research on wireless networks in his day job), it's exciting to see so much interest in using wireless to circumvent censorship.

That's why it's painful for me to say, "hey guys, this isn't going to work".

I got into this space about five years ago to build a community-owned Internet using solar power and wireless mesh networks -- censorship circumvention wasn't an explicit goal, but it was part of the broader vision. I actually wound up building a couple sizable networks using equipment like this (Orangemesh grew out of this work). After a couple years I developed a pretty good understanding that wireless mesh networks aren't actually a good way to build a real network. These are a few of those reasons.

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Fri 18 Nov

Pirate Party wins 8% of vote in Berlin elections

I remember when the first Pirate Party was created in 2006 (back in the days when I still read 2600 and went to high school). I'm thrilled to see that in the ensuing years the party has taken hold in multiple countries and has expanded its agenda to become more than a single-issue party. To paraphrase a point made by Evgeny Morozov at a talk I was at yesterday, the best outcome for a movement started on the Internet is the formation of a party that can engage with the political system in a meaningful way to create change.