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lecture: Silent Protest

DIY wearable protest network


Independent observers are noting a decrease in Freedom of speech worldwide. In its 2016 report, Reporter without Borders unveils a "climate of fear and tension combined with increasing control over newsrooms by governments and private-sector interests.", while Amnesty International's report on the State of the World Human Rights states that "2016 was the year when the cynical use of 'us vs them' narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s. Too many politicians are answering legitimate economic and security fears with a poisonous and divisive manipulation of identity politics in an attempt to win votes".

At the same time, the United Nations Statistics Division insist on the unprecedented literacy rate achieved by Mankind globally. Human beings have more and more things to say.

With this project, we present Silent Protest : a wearable DIY protest network build of inexpensive network gear and open source software. Its goal is to facilitate Freedom of Speech, enable Art sharing in countries where this Human Right is being challenged by authorities, and offer a customizable portable Anonymous Protest Network platform reliable and affordable enough to be build in third world countries and developed countries alike.
#Privacy #Society #Software #Making

1) Problem statement, threat modelling, prior work
=> We'll see why GSM/3G/LTE/5G fail at providing a safe protest environment due to Imsi catchers (including demos). We'll see why silent disco technologies (typically RF based) are also doomed to fail, and why we resorted to Gigabit wifi instead.

2) DIY Hardware requirements:
=> We'll detail what hardware has been chosen and why we resorted to flash it using OpenWRT. This provides great compatibility and gives protest network builders more lattitude in their choice or Hardware.

3) DIY streaming:
=> We'll see how to use a raspberry pi to implement a simple controller enabling mo3/ogg and video streaming live through icecast. We'll see how DJs can stream live directly from their usual professional software (Traktor).

4) Streaming live DJs over gigabit wifi:
=> We will provide a live demo (we're bringing our own professional Techno DJ) of silent disco over our network. Attendees will be able to join the party by setting their phones in airplane mode (to avoid Imsi catchers) and by joining our secret, anonymous, secure protest wifi network. It is worth noticing that such bandwidth can only be achieved thanks to the latest 802.11ac specs that allow Gigabit Wifi over the 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band.

5) Ubiquity, Surviving arrests:
=> We took sewing machine classes (!!) and miniaturized the component and energy supply of the network enough to be able to sew them into concealed pockets and regular clothes. Combined with the latest 802.11r standard, we are able to provide a redundant mesh network over wifi, that will survive even if some members of the protest were to be arrested (eg: by authorities in a non democratic country).

6) Peer to peer communication without extra software, thanks to html5:
=> We will see how to enable peer to peer and VoIP communication without needing to install any software on end users phones thanks to the latest html 5 capabilities built into modern web browsers.