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Hacktivists plan to use satellites to by-pass internet censorship

Warwick Ashford

Hacker activists plan to launch communication satellites to overcome the threat of internet censorship.

The Hackerspace Global Grid scheme was highlighted at the Chaos Communication Congress hosted by a German hacker group in Berlin following initial calls for support by hacktivist Nick Farr in August.

According to Farr, the first goal is an uncensorable internet in space."Hackers are about open information. We believe communication is a human right,” he said.

The comments come against the backdrop of debate in the US around the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) which, if passed, would allow for some sites to be blocked on copyright grounds.

Organisers also plan to create a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites, which has been the main stumbling block of other low-budget satellite communication projects.

The team behind the Hackerspace project plans to overcome this obstacle by developing an £84 modular receiver station with networking capabilties that will be sold on a non-profit basis to interested parties.

A working prototype built on open-source hardware and software using open standards is expected to be ready within the next six months, according to reports.

According to the BBC, the project is aided by Constellation, a German research initiative that provides distributed computation capability to various aerospace-related research projects.

But experts say even though the satellite project is feasible, it could be restricted by technical challenges such as limited access and signal delays and could face opposition from various governments.


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