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Pt 379

BBC News – Hackers plan space satellites to combat censorship.

The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin.

The project’s organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites.

Longer term they hope to help put an amateur astronaut on the moon.

Hobbyists have already put a few small satellites into orbit – usually only for brief periods of time – but tracking the devices has proved difficult for low-budget projects.

The hacker activist Nick Farr first put out calls for people to contribute to the project in August. He said that the increasing threat of internet censorship had motivated the project.

“The first goal is an uncensorable internet in space. Let’s take the internet out of the control of terrestrial entities,” Mr Farr said.

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Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Rahere says:

    You’ll need a finite element analyst for payload balancing.

  2. Sascha Nemseff Villagran says:

    and then comes USA and shoots it down

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, the article has some serious technical flaws, clearly the journalist who wrote it isn’t really well versed in the subject (no surprise there).  I have to say, while I appreciate the desire, this is probably not the best conceived idea I’ve ever seen.  

    There are other ways to achieve the goal with a fraction of the cost, and with a great deal more effectiveness(i.e. creative use of VPN technology, protocol spoofing etc.).  On orbit doesn’t mean you’re beyond reach, and you’d need to orbit a lot of LEO satellites to make a meaningful difference, never mind the issues of bandwidth  and latency/jitter inherent to this sort of approach.  

    Seems like somebody wanted to make a media splash with yet another project that will never actually go anywhere by making audacious statements.  Extraordinary proposals need extraordinary backing before I’ll bother paying any more attention.  

  4. Alan Dove says:

    The BBC needs to do its homework a little bit better. Hobbyists have been putting communication satellites into orbit for decades, often for very long periods of time, and tracking them hasn’t been difficult for properly organized projects. See http://amsat.org for some background.

    But yeah, trying to sell this as a censorship-proof alternative to terrestrial internet backbones is quite a stretch.

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