Hong Kong: Beat the Internet and the Internet will Beat You!
Technology and Kampong Spirit, who says ne’er the two shall meet?
In Hong Kong, reportedly, between Sunday and Monday morning, about 100,000 users downloaded FireChat – a free app underpinned by mesh networking, which lets phones unite to form a temporary Internet – for fear authorities may shut off communications.
Back in the day it was stuffing paper scrolls in mooncakes or tying them to homing pigeons. Then it became bulletin boards and secret underground tunnels. Today, it is messenger services. Tomorrow, my friends, it is “mesh networking”.
It seems so far, mesh networks have proven themselves quite effective and quickly adopted during times of disaster or political unrest, as they don’t rely on existing cable and wireless networks.
Gizmodo says: “Mesh networks are an especially resilient tool because there’s no easy way for a government to shut them down. They can’t just block cell reception or a site address. Mesh networks are like Voldemort after he split his soul into horcruxes (only not evil). Destroying one part won’t kill it unless you destroy each point of access; someone would have to turn off Bluetooth on every phone using FireChat to completely break the connection. This hard-to-break connection isn’t super important for casual chats, but during tense political showdowns, it could be a lifeline.”
Meanwhile, Christophe Daligault, Open Garden’s VP for sales and marketing says. “Once you build a mesh network … now you have a network that is resilient, self-healing, cannot be controlled by any central organization, cannot be shut down and is always working,”