The recent uprisings in the Middle East have shown that, when push comes to shove, unpopular dictatorships have no problem severing the lines of communication between their people. Now the U.S. is working on funding “the Internet in a Suitcase.”
It’s a fairly innocuous looking package put together by the folks at the New America Foundation. It allows the operator to deploy a wireless network that uses computers, cell phones, thumb drives, a mishmash of wireless routing equipment and some cleverly written software to transmit information anonymously when authorities cut off conventional means of communication. The network is decentralized — it will continue to function in the event that a node is compromised.
As of yet there is no word on when or if the suitcases will start to roll out (we probably won’t hear about it when they do) but the State Department was convinced enough to hand the New America Foundation a $2 million grant, so this author’s prediction is that they will be deployed sooner rather than later.