Meshtastic

Building a LoRa-Emergency-Radio-Network in Germany

Dear Kevin, hi fantastic Meshtastic community! :vulcan_salute:

first my compliments to your wonderful Meshtastic project! You are doing a great job with this.

I’m a founder and admin of the FreieDeutscheGesellschaft.org (FDG), a libertarian organisation for building a statefree market and private law society with and for the free, strong and responsible people in the German speaking territory. I’m also a veteran of the ‘Internet of People’ project (iop.global), whose focus within the decentralization movement of the cryptosphere has shifted towards becoming the worlds standard for permissionless opensource DID/SSI- infrastructure solutions on its Hydra blockchain with the Hydra utility token.

We are in the process of implementing a LoRa-Meshnetwork in several German cities for our growing base of members. The demand is huge and people are very curious, excited and enthusiastic about this new technology and its potential for managing the challenges during prospective crisis blackouts. Now I have some questions for you:

  1. Which hardware do you recommend as the one with the most potential? Currently we choose the TTGO T-Beam v1.1 as our favourite, but maybe you see other modules as more convenient, efficient or promising for the near future?

  2. How could a LoRa-Network be attacked by enemies and how can we best protect us against such attacks and sabotage? Do professional jammers exist, perhaps in police or military, for destroying or intervening with LoRa communication?

  3. Can you point me to some German developers, who might be interested in working for our project and tailoring the software to the specific needs of our community for a) communicating publicly and privately peer to peer within and between small to huge local, regional and national groups of people and b) for finding encoding systems for transmitting as much important information within the limits of this SMS-Chat-Messenger-Communication as possible during the economic crisis, e.g. for organizing a decentralized marketplace (abbreviated encoding of information about demanded and supplied goods and services) between our members in the coming crisis and shortage economy?

We are planning to expand the FDG LoRa-Meshnetwork in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as fast as possible for our members to become autonomous and self reliant during blackouts, for organizing spontaneous meetings in times and situations of emergency, and for the quick organization of a decentralized marketplace for goods and services in the coming crisis shortage economy. We are also interested in implementing and combining this LoRa-Meshnetwork with the self reliant HAMNET (https://hamnetdb.net/map.cgi), the Highspeed Amateurradio Multimedia NETwork in D-A-CH.

I’d be glad to hear from you and curious for your answers! Thank you very much for supporting our libertarian digital cooperative and liberation movement!

Greetings from Germany
Freier_Mensch

1 Like

Hello Freier_Mensch,

i took a look at your website FreieDeutscheGesellschaft.org, and there were a few things that raised questions.

It seems, that the overall language and visual communication of you and your project is on the populistic side, the heroic appearance of the logo does underline this.
This is not necessarily bad, but there was another thing that threw me off a bit, and this becomes problematic when brought in context with the populistic communication i mentioned.

There is a big red banner on your website, that reads: " Werde als Arzt oder Jurist JETZT aktiv gegen die Corona-Hysterie". (English: Become active as a doctor or lawyer NOW against the corona hysteria).
What is your intention behind this? Do you implicate that the global pandemic does not exist and do you want to imply, that all experts and studies that are proposing the potential danger of the virus are not legit?

Generally, personally, i think, that the actions and words of politics and the media have to be closely watched with a consciousness of preserving freedom. In this i am with you. But it’s… the overall picture and the thing you are in fact promoting, in my eyes, that I am not agreeing with.

Also, from a quick google search, this popped up: https://de.beincrypto.com/freie-deutsche-gesellschaft-aktivisten-oder-scammer/
This article from a german crypto blog makes a few accusations towards you crypto project ‘Internet of People’. Can you tell more about this and why whats written there is wrong?

Thank you

4 Likes

Meshtastic is a worldwide project and de facto volunteered by people of different creeds, race, nationality, political beliefs etc etc. I don’t feel it’s appropriate to open up a debate asking an interested party to account for their beliefs etc, however we might differ.

We are all here to achieve one thing, help and assist Meshtastic move forward.

4 Likes

Thereout follows the question if one can be non-political.
I am not here to open up a debate and to illegitimate anyone.
I asked these questions as a person, not in any affiliation to the meshtastic project. Anyone reading this can choose to ignore it. I will not push any further.
If you want to include everyone, you must also include the people asking questions like I did.
Because i have come across many, many people that promote freedom but their goals were in fact the opposite, so these questions should be asked, in my opinion.

If any moderator/geeksville reads this and is not of this opinion, feel free to nuke my posts :slight_smile:

4 Likes

@Freier_Mensch does ask a valid question of how any tech could be use to break the mesh. Wether this current “pandemic” is real or not, there will always be conflict between 2 groups. If history has taught us anything is that too much control of any 1 group is not a good thing. Consider goverments involved in genocide or crimes against humanity. No one at the time ever thinks their goverment is going to purposefly do them any harm, truth is, it does happen.

So if we were to use Meshtastic as a form of private comms, would the mesh self heal if a few nodes where still active outside the affected zone once jammed nodes were to return to the mesh. Similar to how Synapse Matrix works?

To answer your question about if Jammers do exist.

If something like this is available for the general public to easily access, you can imagine how powerful of a jammer can be used by anyone in a position of power. Legal or not, they do exist.

I think the best aproach to any form of communication disruption would be a plan B. As the saying goes, dont keep all your eggs in 1 basket. Have a backup form of comms.

If you believe 1 device in your mesh has been compromised, send out a message for everyone in the group to join a new secure channel using a predefined keyword. Of course, you would have to plan ahead and have links stored in a secure fashion. Scanning a QR code probably wouldnt be a very secure way of changing channels, but keeping a web address secured in a password manager on the device could work.

@thepoweroftwo This is exactly my same impression i had visiting the website. A quick look into the telegram group ‘FDG-Landkreisgruppen Anti-Corona-Maßnahmen’ (In english: ‘FDG county groups anti-corona-measures’) on the bottom of the page confirms the acceptance.

There they give (insidious) tips on how to blame corona measures in public. Overall it seems to be very doubtful content there…

Edit: In the other Telegram group ‘FDG Denkfabrik’ (FDG think tank) you’ll see a harder tone on the agenda. There is also a short discussion about meshtastic (search for ‘mesh’).

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
drewsed

3 Likes

@satkiwii You are absolutely right with your first paragraph.
Also I want to add, that we as a community should not exclude someone because of his political beliefs. Also, no one should be denied help in this forum collectively because of that. There is enough separation in this world already.

Why I made the first post: Freier_Mensch is kind of promoting his initiative here publicly and also asking for human resources, that’s why I wrote what I wrote, with questions regarding his initiative, because I found things that tend to point to different, or at least further intentions, than what the literal words on the website say.

4 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Thanks for pointing me to this article about Chinese LoRa-jammers. Too bad they exist. And you are right, that we should use a backup plan B to evade attacks.

Hey I’m 100% for keeping this forum open too all, especially those we don’t agree with… but this this guy is a GD fascist…and has brought his political ideology directly to the space in the same breath saying " let’s keep this just a technical conversation."

Heads up dude, check all that at the door or I will make it my mission to be annoying to you here.

6 Likes

He may be a Libertarian or AnCap, but that’s a far cry from Fascism. However, the overemphasis on ideology is inappropriate in a technical forum.

1 Like

This community should be about a interesting and fun project, as @geeksville have
highlighted! Please, leave all other matters outside of discussions and this community. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

re: using meshtastic to link cities
IMO I don’t think meshtastic is ready for this yet (and might not be ever). The bandwidth is super constrained and our current routing algorithm is mostly just “naive flood routing”. Which is fine for a smallish number of nodes (definitely <30) and the original meshtastic use case. Our routing will need to improve a lot (and the speeds are still quite slow) before I’d say it is ready for city to city deployment. Over time we might do this (either by improving our current transport or switching our transport layer to qmesh or reticulum?) but at the current rate I don’t think that will happen for at least six months.

(btw - personally I think libertarianism is a super bad idea. But on all sides, yes, please no politics on this forum. I want people to be able to use this project however they want to be most useful for them)

2 Likes