Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let Freedom Ring From Space

The internet situation in Egypt has shown how easily a government can shut off the internet to its people, and has made us consider how dangerous such action could be.

A charity organization has come up with an ingenious plan to prevent this scenario from happening again. They intend to buy a satellite and use it to guarantee internet access to billions of people.

Kosta Grammatis wants to buy a TerreStar-1 communications satellite from TerreStar, which filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010.

The effort is called Buy This Satellite and it has 3 phases: In phase 1, the group wants to raise US $150,000 in order to finalize a business plan, get legally organized to submit a bid for the satellite, and hire engineers. In phase 2, the group will, among other things, submit an official bid for the satellite, develop an open source modem and acquire an orbital slot. In phase 3, the group will move the satellite to a new orbit over partner countries and roll out service.

The plan would eliminate the fear that a government could deny internet access to its people by controlling the landlines.

I love the concept of orbital open-source internet. And even if this plan doesn't work, the fact that these ideas are floating around gives me a lot of hope for the future of mankind.

This will, of course, give congressmen and professional athletes more opportunities to send nude pictures of themselves to internet floozies, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

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