Anger Over SOPA Prompts Hackers to Propose Private Satellites

The British Broadcasting Corporation is reporting an interesting proposal being floated around by the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. Hackers attending the conference want to create a private Internet by putting their own network of communications satellites into Orbit. The proposed project is being called the Hackerspace Global Grid.

The Hackerspace Global Grid will consist of a series of communications satellites in orbit in addition to a series of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites. They also state that a long term goal is to put a private astronaut on the moon.

The hacker activist Nick Farr started soliciting donors and participants for the project back in August. I was due to a number of proposed laws which will censor the internet that caused him to start the project.

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

There are a whole host of issues with launching this type of system. Satellites that are usually launched by governmental entities or large corporation have the benefit of being placed in orbit by a rocket. This makes communication easy as ground centers know exactly where the satellite is. It also can put it in a stationary orbit right near the equator, which allows it to be “still” above a target.

The biggest drawback to this type of system is that from the height of these satellites, there is usually quite a delay in the signal causing problems for most applications.

If launched by amateurs, the satellites will be in low orbit making sure there is no delay but they will only be “visible to each ground station for a brief moment every 90 minutes. The only real way to overcome this is by having many satellites and many ground stations to pick up on the data.

The group says it wants to have a prototype to show the world at next years conventions, let’s see if they can do it.

Do you see the benefit to a private internet?