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Friday 05/03/13 11AM-1PM


233 Mott Street
New York, NY 10012 Directions

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Wifi Hacking and the Slow, Offline Web

Cover Image: prototype is an invisible Temporary Autonomous Zone built on internet technologies like WiFi and HTML. The project seeks to build a network of independent WiFi routers, each hosting local services that don’t require an internet connection. Each WiFi network, called OCCUPY.HERE, allows those within physical proximity to connect to custom-built social software. Once you’re connected, any URL you type into your mobile browser redirects you to This website offers a simple forum where you can anonymously post messages, upload files, and respond to what others have posted.

The WiFi hardware can be battery-powered and stores all its data on a USB thumb drive. Each router has no upstream bandwidth and there is no mesh protocol connecting them. The project is open source and designed to be easily replicated by DIY free-speech enthusiasts using off-the-shelf hardware. Each node of the network is a LAN island in an archipelago of affiliated websites. When somebody connects to, she or he can download a complete backup of everything stored on that WiFi router. Upon connecting to subsequent WiFi nodes, that backup is sync’d and propagated slowly throughout the larger network.

This workshop, for beginners and the technically savvy alike, explores the possibilities of virtual public spaces for strangers to anonymously confront each other’s views and politics, much in the style of Zuccotti Park. We’ll discuss the theory and technology of local networks, and explore what potential uses they might have in practice. Come with a laptop and ideas for how might help your community.

Pre-registration is strongly suggested. To register, visit the event page on

The workshop will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. in room 1.5 of the Old School.

Please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in, which will be through the red doors at 233 Mott Street. Pre-registered participants who are more than 5 minutes late will lose their seat to walk-up participants. Although unlikely, Workshop times and classrooms are subject to change.

Categories: Talk, Workshop
Participating Organizations:

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