Freedom of Exchange of data and information in Freifunk free wireless networks

It is often stated that the Internet is the basis of the free
communication and exchange of software and content – all kinds of information and
knowledge. Yes, the Internet especially in the 1990’s could be regarded
as a free infrastructure that enabled free exchange. This is changing
rapidly throughout the world, as we see a trend to censoring of
information all over the world and privately
enforced censoring with the help of copyright and patent laws.

The less free the Internet becomes the more attractive free
community networks, like the Freifunk networks, will appear to the
masses. It is the aim of Freifunk enthusiasts to create truly free networks, which are
comparable to public spaces like a street where everyone can freely
walk and communicate with others. As in a city with its free public
spaces, we have a public space in the cyberspace. Public spaces
guarantee our basic rights like freedom of speech, freedom of
information and freedom of the press. However, also crimes happen in
public spaces. There is no solution that will prevent crimes to a
hundred percent without also reducing our freedoms, neither in the
virtual world nor in the real world.

Still, neither people involved in free infrastructure projects like Freifunk regard their networks as a space free of the rule of law. The
completely decentralized structures of these networks, however, (and
for good reason) make it impossible to control the traffic centrally. The solution to
reducing crime and fighting terrorism seems to be to require IPSs to control and
protocol the traffic of all its users (entire populations e.g. in Germany). In fact the observing the traffic of all internet and network
users in the world is rather questionable. Firstly concerning the
duties of network operators, who should not and are in no position to
take over police duties, secondly it is questionable in regards to the
misuse that is possible with these huge amounts of data, that
compromises of information like who communicates with whom, when, how
long and possibly even what. Besides its drive of innovation and opportunities for businesses free decentralized freifunk networks also propose a
solution to trends of digital mass control in politics.

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