Most people in the United States—and increasingly, around the world—carry the most sophisticated surveillance devices ever created in their pockets day in and day out. Although smartphones have enabled governments and corporations to track our movements and monitor our conversations with unprecedented ease, these devices are also an incredibly useful personal tool and have become an indispensable part of modern life.
Sopranica is a do-it-yourself grass roots project to create a competitive community-oriented cell phone network. “Sopranica is a project intended to replace all aspects of the existing cell phone network with their freedom-respecting equivalents,” says Denver Gingerich, the programmer behind Sopranica. “Taking out all the basement firmware on the cellphone, the towers that track your location, the payment methods that track who you are and who owns the number, and replacing it so we can have the same functionality without having to give up all the privacy that we have to give up right now. At a high level, it’s about running community networks instead of having companies control the cell towers that we connect to.”
The plan is to create a competitor to today’s cell networks by using a community radio network. This will essentially involve people hosting small, inexpensive radio devices in their home that plug into their routers to provide internet access points to Sopranica users in the area.
You can read an interview with Gingerich as he describes how to use the network to avoid cell surveillance. The interview by Daniel Oberhaus may be found in the Motherboard web site at: http://bit.ly/2BzjJhX.
You can find more about the Sopranica project at: https://soprani.ca.