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.”