Isaac Wilder (imw) is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Free Network Foundation. He studied Computer Science and Philosophy at Grinnell college until 2011, when he left Grinnell to pursue free network advocacy full-time. He is currently based in Kansas City, MO.
Isaac Wilder on the Free Network Movement:
"My name is Isaac Wilder, and I'm a sophomore at Grinnell College in Iowa. At the beginning of this school year, I helped to bring together a group of hackers that calls itself FreeNet (sorry about the name duplication). Our mission is build exactly such a system as is being discussed here: an F/LOSS p2p physical network layer that scales to the municipal level. We believe that a federation of such municipal networks could serve as a building block for a self-governing network on a global scale. We call our system the Mesh Interface for Network Devices, or MIND. We have a wiki at www.freenetworkmovement.org where we have been documenting our progress. Things have not progressed as quickly as we would have liked, but we are very near an initial rollout to the general Grinnell public. We are using a variety of hardware platforms (Ubiquiti , Linksys , Asus, etc...) and replacing their propriety firmware with dd-wrt, a F/LOSS linux distribution for embedded systems. dd-wrt supports optimized link-state routing, which we are planning to use until something better comes along. Our hardware is completely crowd-sourced, and we've got a sizeable group of people that are willing to install hardware in/on their homes when the time comes. I can tell you all from experience that the difficult part here is on the technical side - people, most people, are downright enthralled by the idea of a community-owned network co-op. Those that aren't compelled by philosophical reasons are compelled by economic ones. What we need to focus on is designing for a user experience that is streamlined and no-fuss. What's more, four of us from FreeNet attended the Students for Free Culture conference at NYU in February. (That's where I met Devin Balkind, which is how I got to be a member of this group.) The response to our gameplan at SFCNYC was amazing. Students from all over the world are looking to help with this project. The MIND is an idea that just makes sense to people. To make the prospects of the project even more exciting, we've been talking to the folks at www.ahumanright.org about potential collaboration. We are thinking that bandwidth from their buythissatellite.org campaign could be used for backhaul between geographically disparate pockets of the MIND." (Next Net mailing list, March 2011)