The power of ISP's

Saw this article on Reddit today. This is something that has been on the back of mind lately. ISP’s have most of the power because they control the cable? Governments can easily control ISP’s. Couldn’t MaidSafe be easily blocked to users?

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“Cable companies always say that somebody has to pay for all of this traffic. Well, somebody does: cable customers pay hand over fist for high-speed Internet access, and they should have the right to use the connections they pay for however they want. We see even more clearly now how Comcast and other Internet access providers cause artificial congestion, and make their own paying customers suffer the consequences, to generate new revenue streams for their bottleneck businesses.”

Isn’t a mesh networking option being built into SAFE? Get enough SAFE users together and you won’t need to ask ISPs permission to do anything.

I have to do more studying on mesh networks but my assumption was that ultimately a mesh network relies on an ISP at the base?

It doesn’t have to. They (meaning reveal groups) are building wireless mesh networks as we speak. You can join and help build them. However, maidsafe will, at least to start, be built on ISP lines.

Some alternative examples of large scale mesh networks were discussed in an earlier thread Alternative to ISPs

So you’re worried about the government blocking MaidSafe and not Tor, Piratebay and everyone else?
Okay, then.

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It’s more that they control the last mile of cable. They have an immutable monopoly on that, and unless regulation prevents them they can use that to do as they wish just the same as if your water provider decides to cut you off or reduce your flow to a trickle, without regulation saying otherwise they can go ahead and do just that.

The situation in the US is fairly unique out of OECD countries though, and that’s the fault of your government. In some European countries internet access has been included into EU human rights legislation. In Mexico or Canada the thought of your ISP throttling some traffic not others as a means of shaking you or others down for more money would be considered equal to blackmail. What you have in the US right now is probably a consequence of the AT&T monopoly breakup in the 1980s.

Correct. A substantial number of OECD countries require their ISPs to fit spook boxes to let the government monitor traffic. The EU and Australia come to mind especially (not all EU countries have implemented the EU wide directive yet). The US doesn’t require the ISPs to install these, they install them just outside the ISP for their convenience :slight_smile:

Any internet service can be blocked simply by blocking anything not matching some whitelist. My old mobile phone provider in Canada used to block everything not on port 80 for example.


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The SAFE network itself is extremely resilient, and extremely unlikely to be blockable at a global level. Whether particular users can access it or not is entirely up to your local internet provider.



Cheers @nicklambert, I had read that thread earlier and checked out, it seems pretty impressive what they have done, it is very close to me which was exciting so I checked out what it would entail to get involved. I was pretty much lost from there. Still working on it though :smile:

@janitor, um yeah.

@ned14 Thanks for the very informative response.

Could the MaidSafe technology be one day applied to where the SAFEnetwork is the service provider also?

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Well if we develop a big enough mesh network it most certainly can.

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To answer your question, I was thinking that MaidSafe would replace the need for Tor & Piratebay.

My train of thought on my post:

I listened to:

“…when we looked at the internet and thought this is quite a strange thing because all the computers in the world are connected to every other computer in the world but for me to speak to you I have to get permission from Google or whatever and information goes from me to them to you and maybe they let me in, maybe they don’t let me in, maybe they monitor my information, maybe they don’t. And we thought this is very strange.”

Let’s Talk Bitcoin - Episode 103 [0:56]
David Irvine, - Part 1
Interview w/ David Irvine, - Part 1 - YouTube

Then I read:

“Governments may have a legitimate interest to surveil possible security threats. However, with the introduction of the SAFE network, mass surveillance will become too resource intensive to maintain. Attacks can also take a non-technical form. For example, public relations efforts to discredit the network to the public, slowing and even halting adoption are a possibility.”

“The SAFE Network” by Nick Lambert and Benjamin Bollen. Chapter 4, pg 6.

I then saw the ISP article on reddit.

Which made me think that the weak link in a Safe Network was the ISP’s.


This is why we definitely need SAFEPhone with something like soft radio to get a quicker mesh and an end user owned internet replacement. Mesh as a replacement isn’t good enough as its stands in the commercial space because of the latency, but it looks like there is tech that can get around this limitation and help us get rid of the cable/telcos.

I’d like a SAFErouter and would like to be able to incorporate LAN as well. I think we’re far too heavily dependent on radio. Here’s a thought what about laser, not for long distances nessesarily but for short, like appartment complexes and such. You set a laser point to point transmission system up between balconies or on the roof or between back yards and bam you’re in business. Isn’t light transmission even faster than radio signals? And if everyone in a neighbourhood gets SAFE then you could set up a LAN of point to point lasers on roofs or whatever. If one gets momentarily interrupted no problem because it’s all decentralized and the rest of the network can take over for that. Just a thought there.

youre thinking of free space optical being faster than fiber and its a good bit faster if I have it right