RELEASE: OTI Launches Commotion Beta: Free Wireless Mesh Network Software

Commotion Technology Revolutionizes Community Wireless by Providing a Safe, Low-Cost Option
Published:   March 20, 2013

Washington, DC — The New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute (OTI) announced today the public release of Commotion Beta - a free, open source, wireless networking platform. This “Developer Release #1” (DR1) makes Commotion’s technology available for testing and feedback and is freely available from the project website: www.commotionwireless.net. Please note that Commotion is in Beta and should not be used for mission-critical and/or sensitive communications until version 1.0 is released.
 
Commotion is a cutting-edge open-source communications software platform that uses laptops, mobile phones, and other Wi-Fi devices to create decentralized, wireless “mesh” networks.  Commotion interconnects devices directly to one-another in a peer-to-peer manner to form a “spider web” of connectivity.
 
“Commotion Beta is a transformative technology - the culmination of years of research and development by hundreds of developers around the globe,” said New America Vice President and OTI Director Sascha Meinrath, who is the founder of Commotion Wireless. “Commotion is an incredible resource for empowering communities and constituencies worldwide, helping with a variety of different needs, from spreading low-cost connectivity, securing communications, and enhancing disaster-response.”
 
Commotion Beta adds new usability enhancements and features that simplify mesh network setup and reduce the difficulty of network maintenance.  DR1 contains a fully integrated web-interface in addition to traditional command-line access.  Among the new technical features in DR1 are a QuickStart setup wizard, a set of core libraries that will form the backbone of a common network management interface across Commotion platforms, an application portal that makes it easy to announce and discover authenticated local social applications, and a debugging tool to provide one-click error reports for network maintainers. These features will be ported to the Android, Linux, and OS X clients over the next quarter.
 
The DR1 release also includes key security features, beginning with basic network encryption, which brings mesh networking up to the level of security expected from today’s wireless networks. Commotion adds an additional layer of security by allowing the use of network keys and application signing through the use of The Serval Project’s http://www.servalproject.org/ Serval daemon, making it easier to identify bad-agents posing as legtimate services. These features form the foundation for the Commotion security features under active development.  
 
To learn more about Commotion, click here.
 
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