Each Occupy.here router is a LAN island in an archipelago of affiliated websites.
Anyone within range of an Occupy.here wifi router, with a web-capable smartphone or laptop, can join the network “OCCUPY.HERE,” load the locally-hosted website http://occupy.here, and use the message board to connect with other users nearby. The open source forum software offers a simple, mobile-friendly interface where users can share messages and files.
The project has developed in parallel with the Occupy movement and seeks to offer a network of virtual spaces where both committed activists and casual supporters can communicate.
Due to its distributed and autonomous design, Occupy.here is inherently resistant to Internet surveillance. Building up a collective network infrastructure that is owned and controlled by its users can lay the groundwork for other uses and applications. We don't have to choose between abstaining from social media and entrusting our data to corporate interests. We just need to take a greater responsibility for our own online services.
The project started in October 2011, with the goal to create a written supplement to the spoken conversations in Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti park). I wasn’t able to spend as much time in the park as I wanted, so I thought about how I might connect with others who passed through intermittently via an “offline forum.” Restricting the forum to those within the local wifi range created a self-selecting audience, and also (perhaps) created one more incentive to visit the occupation.
Since Liberty Square has been cleared and the Occupy Wall Street movement is now more decentralized, the goals for the project have adjusted. Instead of (or, perhaps, in addition to) augmenting the experience of being in an OWS encampment, we are building an archipelago of virtual spaces to host conversations similar to those in Liberty Square. More than ever, both “activists” and ”non-activists” alike need to have spaces for open discussion.
The new focus is to create a distributed network of wifi locations, each serving those in its immediate vicinity. These separate networks will soon be able to connect to each other, although that functionality is still under development.
November 29, 2013
Almost as soon as I'd uploaded yesterday's release number six, I realized the newly added Library feature had a serious flaw in how it handled imported HTML files. This bugfix release addresses that and a security vulnerability I discovered in the Library code. Be sure to update if you installed release number six!
Download: Occupy.here release 7
November 28, 2013
Two new features and one major bug fix in this Thanksgiving day release number six. The Spanish translation I thought was working in release 5 had some problems, but this one should address them. Onto the new stuff:
Download: Occupy.here release 6
November 24, 2013
Release 5 was intended to introduce a major new feature, however it is not quite ready yet and we're a month out from the last release. There is still a lot in this one:
If you speak another language, and want to help internationalize Occupy.here, please get in touch!
Download: Occupy.here release 5
October 21, 2013
I realized shortly after release 3 went out there were some problems with the new admin features. Release 4 fixes those bugs, and also updates the included INSTALL.md instructions.
Download: Occupy.here release 4
October 20, 2013
The third release is here! We’ve fixed some snags that a few people were reporting with the install script (no more need to download opt.img). There’s also a new administrative section:
Download: Occupy.here release 3
October 7, 2013
What an amazing weekend we had at PRISM Breakup! Thanks so much to the organizers, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Allison Burtch, Aurelia Moser, and Ramsey Nasser. It was easily among the best art/tech events I've been to, and a pleasure to be involved.
I just uploaded a screencast from the workshop on Sunday, that you can watch on YouTube. Thanks to everyone who came out, and especially to those who took an Occupy.here router home!
October 5, 2013
After very helpful early feedback from Twitter user @pe5pe, we discovered that release 1 had a couple serious flaws:
Download: Occupy.here release 2
October 1, 2013
Dan just posted an essay about occupy.here on Rhizome: A tiny self-contained darknet. (That's the new tag line here, in case you hadn't noticed it.)
October 1, 2013
We're giving a workshop at PRISM Breakup: How to build a tiny self-contained darknet. Starts 12:30pm on Sunday October 6, 2013, at Eyebeam (540 W 21st St, NYC). Bring a laptop!
Dan will also be giving a talk at 4:30pm.
September 30, 2013
After nearly two years of development, the first official release is now ready for download.
Download: Occupy.here release 1
May 16, 2013
Occupy.here was commissioned by Triple Canopy to provide a virtual library for their school and lecture series at MoMA PS1's EXPO 1, titled Speculations (“The Future Is ___________”). You can watch the archived LiveStream of Dan’s talk.
May 3, 2013
March 9, 2013
Occupy.here is at South by Southwest, presenting with Harlo Holmes of The Guardian Project and Isaac Wilder of the Free Network Foundation. Come see our panel on Saturday morning! (see also: one year ago in Austin)
July 27, 2012
July 16, 2012
We’re really honored to have received a Rhizome commission! Soon we'll have the funding to deploy a new round of public wifi nodes.