Based in Toronto, we are a grassroots and decentralized group of volunteers who started Toronto Mesh at CivicTechTO in early 2016. Through building community-owned infrastructure using off-the-shelf hardware and open-source technology, we are hoping to address barriers to internet access in our city. There are many ways for people to get involved.
We recognize that the infrastructure and applications we use today can keep us from an open and unrestricted access to the Internet.
Many of the applications on our computers and phones are controlled by centralized services that may engage in surveillance practices, whether for profit or for social control.
Much of the infrastructure that we use to go online is managed by Internet service providers that may censor, filter, or throttle data transfers. This same infrastructure is in many cases prone to disruptions due to natural disasters and malicious interference.
We have imagined a better future for our networks, and we are working to make it a reality.
We are adopting applications built on open, distributed systems that rely on peer-to-peer communication rather than centralized systems. These applications empower us to have better control over our personal data, our communications, and the content we create and share.
We are developing hardware solutions with open source technologies and mesh protocols that can be used to deploy community-owned networks, independent of Internet service providers. Community-owned networks can give us:
- open, lower-cost access to the World Wide Web
- a resilient and redundant network
- agency to make important decisions about privacy
- autonomy to access information in a free manner
- an opportunity to boost technical literacy
A community-owned network asks users to understand the technologies they use and to make decisions based on their community needs, rather than those of corporations.
A community-owned network needs people. We organize community events and workshops not only because they nourish technical literacy and motivate people to build networks, but also because they raise awareness of issues surrounding net neutrality, privacy, and censorship.
This is our mission:
Help communities create better networks with open source and peer-to-peer technologies that promote digital literacy and privacy.
Visit the Projects page to learn more about our work.