Comitia Protect (mobile network node)
Public and private space is now surrounded and embedded by the Internet. Comitia Protect developed as a mobile 802.11g node disconnected from the Internet in the summer of 2008. This mobile network hijacks expectations by presenting mixed messages of fear and safety.This portable private network allows me to go on location, hijacking the expected Internet access point, and forcing those who connect to view my Comitia Protect information, and in the process challenging assumptions of virtual and physical space, proximity, privacy and freedom.
Typical Set UpThe Comitia Protect mobile network node is typically brought to an area where one expects to find a WiFi "access point" or "Hot Spot." Successful locations have been commercial locations such as Starbucks, McDonalds, and other public gathering places. The network node advertises itself as an access point, with its own name or configurable "SSID"– users with WiFi devices notice a new node and investigate its promise of Internet access. Everything appears normal until users attempt to surf to a web site. Regardless of what URL they enter, they are immediately taken to the local Comitia Protect website.
Technical SpecificationsThe mobile network node consists of a Thinkpad x61s laptop containing an adapted 802.11g access point, running Gentoo GNU/Linux, Apache 2.0, and DNS Hijacker – an application that translates arbitrary named URLs to local services.
co·mi·ti·a (kə-mĭsh'ē-ə, -mĭsh'ə)
n. pl. comitia
A popular assembly in ancient Rome having legislative or electoral duties.
–verb (used with object)
To defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.