October 19-22, 2017
Brooklyn, NY

Denver Gingerich

Website | Twitter

Denver is the founder and lead developer of JMP, a chat gateway that lets you text and call people using a real phone number without a phone, part of the Soprani.ca family of projects. Denver also works part-time at Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit home for free and open-source software projects. His hobbies include building magnetic stripe readers, collecting phone numbers, and testing the range of anything with an antenna.


Soprani.ca: Embracing Then Extinguishing the (Cell) Phone Network

While much has been done to make the Internet more free and secure, most people continue to connect to it and other services primarily through the cell phone network, which is neither free nor secure (in many senses of both words). Soprani.ca is a collection of projects that aim to liberate us from the surveillance and commercialization imposed by the cellular overlords, through the creation of new networks and software to replace those that take away our rights and freedoms.

In this talk, Denver will describe the larger goals and plans for creating a free cell phone network, beginning with the need to connect to elements of the current system, while providing parallel features offering more freedom and security so the current system is needed less and less. He will demonstrate a Soprani.ca project that is already operational, as well as highlight a variety of potential project areas ripe for revolution, such as creating and building upon new radio and chat protocols (both as ways of connecting to the Internet and operating without it, ie. in remote areas), SIM cards, and phone hardware. Denver will also discuss the importance of fostering community as a key aspect of growth for Soprani.ca's objectives, both through the building and running of physical networks, as well as creating software and protocols that people can trust for their communication, whether that be discussing heterodox ideas, political activism, or organizing local events.