Protesters in Hong Kong are relying on an app called Firechat to stay connected with one another. The app allows users to create what is called a “wireless mesh network” that is essentially off the grid, and off the radar of the authorities.
Mesh technology is being used in many emerging democracies, precisely because it makes government snooping so hard to do. Hong Kong is only the most recent example of how technology is empowering protesters across the world.
In the U.S., wireless mesh networks have popped up in Detroit, and in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook.
Animation by Simon Ducroquet