NoCat team proposes handing out the 10.x network for a "Virtual Public Network"

Cory Doctorow, blogging from the O'Reilly Emerging TechnologiesConference, notes that the NoCat folks are proposing to hand out slices of the 10.*.*.* network-space to people who operate radios that use NoCatAuth.

Interesting idea - but there are a few problems:

(1) You've got a limited IP Address space. (2) No one considers you the authority, so others are going to use the space as well. (3) How do you deal with rogues? (4) It is going to require a huge VPN - or at least IP-in-IP tunnelling system to allow for routing between nodes in the private space over the public internet, along with all the routing headaches associated. These are not small problems.

It is an interesting idea, though, akin to Sputnik's roaming capabilities - by placing authentication databases at a number of centralized points, Sputnik already provides this free roaming capability, without the need for tunnelling or dedicated IP space. We're solving somewhat different problems - Sputnik for example, is not built to give each wireless user his own unique IP address; rather it is allocated from the pool that each Gateway delivers, and therefore some of the whiz-bang routing features of the NoCat proposal aren't implemented. However, at the same time, the smaller problem set allows us to avoid the big problems mentioned above.