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The contents of this HacDC Byzantium wiki are considered deprecated, they are preserved for historic purposes only. For the most up-to-date information on Project Byzantium, please visit the new website:

The new wiki is located on Github:

This project was launched with a sprint on Feb 25-27, 2011. Sprints will be held the last weekend of every month.

The development wiki page is here.

The official mailing list is here.

The official Github organization page is here.

NOTICE: If you've downloaded Byzantium v0.1a, you need to re-download it immediately due to a major bug in the 10 January 2012 release! This is critical! Where to download Byzantium.

Project Goals

The goal of Project Byzantium is to develop a communication system by which users can connect to each other and share information in the absence of convenient access to the Internet.

The use cases for such a system would be:

  1. The infrastructure for accessing the internet has become damaged or inaccessible. (Eg, a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.)
  2. A central authority has decided to explicitly block or shutdown key infrastructure. (Eg, Egypt's recent internet blackout.)
  3. A zombie apocalypse in which the personnel responsible for maintaining key infrastructure have all been turned.

The project aims to develop and publish the necessary documentation, best practices, and software to construct and support such a system. Our current approach is to start by investigating and documenting the existing technologies which would support such a system. In particular, mesh networking protocols, wireless networking technologies, and decentralized (or less-centralized) alternatives to internet addressing/naming systems such as DNS. In designing the system, we aim to reduce the dependency on exotic hardware or skill sets so that the system can be deployed quickly and easily by average internet users.

An additional goal is that users not actively participating in the mesh network (i.e., not running mesh routing software on their devices) can make use of the network without having to install anything new, jailbreak their phone, or pry the information out of a hacker infected with the Exsurgent virus.


InterMesh Distributed DNS Live Distro


Sprint 1 Details Write up. Sprint 2 Details Write up. Sprint 3 Details Sprint 4 Details Individual sprint reports have been replaced with the Action Log since the sprints have become slightly less structured as we delve into the minutia of the project.

Presentations and PR

Ben and the Doctor will be presenting at NOVALUG! - 14 May 2011 The Doctor will be presenting at ContactCon! - 20 October 2011 Ben and the Doctor presented at DC Broadband Bridge! - 5 November 2011 (presentation) Unofficial Frequently Asked Questions. Release announcement for v0.1a! Byzantium Linux was distributed and field tested at the USA Science and Engineering Festival! Project Byzantium will be presenting at CarolinaCon and HOPE Number Nine!


Fast Company: 28 April 2011 College v2.0: Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets 10 Projects to Liberate the Web Make Magazine Make article linked on /r/darknetplan Ciberactivistas crean un Internet alternativo por miedo a la represión Google Translation Hackerspaces: Hubs for Tech-Minded do-Gooders? Interview with DisinfoTV at ContactCon Iran: Not Tweeting, Hacking; Byzantium-related stuff near the end of the article, some inaccuracies. NPR Intern Edition: Hacking to Byzantium

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