ESP8266 Broadcasts Memorial WiFi Spam

John Perry Barlow, founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Freedom of the Press Foundation, died on February 7th, 2018. To say that he left his mark on the Internet, and by extension modern culture, is something of an understatement. He may not be a household name, but between this activism (online and off), lectures, written work, and various entrepreneurial projects, his 70 years of life were surely not wasted. Barlow was once quoted as saying “I want to be a good ancestor”, and by pretty much any metric it would seem he made good on that goal.

To mark his passing, [Moritz Metz] came up with a rather unusual memorial. Using a bit of code on an ESP8266 board, he created a device that would broadcast out Barlow’s “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspaceline-by-line in the form of 228 WiFi SSIDs. Perhaps not the most effective way to get Barlow’s words out to the people, but we’ll give him extra points for style.

The code itself is based on FakeBeaconESP8266, which as the name implies, allows the user to create fake WiFi networks. to broadcast the manifesto of your choosing, you need only add in the appropriate sendBeacon() lines at the bottom of the code. It would appear that prefixing each line with a number is required to make devices scanning for networks show the lines of text in proper sequence. At least on the devices demoed, anyway.

Just to be clear: you should definitely not do this. Jamming up the local environment with a bunch of fake networks is a pretty terrible idea. But as a memorial for a man who occasionally claimed to be an anarchist, you could do worse. Plus we have to admit “Giants of Flesh and Steel” is an awesome name for a network.

25 thoughts on “ESP8266 Broadcasts Memorial WiFi Spam

    1. Please people carve your spiel on the moon rather doing this. I don’t have to look at the moon, i do have to scroll through the list of available networks to find one that’s available for m to use. Anyone who pulls this stunt is as much a tyrant that the tyrants that J P Barlow rallied a gaint . An annoying piss ant of a tyrant doesn’t do their cause any good

    1. More accurately Barlow was a pioneer in the freedom of those using computer networks long before internet availability was wide spread With the US population. I sure I still have the issue o Board watch magazine that announce the creation of the EFF. I could have let this slide, but you where characterizing the article an inaccurate, when calling for the inclusion something that isn’t accurate. I can’t discover how Barlow was pioneer in regards to the creation of the actual internet.

  1. The good news is that chances are good that Hackaday and other related sites probably aren’t read by enough to help this become a wide spread practice. I’d have to chance my broadcast to STFU if does.

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