Little Brosers, the ones Big Brother won’t watch

Here is the very first post from the “Little Brosers” project !

Quick summary of the project :

  • A set of dead drops (or drops for short), are placed in an area where there is no way to use or setup a regular network. A good example of this scenario are the Paris’s catacombs.
  • A drops is simply a small Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) receiver/emitter virtually the same size of a coin.
  • The drops are used as a decentralized telecommunication network for smartphones. The network is unique in the way that the drops are not connected together. Instead, smartphones transmit the information between the drops (when they are within the BLE range) in a transparent manner for the user. The users’s phones are the “wires” of our network.
  • Users can send messages (limited length of characters) between them. A group message feature could be added.
  • Messages are authenticated and encrypted.
  • In order to manage users authentication data, we will use a back-end server (connected to the Internet and delivering authentication keys for new users).

Short term objectives are:

  • Clear out the whole signature/encryption/asymmetric key theory for each group member before debating on any cryptographic matter
  • Choose whether or not we need an external flash memory on the drops
  • Settle on features our SoC need to include among:
    • Bluetooth
    • Encryption oriented hardware block
    • Size of on-chip flash storage
    • C API ease of use for Bluetooth and encryption block

Long term objectives are:

  • Define the phone<=>drops protocol
  • Design/choose the file system
  • Choose an encryption method for messages content
  • Choose a strategy to make a ‘git diff’-like  between a phone and a drop. (Merkel tree)
  • Estimate current consumption of SoC (+ external Flash?)
  • Design Drops API for the Backend
  • Backend’s Implementation
  • Design drops’s firmware update process
  • Manage user banishment ( time limited account validity, reset every week/month?)

Starting from now we have 102 days to build this network, and we’re so excited to start ! We can’t stop coming with new applications for the Little Brosers !

Who knows, perhaps even the famous Zerosero 7 will make a request to get a Little Brosers account…

Antony Lopez

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