On Building Special-Purpose Social Networks for Emergency Communication

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Executive Summary

In this paper the authors propose a system that will allow people to communicate their status with friends and family when they find themselves caught up in a large disaster (e.g., sending "I'm fine" in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake). Since communication between a disaster zone and the non-affected world is often highly constrained they design the system around lightweight triggers such that people can communicate status with only crude infrastructure (or even sneaker-nets). In this paper they provide the high level system design, discuss the security aspects of the system and study the overall feasibility of a purpose-built social networking system for communication during an emergency.

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