Some lawmakers and parties have likened the Internet to the Wild Wild West in order to justify putting a clamp on it. For many users, however, that freedom is part and parcel of the Internet’s nature and is necessary for it to survive. To help stem off attempts to curtail the freedom of speech on the Internet, not to mention growing number of spying on users, a group of friends have designed anonabox, a discrete and easy to use networking device that could give the NSA nightmares.
These friends, headed by August Germar, wanted to level the Internet playing field by giving users a hassle-free way to bypass censorship, especially those imposed by suppressive regimes, and unauthorized snooping on Internet activity. The device has to be small enough to be inconspicuous enough not to draw attention or suspicion to itself. It also has to be simple enough that users can just plug it in to an existing network and immediately start using the Internet without fear. And it has to be inexpensive enough that it becomes a viable option not just for those with the cash to spare.
But hardware is only half the story. Luckily for Germar and his team, there is software easily available just for their purpose. At the very heart of anonabox is the ever popular Tor, the favorite go to software for proxy and VPN users. But beyond just rerouting Internet traffic through anonymous lines, anonabox also ensures the encryption of that traffic with no special setup required. And all of those advantages don’t just benefit a few programs that are specifically configured for security and anonymity. Even regular programs that would probably never get any Tor support outright will work flawlessly with anonabox.
anonabox currently sits as a Kickstarter campaign but there is no longer any doubt to its success as well as the interest around such an idea. The campaign is only asking for $7,500 and yet it has already managed to gather more than $177,000 and with 28 days left to spare. A pledge of $51 already earns you own anonabox ready to be used. Of course, like any tool, it can be used for good or for ill, though hopefully the project’s 2,867 backers don’t have mischievous intentions in mind.