No tool in existence protects your anonymity on the Web better than the software Tor, which encrypts Internet traffic and bounces it through random computers around the world. But for guarding anything other than Web browsing, Tor has required a mixture of finicky technical setup and software tweaks. Now routing allyour traffic through Tor may be as simple as putting a portable hardware condom on your ethernet cable.
Today a group of privacy-focused developers plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Anonabox. The $45 open-source router automatically directs all data that connects to it by ethernet or Wifi through the Tor network, hiding the user’s IP address and skirting censorship. It’s also small enough to hide two in a pack of cigarettes. Anonabox’s tiny size means users can carry the device with them anywhere, plugging it into an office ethernet cable to do sensitive work or in a cybercafe in China to evade the Great Firewall. The result, if Anonabox fulfills its security promises, is that it could become significantly easier to anonymize all your traffic with Tor—not just Web browsing, but email, instant messaging, filesharing and all the other miscellaneous digital exhaust that your computer leaves behind online.
“Now all your programs, no matter what you do on your computer, are routed over the Tor network,” says August Germar, one of the independent IT consultants who spent the last four years developing the Anonabox. He says it was built with the intention of making Tor easier to use not just for the software’s Western fans, but for those who really need it more Internet-repressive regimes. “It was important to us that it be portable and small—something you can easily conceal or even throw away if you have to get rid of it.”
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