Does Anonabox Provides Enough Security?
The Anonabox is an open source embedded networking tool that enables anonymous browsing. This little tool is very convenient. The only thing that you have to do is connecting this hardware tool with the router or modem and connecting your device with the Anonabox through a Wifi- or Ethernet connection. This tool enables people to access the internet securely. Browsing and location will remain private. The hardware tool also provides to anonymize programs such as Skype and a FTP-browser, since these applications need required complex configurations to run the Tor-network (an anonymous secured network). The team behind the Anonabox initially requested $7.500 of funding at Kickstarter, but the project has since accrued $450.000 so it appears to become is a success. But will the Anonabox really result in a great success?
This device is designed specifically to run Tor. Tor (The Oninion Router) is free software for enabling online anonymity and resisting censorship. The Anonabox transfers data to the Tor-network where IP-addresses are guaranteed so that anonymous browsing will be possible, although it is not necessary to use a hardware box to get access to the Tor-network. This network is also accessible by downloading the Tor-software. However, this network is not reliable enough. Earlier this year this service appears to have been compromised by attackers. They managed to gather information about people who were looking up hidden services. Thereby, it’s easier for hackers to gather information than it is for consumers to protect it. Therefore, it’s important to exercise caution whenever anyone promises to protect data from those attackers.
In order to clarify, this tool provides internet users to browse in a private and secured network. Hence this tool promises anonymous browsing. It means that the founders clarify that it will be impossible to track your browsing behavior when using this tool. It also provides a solution for journalists and activists in countries where the internet is monitored and censured very strictly. A disadvantage what this tool provides, is that criminals or terrorists can do their illegal activities on the internet more securely so this tool actually assists their activities. Accordingly, the usefulness of the Anonabox is not strictly positive. Another counter point to mention is that no one really knows what intelligence agencies do. These agencies feel committed trying to find a different way of tracking browsing behavior, even when such innovations like Anonabox try to block their spy activities. For example, the NSA can target people who visited the box’s Kickstarter page because they were curious about making it harder to track their online activities.
In summary, I think that the Anonabox won’t win the battle against hackers and intelligence agencies such as the NSA and FBI. Thereby, I think that such security/privacy-provider tools aren’t that valuable since one of the main activities of intelligence agencies is to track browsing behavior. They simply will never stop.
What do you think of the impact of this hardware tool and the online privacy?