An internet router that aims to anonymise online activity had raised over $300,000 Tuesday, after less than 48 hours on the Kickstarter fund raising site.
Anonabox , a 2.4in by 1.6in router, directs internet data that connects to it by ethernet or Wi-Fi through the Tor network, software designed to allow anonymous web browsing.
Tor acts as a cloaking device, hiding information including the computer’s the current logged-in user name and the last-visited URL, IP address and other information disclosed through regular browsing. The service can be used to help people chat and email anonymously as well as skirt censorship.
Anonabox had hoped to raise $7,500 in 30 days but raised that amount in the first six hours of the fund raiser , said its developer August Germar.
“When we first started building it, I had no idea that anyone would be interested in it,” he said. “Initially we thought there would be enthusiasm from developers, journalists and librarians. But it turns out there are a lot more regular users. I think it’s not so much about privacy as about freedom of speech and freedom of information. This allows people to access information when people might try to censor them.”
Anonabox is open source – meaning outside developers will be able to develop the system. Germar, a California-based IT contractor, said the extra money would mean he could make more devices and speed up production and get it to more developers.
Germar aims to sell the device for $45 (£28).
There have been other attempts to popularise Tor routers but they have been more expensive and less portable. Germar said the device would not be useful for people looking to download movies or stream music anonymously, as the re-routing is likely to slow transmission of large files. “This is not a toy,” he said.
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