Device Blocks Surveillance by Drones, Google Glass

While tech aficionados get ready to shell out cash for smart watches and other "smart" wearables hitting the market, developer Julian Oliver is looking to quash the potential surveillance capabilities of such devices. Oliver, an engineer, artist and open-source advocate based in Berlin, aims to do that with a new device called Cyborg Unplug.

Expected to be available for pre-order on Sept. 30, Cyborg Unplug is described as a "wireless anti-surveillance system for the home and workplace." Among the devices it is designed to detect and disconnect from a user's local wireless network are Google Glass, Dropcam, wireless "spy" microphones and small drones.

Cyborg Unplug, which will be available in two versions -- both priced between $50 and $100 -- follows Oliver's release earlier this year of a program called glasshole.sh. The script enables Raspberry Pi owners to detect the presence of a Google Glass device and disconnect that device from the wireless network.

Prevents Streaming, Not Recording

Cyborg Unplug works by "sniffing" for the distinctive hardware signatures of devices like Google Glass and other surveillance-enabling technologies. If it identifies the presence of such a device, Cyborg Unplug then automatically sends a signal that disconnects that device from the local wireless network.

While wireless network operations at home can be controlled and password-protected, networks in public locations such as cafes, libraries and schools are often open or available through a publicly shared password. It's in such locations that Cyborg Unplug is specifically designed to operate.

The Cyborg Unplug doesn't prevent operators of wearables or drones from being able to take photos or record audio or video. Instead, it puts a stop only to Internet-based streaming of any recorded content. As the product's Web site notes, "streaming to the Internet allows for remote backups and surveillance while ensuring the offending device contains no...

Comments are closed.

Device Blocks Surveillance by Drones, Google Glass

While tech aficionados get ready to shell out cash for smart watches and other "smart" wearables hitting the market, developer Julian Oliver is looking to quash the potential surveillance capabilities of such devices. Oliver, an engineer, artist and open-source advocate based in Berlin, aims to do that with a new device called Cyborg Unplug.

Expected to be available for pre-order on Sept. 30, Cyborg Unplug is described as a "wireless anti-surveillance system for the home and workplace." Among the devices it is designed to detect and disconnect from a user's local wireless network are Google Glass, Dropcam, wireless "spy" microphones and small drones.

Cyborg Unplug, which will be available in two versions -- both priced between $50 and $100 -- follows Oliver's release earlier this year of a program called glasshole.sh. The script enables Raspberry Pi owners to detect the presence of a Google Glass device and disconnect that device from the wireless network.

Prevents Streaming, Not Recording

Cyborg Unplug works by "sniffing" for the distinctive hardware signatures of devices like Google Glass and other surveillance-enabling technologies. If it identifies the presence of such a device, Cyborg Unplug then automatically sends a signal that disconnects that device from the local wireless network.

While wireless network operations at home can be controlled and password-protected, networks in public locations such as cafes, libraries and schools are often open or available through a publicly shared password. It's in such locations that Cyborg Unplug is specifically designed to operate.

The Cyborg Unplug doesn't prevent operators of wearables or drones from being able to take photos or record audio or video. Instead, it puts a stop only to Internet-based streaming of any recorded content. As the product's Web site notes, "streaming to the Internet allows for remote backups and surveillance while ensuring the offending device contains no...

Comments are closed.