Metro Weekly

Safeplug keeps the NSA out of your home for $49

 

It seems not a day goes by without a story regarding another internet hacking scandal, someone losing their identity online, or claims that the government has been snooping on our QVC shopping habits. Given the vast resources of the NSA, you’d think there would be little way to remain anonymous on the internet, free from the watchful eyes of hackers, government workers or websites that use your browsing habits to sell you things you’d never need. While there’s no guaranteed solution, Tor is an online network that protects users from traffic analysis, which can be used to track browsing and the user’s location.
There are a variety of ways it can be used, including Tor’s own browser which directly connects to the Tor network, but each requires jumping through a hoop. What if you want to simply jump onto Internet Explorer or Chrome, or surf on your phone, or use your iPad, without having to use dedicated software or apps? Enter Pogoplug’s new Safeplug adaptor. It connects directly to your router, processing every internet connected device through the Tor network and anonymizing every browsing session. At $49 it’s not hideously expensive, and saves the effort of loading Tor browser or running the software from a USB drive.
As for its effectiveness? Documents leaked by Edward Snowden list NSA success rates in attempts to track users of the Tor network as “negligible” and states that the NSA “will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time.” In other words: it’s pretty secure.

It seems not a day goes by without a story regarding another internet hacking scandal, someone losing their identity online, or claims that the government has been snooping on our QVC shopping habits. Given the vast resources of the NSA and the ingenuity of thieves, you’d think there would be little way to remain anonymous on the internet, free from the watchful eyes of hackers, government workers or websites that use your browsing habits to sell you things you’d never need. While there’s no guaranteed solution, Tor is an online network that protects users from traffic analysis, which can be used to track browsing and the user’s location.

There are a variety of ways it can be used, including Tor’s own browser which directly connects to the Tor network, but each requires jumping through a hoop. What if you want to simply jump onto Internet Exploreror Chrome, or surf on your phone, or use your iPad, without having to use dedicated software or apps? Enter Pogoplug‘s new Safeplug adaptor. It connects directly to your router, processing every internet connected device through the Tor network and anonymizing every browsing session. At $49 it’s not hideously expensive, and saves the effort of loading Tor browser or running the software from a USB drive.

As for its effectiveness? Documents leaked by Edward Snowden titled “Tor Stinks” list NSA success rates in attempts to track users of the Tor network as “negligible” and states that the NSA “will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time.” In other words: it’s pretty secure.

 

Join our e-mail list.

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!