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ProxyHam anti-surveillance router terminated under mysterious circumstances, likely under gag order

By Dieter Holger
Jul 14, 2015
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  1. [parsehtml]<p><img src="http://www.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2015/07/2015-07-13-image-23.jpg" /></p> <p>Privacy advocates have something new to complain about. ProxyHam, a router that can hide your location, has been terminated under mysterious circumstances. ProxyHam is equipped with a 900 MHz radio, allowing it to connect to Wi-Fi as far as two miles away and then broadcast the signal to your device.</p> <p>Rhino Security Labs&#39; Benjamin Caudill, the proprietor of the anonymizing router, was set to present and sell ProxyHam at this year&#39;s DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas, but his presentation was abruptly cancelled without explanation. Additionally, <a href="https://twitter.com/RhinoSecurity">Rhino Security Labs Tweeted</a> they&#39;ll be destroying all their ProxyHam routers and won&#39;t release any more of its source code or details.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Existing <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/proxyham?src=hash">#proxyham</a> units will be disposed of and no longer be made available at <a href="https://twitter.com/_defcon_">@_defcon_</a></p> &mdash; Rhino Security Labs (@RhinoSecurity) <a href="https://twitter.com/RhinoSecurity/status/619556882252873728">July 10, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>Caudill was enthused about ProxyHam, which he <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/07/online-anonymity-box-puts-mile-away-ip-address/">described earlier this month</a> as a way to &quot;keep safe&quot; through anonymity. In a <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/07/online-anonymity-project-proxyham-mysteriously-vanishes/">phone call with Wired</a>, Caudill said he&#39;s unable to speak about the project&#39;s cancellation. Since he runs Rhino Security Labs, we can rule out this being a supervisor&#39;s decision and because it&#39;s unlikely Caudill cancelled ProxyHam of his own volition, we&#39;re left wondering what happened.</p> <p>A probable cause for ProxyHam&#39;s demise is intervention from the U.S. government. The government could give a range of reasons, from terrorism to cyber-crime, as to why the anti-surveillance router shouldn&#39;t exist. Caudill&#39;s apparent silence on the matter hints that he&#39;s bound by some sort of legal gag order. Interestingly, the FCC has been ruled out by Caudill as a potential oppressor, pointing to another perhaps more militant agency.</p> <p>When TechSpot asked Caudill via email if he was facing legal proceedings over ProxyHam, he declined to comment. We&#39;ll keep you in the loop if anything changes.</p><p><a rel='alternate' href='http://www.techspot.com/news/61347-proxyham-anti-surveillance-router-terminated-under-mysterious-circumstances.html' target='_blank'>Permalink to story.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href='http://www.techspot.com/news/61347-proxyham-anti-surveillance-router-terminated-under-mysterious-circumstances.html'>http://www.techspot.com/news/61347-proxyham-anti-surveillance-router-terminated-under-mysterious-circumstances.html</a></p>[/parsehtml]
     
  2. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Addict Posts: 143   +59

    "You want privacy? But you're a member of our public!" said the mysterious, private voice who shut down a perfectly legitimate commercial venture.

    Sigh.
     
    oranuro and TadMSTR like this.
  3. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,259   +223

    Go! Go! US Freedom!
     
    SirChocula likes this.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,043   +271

    I would bet that it did not take the intervention of the US Govt, NSA, CIA, or whoever. I would not at all be surprised if it was a lawyer from Starbucks that said that they would remove and destroy any of the remote devices found in their shops and sue the owners and the makers of this asinine gadget for theft of services.

    As I see it, it is totally insane to expect anything like privacy when you have to "plant" a hardware device somewhere in a public venue like starbucks or your local library.

    And tracking the location of someone using this would not be all that difficult with a 900 MHz signal strength meter and a directional antenna.

    This thing was a stupid idea in my not so humble opinion.
     
  5. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434


    ahh yes, I see...you're the the-cup-is-a-millimeter-FULL type of person. I guess there is something to be said about optimism, no matter how obscure and non-existent it may be ;)
     
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,899

    That cup is not as empty as you perceive it to be.
     
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,043   +271

    LOL - I can just imagine the conversation that the inventors of this had with a legal expert - as it might have been even as simple as them consulting a lawyer in preparation for the CYA disclaimers that they would have had to include with their product.

    Product Developer: We would like to market this device, but we do not want responsibility for the consequences of anyone using it.
    Lawyer to product developer: Are you aware that each site where you would have to leave one of the repeaters has a user agreement? For instance, Starbucks allows using their WiFi as a Starbucks customer.
    Product Developer: What? I am a Starbucks customer!!! I buy a Mocha Latte there everyday on my way to work. You mean that does not allow me to use their WiFi 24/7?
    Lawyer: You're joking, right?
    Product Developer: Joking?? Who's joking?? Time for me to stop patronizing Starbucks. How dare they put a user agreement in place and limit my WiFi access!!!
     
  8. The state of the cup ( being half full / empty ) is determined by how the said cup came to that level. If you started with a empty cup, filled it halfway then left the cup, it is half full. If you filled the cup completely then removed half of the fluid in it, it is half empty.
     
  9. Nitrotoxin

    Nitrotoxin TS Booster Posts: 102   +56

    Unless the cup started half full/empty in which case it could logically be perceived as half empty or half full...
     
  10. Lets hope he has made good cash for selling this to gov't
     

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