Kickstarter’s decision to pull the plug on Anonabox, the alleged Tor-powered online cloaking device. and cancel all pledges to the controversial project left many Internet anonymity seekers disheartened. Now, as promised, Anonabox has made a comeback on Indiegogo, which is known for having a more relaxed policy about the crowd-funding campaigns it hosts. To ensure that no rules will be broken this time around, and that no false claims will mislead eager supporters, the router has supposedly been updated.
Things aren’t always what they seem — especially crowdfunded things. And while lying about what they were offering got them kicked off Kickstarter, Anonabox is back and still raising buckets of cash. Anonabox hit Kickstarter with the aim of bringing Tor-powered anonymity to the masses. The $45 minimum pledge looked like a decent enough deal, and the most recent prototype looked like it was ready for store shelves. It turned out that Anonabox was already on store shelves. Skeptics on Reddit and other discussion sites started digging and discovered that Anonabox was really just a $20 Chinese pocket router. It might even be the same TP-Link one that the PORTAL project has developed firmware for. What does the PORTAL firmware do? It turns the TP-Link pocket router into a Tor anonymization box. There’s a decent chance that’s exactly what you’ll get if you pledge. The Indiegogo page specifically mentions that it’s “based on” the latest PORTAL firmware. Based on what happened last time, “based on” could mean that they took the time to swap out the word PORTAL and stick in Anonabox.