Cyborg Unplug Boots Surveillance Devices Off Wireless Networks

September 11, 2014 | 23:05
Cyborg Unplug Boots Surveillance Devices Off Wireless Networks
Cyborg Unplug Boots Surveillance Devices Off Wireless Networks
The Cyborg Unplug system scans for unwanted potential surveillance devices like small drones and Google Glass and blocks them from connecting to wireless networks. You can DIY Cyborg Unplug with the open source software or order it as a ready-to-go device.

Cyborg Unplug makes use of the unique signature that is assigned to every hardware device. This signature is transmitted as part of the data packets sent out by the device in search for wireless networks to connect to. When Cyborg Unplug detects a specimen of a class of devices marked for blocking, 'de-authentication' packets are sent to kick it of the network.

The system is geared toward people maintaining public networks in café's or libraries who want control over the kind of device joining their network. Home and business networks are typically password protected and already have that sort of control. The Cyborg Unplug also has an All Out Mode which enables the user to throw marked devices off of any network, turning it into a Drone-B-Gone. However, there might be laws against using the device like that.

Open Source
The device is going on pre-order on September 30. Those who rather like to learn how this thing works can wait for the source code and firmware which will be made available under the GNU General Public License.

Surveillance creep
Cyborg Unplug is a comment on surveillance enabling devices creeping into our everyday lives. Not just by means of governments with their insatiable thirst for information and control. But equally by way of fellow citizens making unsolicited recordings of interactions in the public space with camera's and mics, head-mounted, drone-mounted or otherwise.

Critical Engineering
Lead developer Julian Oliver is a Critical Engineer who is raising awareness about the transformation of the human habitat into a technotope. Although not in itself necessarily a bad thing, the problem Critical Engineers perceive is that the language employed to create that techno-logic-based environment -engineering- is spoken by only a few. As overarching systems are being rolled out at breakneck pace, most of the inhabitants who live in this environment lack the grammar and vocabulary to actively participate in shaping it.
By means of exploiting works of engineering in order to uncover its inner workings & manipulative effect on the user and disseminating information through collaborative writings and NETworkshops Oliver, often in collaboration with Danja Vasiliev, exposes this deficit.

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