A Kickstarter project was suspended after raising an incredible amount of money over just a few days. When critics looked into it, however, the project turned out to be a scam.
The Anonabox Tor router was a marvel of internet technology, guaranteed to maintain privacy for users who don’t want government agencies snooping in on their activity. In a world where the NSA knows your every move just because you “googled” the wrong combination of phrases and raised some concerns, it seemed like a dream come true.
The way the device supposedly worked was that it took the internet signal and bounced it through a network of over 5,000 relays (known as The Onion Router) to shake off potential watchers. To put it simply, it would make sure that anyone watching your computer from a remote location saw nothing. It seemed ideal for anyone who regularly engaged in internet piracy (which is a crime, punishable by hefty fines and prison time), or wanted to protect their business sources.
The following video was part of the fundraiser.
A few days after $600,000 was raised for the device, the Kickstarter project was suspended. The website sent an email to donors explaining their decision to stop funds.
“We may suspend projects when they demonstrate one or more of the following:
Offering purchased items and claiming to have made them yourself;
Presenting someone else’s work as your own;
Misrepresenting or failing to disclose relevant facts about the project or its creator.”
While the device seemed to be a great idea, it was allegedly based on other devices which already existed. Critics pointed out that the circuit board used in the pictures was of a cheap Chinese device which could be purchased for $20, while the Anonabox Tor router was being sold for nearly triple.
Reddit user “htilonom” pointed out the deception he noticed.
“They lied about the prototypes, saying that they invented the device while the device is bought from Aliexpress [a Chinese online retailer].”
After the founders of the Anonabox Tor router project failed to answer questions about how it worked, it led to getting the Kickstarter project suspended. Co-founder August Germar failed to respond when Computer World sent him an email asking about the security issues of the device.
Popular Kickstarter project Anonabox frozen after scam accusations http://t.co/jo3M80Y7rP
— Mashable (@mashable) October 17, 2014
The lack of ability to answer the technical questions from potential buyers led to the eventual discovery that the whole project was a scam selling someone else’s idea as their own. Backers have almost unanimously canceled their pledges, praising the website for leaving the Kickstarter project suspended.
[Image via Meridian Peak Hypnosis]