Who surfs the net leaves traces. The project upribox (usable privacy box) of the St. Pölten UAS developed a software and a device hiding online behaviour of users to protect their privacy. This software is now also available as open source.
The upribox should enable users to surf the net more anonymously and above all without annoying online advertising: the device is simply connected to the existing internet access and sets up its own WLAN.
Many people would love to be able to blank annoying online advertising. “Installing blockers on smartphones is too complicated for most people. The upribox makes it possible to protect oneself without being a genius in IT”, says UAS lecturer Markus Huber of the Department of Computer Science and Security at the St. Pölten UAS, who developed the upribox and the corresponding software.
Next to the protection of personal data there is a further advantage according to Huber, “Surfing is faster and internet pages are more readable as disturbing elements are blanked“. And in contrast to existing browser extensions the upribox is compatible with all current devices and operating systems.
“Therewith, we developed a large-scale software tool contributing to data protection of the internet community”, explains Huber. Moreover, via a separate WLAN, the so-called Ninja-WLAN can additionally protect online anonymity with the aid of the Tor-network. The Tor-network is the de-facto standard for the anonymization of connection data in the net.
Since December the software of the upribox has been downloadable for experts. “The software is the heart of upribox and is freely available at an open-source-licence. Interested ones can test and develop the software further“, says Huber.
A retail version of the box for less experienced people may come onto the market in the future. Therefore, further development and its funding are necessary, according to Huber. A marketable version would also need to be cheaper, so Huber.
The project upribox was financially supported by the funding initiative “netidee” and even received a special award “Internet Privacy” from netidee last year. Netidee is an initiative of the Internet Foundation Austria and Austria’s biggest internet funding programme supporting innovative projects.