Janus team launches "Privacy Adaptor"

December 23, 2008 // 1:08 p.m.

Tags: #censor #censorship #cypherpunk #encryption #gumstix #hack #hacker #janus #januspa #janusvm #openvpn #tor

If you're looking for ways to increase your privacy in the increasingly-monitored online world, it's worth checking out a neat little project by the Janus team.

As reported over on Hack a Day, the team – most famously responsible for the creation of the Linux-based JanusVM virtual machine created to allow people to use TCP-based applications anonymously and without censorship or monitoring – has published a preview of their in-line hardware-based “Privacy Adaptor.”

The tiny device features two Ethernet ports – one for your PC or switch to connect to, and the other for your WAN connection – and routes all traffic across either the TOR encrypted network or a compatible virtual private network via OpenVPN.

Based around a GumStix Connex 400mx mini-motherboard, the system provides client-independent encryption and traffic anonymity for any TCP-connected computer – and if OpenVPN is used, extends that support to UDP and ICMP traffic as well.

With censorship and monitoring increasing apace around the world, JanusPA is likely to garner interest from privacy advocates and governments alike. The gadget isn't without its problems, of course: while the SSL performance is none too shabby for such a small device, the adaptor is only as good as the network it routes its traffic over – and in the case of TOR your data can end up being routed three times around the world, resulting in extremely poor performance. Still, if you worry about your privacy on-line, it's a neat and portable hack to help keep your secrets secret.

Tempted to build a JanusPA yourself, or are these devices only ever used by individuals with something to hide? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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