Crowdfunding project TorFi, has been removed from Kickstarter only days after a similar listing for the Anonabox router was also taken down. The TorFi project was a Wi-Fi router that has been constructed to run all Internet traffic through Tor, “the onion router,” in an bid to ensure total privacy.
The TorFi project has come from the minds of two Berkeley, California creators and the project was aimed to protect users’ privacy whilst they browse the Internet. It does this in the form of turnkey Tor protection in the router. Additionally, TorFi supported OpenVPN. This means traffic could be also be routed through a virtual private network (VPN).
This type of technology isn’t really that new; all of this was guaranteed from a similar product called Anonabox, mentioned earlier. It does appear as though the two routers are sharing the same outcome, and for similar reasons.
If you dig around a little, you discover that Kickstarter has rules against ‘presenting someone else’s work as their own,’ as stated on the FAQ page of the Kickstarter website. TorFi was not actually a new piece of hardware, but it was an off-the-shelf TP-Link router, which was flashed with a custom version of open-source software called, OpenWRT. So before people go blaming Kickstarter, saying that they have a secret goal of censoring attempts to ensure user privacy, they don’t.
It was the same outcome for Anonabox. It was unearthed, after investigation, that the parts being used were cheap bits and bobs from Chinese manufactuers, and not the original hardware, as was claimed in the project’s listing.
In TorFi’s case, the only thing being funded through Kickstarter was some reprogramming, and not any development or any preparations to launch a new product.
[Image via chip.de]