Brisbane devs raise $4k for open source router

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Brisbane devs raise $4k for open source router

Crowdfunding the fight against NSA snooping.

Four Brisbane security researchers have raised US$3800 ($4166) within the first 24 hours of seeking to crowdfund a router that can be used in the fightback against government surveillance.

The Open Router Project (ORP-1) router will be built on open source hardware and software to allow users to check that the unit was free of vulnerabilities and backdoors.

It is designed to make security and privacy verifiable and more accessible to users.

Developers Justin Clacherty, Jason Richards, Ryan Hodge and Andrew Kinmont of Brisbane outfit Redfish opened the project to crowdfunding yesterday.

Their goal is US$200,000 with the money to be used to cover costs up to the first manufacturing run. Only three out of ten packages remain that offer investors a prototype device early next year.

Many users underestimated the impact mass surveillance and data retention would have, Clacherty said.

"US government surveillance might seem far away from Australia, but the fact is that many Australian individuals and businesses host their data with American companies that are subject to American law and American surveillance," Clacherty said.

"These days, anyone who communicates online and doesn't want the US government snooping on their data needs to protect it, it's that simple."


He said he would like interested security testers to report any bugs they find in the project.

"We are also interested in opening it up to the wider infosec community, the more testing we can get done the better. If there are any holes we'd like them closed ASAP. Community involvement really is key to a project such as this."

Clacherty said the router's IPSec performance and user interface for establishing IPSec tunnels would appeal to businesses with multiple satellite offices or telecommuters.

"While we're aiming at the higher end home users and the tech community at large, we really want businesses to pick this up and run with it. It's not just about privacy and anonymity, it's also about data security," he said.

The developers expect to ship the first device to a limited number of early crowdfunding adopters by April and to all backers by May 2014.It would be 

The router would be built on a custom Linux Yocto distribution and utilise a Freescale QorIQ P1010 processor that includes a hardware encryption engine and secure boot.

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