Within seconds of plugging it in, a new little device will give even the tech illiterate the ability to surf the Internet without worrying whether spies are tracking or criminals are hacking.
The portable anonymity tool, dubbed iCloak, enables the user to browse the Web anonymously and securely on any Windows, Linux or Mac computer. Orlando-based tech firm Digithinkit launched the privacy-enabling gadget Wednesday on Kickstarter.
"I've had a career in technology that has centered around making technology useable for non-tech people, and I've been interested in that for really a long time," Digithinkit CEO Eric B. Delisle said. "So when all this NSA and Edward Snowden stuff came out -- this was stuff that people whispered about for a long time and people thought was happening but nobody could really prove it. Then when it came out, to be quite frank with you, I just kind of got pissed off."
Delisle said he just wanted to create something that his non-tech friends could use to protect themselves against this kind of spying.
"I just felt like, you know, this sucks. And it sucks even worse for my friends and family who I know are not technically literate like I am," he said.
Delisle designed the iCloak so that anyone can use their computer to surf on the Tor networks using just their computer's RAM, or temporary memory, rather than letting any of that Web information hit their hard drive.
The way he describes it, the USB-sized device sounds like the wannabe hacker's best friend.
"Imagine being able to surf the Web like you normally do without anyone knowing you were doing it, in any way shape or form, and it would be impossible to track it," Delisle said.
That sounds like a bluff just waiting to be called. No technology is that fool-proof, right?
"It exists, and all you have to do is stick the device in your computer, reboot it," Delisle insisted.
He said the iCloak loads a live operating system from the USB drive into the RAM and allows you to connect to the Internet without using any part of your hard drive.
"It allows you to surf the Web without using your computer as you know it," he said. "It just uses your hardware; your screen, mouse, keyboard, RAM, wireless card if you have one and our software code runs an operating system that is hardened, meaning there is a whole bunch of stuff that has been done to it to stop it from leaking any data."
The iCloak also masks your internet service provider address, so to the pages you click and anyone tracking the searches, it appears as if the initiating address is in a completely different location, Delisle explained.
"Technology is now so ubiquitous now we are essentially oozing digital ooze all the time," Delisle said. "Well now, not just big brother, but big data, is gobbling up this information as fast as they can and they are compiling it and they are creating dossiers on every man, woman and child that they possibly can. Believe me when I tell you there isn't just one, but multiple Elizabeth Kreft dossiers out there."
"These dossiers have everything about you, where you go, what you do, who you know, what you like and don't like," he continued. "Big companies … [are] using this kind of data to individually profiling people to determine the rates that they would charge them for their life insurance. And it's all based on these profiles gathered on their habits online."
Delisle said both government and corporate online tracking is getting out of control, and that's why he created iCloak.
"I've been able to protect myself for years -- but I'm a geek and I do this stuff for a living," he said. "I decided there had to be a way to take some of the tools that hackers use, and the people in the know have been using, and deliver it in a form and in a way that non-technical people could use it to protect themselves or be private when they wanted to be."
The device is available on Kickstarter now for $25; you can see their iCloak video here, and TheBlaze's exclusive interview with iCloak creator Eric B. Delisle below: