Bothered by gadgets like Google Glass that can, theoretically, be used to snoop on you in public? Then why not get your own gadget that can knock them all offline?
That’s what the creators of Cyborg Unplug promise. Billed as a “wireless anti-surveillance system,” Unplug is, essentially, a portable router that can detect drones, surveillance cameras and mobile tech like Glass trying to access your Wi-Fi signal and boot them off of it.
“Whether business office, restaurant, school or nightclub: it’s your territory and your rules, so make it harder for those that seek to abuse it,” Cyborg’s website reads.
That’s Unplug’s stated purpose, anyway. But, as its creators freely note, it also has an “All Out Mode” that would let you knock devices off of any wireless network, not just yours.
The company says it doesn’t recommend doing that because … you know … it’s probably really, really illegal.
“We take no responsibility for the trouble you get yourself into if you choose to deploy your Cyborg Unplug in this mode,” the company says on its site.
The company notes that the device is not a jammer, which blocks all digital signals in a particular area. Instead, it targets certain devices the user has identified. So, for example, you could tell Unplug that Glass is no bother, but drones and microphones need to be shut down. It uses the unique hardware signature that all Wi-Fi devices have to recognize what it’s seeing before sending a “deauthentication packet” blocking access.
To be clear, Cyborg Unplug can’t stop anyone from using mobile devices to record or photograph you. It only keeps that data from being streamed afterward.
Cyborg Unplug was developed by Julian Oliver, an engineer and artist from New Zealand living in Berlin
This spring, Oliver made headlines in the tech press by writing glasshole.sh, a Web script that can be used to find and kick Glass, specifically, off local computer networks.
He said positive response to the program led him to pursue making Cyborg Unplug.
Two versions will be available for $50 and $100, available for pre-order starting September 30.
Although Glass has no more capabilities to record video or take photos than most smartphones, the wearable gadget from Google, still officially in its testing phase, has been targeted by privacy advocates who say technology has made it too easy to violate privacy rights.
Cyborg says Unplug was created “in shared spirit with” Stop the Cyborgs, a campaign that urges restaurants and other public spaces to ban Glass and other surveillance devices.
Google did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.