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The Blue & Gray Press | August 17, 2017

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Take back your privacy, unplug

By MONA OSMER

Sick and tired of hearing about the possibility of national drones and Google Glass secretly watching your every move? Cyborg Unplug has the solution to your paranoia.

Julian Oliver, an engineer and artist from New Zealand, created a portable device that detects drones and surveillance devices accessing personal wireless signals.

As part of the Stop the Cyborgs Campaign, an organization that is trying to persuade individuals of the risks of surveillance and the prospect of dying liberty and privacy, Cyborg Unplug intends to empower individuals and allow them to block big government and evasive security institutions from personal networks and information.

Cyborg Unplug will be available for pre-order September 30. As of late, the biggest critique of the device is that it will prevent other unthreatening networks in the same area from properly working and staying online.

However, the public response is mostly positive, as most people have been outraged by the possibility of drones in a domestic surveillance setting rather than their designated war zone setting, as they should be.

Though the main intention of having domestic drone surveillance in the U.S. is to stop terrorist attacks, such as the bombings during the 2013 Boston Marathon, before they happen, it denies all citizens their right to privacy.

It is our right to protect ourselves from an intrusive government and fully support devices and companies that stand to give us that power. Fundamentally, we are a country built upon this right, and it is therefore our time to uphold and cherish that right.

So how does this device work exactly?

According to Cyborg Unplug, “Every wireless (WiFi) device has a unique hardware signature assigned to it by the manufacturer. These signatures are broadcast by wireless devices as they probe for, connect to and use wireless networks. Cyborg Unplug sniffs the air for these signatures, looking for devices its owner has selected to ban. If a device selected to be banned is discovered, an alarm is triggered.” However, due to technical limitations, alarm features may be restricted to the high-priced model.

Users then have the power to deny access to specific signals, denoting the critique that this device could wipe out all signals in the area. Cyborg Unplug also tells users that they have the power as the device is just a utility, and anything illegal done by users is at personal discretion.

I support the right to protect my privacy and applaud the creation of a product that empowers me to do so.

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