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For Sale Soon: The World’s First Google Glass Detector

Later this month, Oliver says he’ll start taking pre-orders for Cyborg Unplug, a gadget no bigger than a laptop charger that plugs into a wall and patrols the local Wi-Fi network for connected Google Glass devices, along with other potential surveillance gadgets like Google Dropcams, Wi-Fi-enabled drone copters, and certain wireless microphones. When it detects one of those devices, it can be programmed to flash an alert with an LED light, play a sound through connected speakers, and even ping the Cyborg Unplug owner’s smartphone through an Android app, as well as silently booting those potential spy devices from the network.

Oliver says Cyborg Unplug will also offer an “All Out Mode.” With that more aggressive setting switched on, the plug will seek out and disconnect nearby surveillance devices on any network it connects to, including Glass’s wireless connection to their owners’ phones. That’s a more legally ambiguous use of the gadget that Oliver says he doesn’t recommend. “Please note that this latter mode may not be legal within your jurisdiction,” reads a disclaimer on Cyborg Unplug’s website. “We take no responsibility for the trouble you get yourself into if you choose to deploy your Cyborg Unplug in this mode.”

The privacy wars are escalating. The alarm feature is interesting. But I find it most interesting that the device is capable of scanning and connecting to non-owned networks. I assume those networks will need to be open. If this is somehow able to block devices on secure connections that would be really interesting from a rights perspective. And of course, this does nothing for people storing pictures and media locally without being connected to Wi-Fi. 

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